Thursday, April 11, 2013

Makeover your pantry (food)

Recently I've been moved to start making healthier food and to have my family eat healthier. What better place to start than with my kitchen? Food manufacturers aren't very likely to change their ways anytime soon, but I certainly can. I made a list of our most frequently used pantry items for a jumping off point and I'm going from there. Here's the list:

Grape jelly
Blackberry jelly
Peanut butter
Onion soup mix
Soy sauce
Worcestershire sauce
Ranch dressing
Bleu cheese dressing (not in the pantry, but it's a staple)
Brown rice
Organic garbanzo beans
Vegetable oil
Coconut oil
BBQ sauce
Maple syrup
Seasoned salt
Cake mix
Corn starch

Obviously there are some things on this list that I will not be making (oats), but I am going to strive to make over the majority of it. I'm also going to try and make over some store bought foods that we don't use very often, such as spaghetti sauce.

Today I looked over my menu and saw Creamy Crock pot Chicken on the menu. One of the ingredients listed was Onion Soup Mix and I was out, having used my last packet on my Practically Falls Apart Roast that I made on Monday. Heavenly Homemakers to the rescue! I absolutely love Laura's site and get many ideas and recipes from there. In fact, tomorrow I'm making the Giant Breakfast Cookies as a Friday morning surprise! But I digress. Laura has a fantastic recipe for Onion Soup Mix. Why make your own? Well, did you know that the boxed soup mix contains, among other things, MSG and corn syrup. Not only that, the second ingredient listed is salt. Not only is making your own healthier, it's more economical. With simple, inexpensive ingredients, you can make goodness knows how many "packets". Ready to make your own? Here's the recipe:

Onion Soup Mix

2/3 cup dried, minced onion
3 teaspoons parsley flakes
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sucanat (or sugar if you prefer) (I used sugar)
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Mix all ingredients in a jar, then give the jar a good shake.  I’d recommend shaking the jar to mix the ingredients well before each use.

Use 4 Tablespoons Onion Soup Mix in a recipe in place of 1 packet of onion soup mix.  (I actually found that 2 Tablespoons was plenty in a beef stew recipe I tried.)  Store this in a dry, cool place.

I too, found 2 Tablespoons plenty. Give Laura's recipe a try! You'll be glad you did!

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