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Meg is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. After going through high school thinking she “didn’t like to write,” she found her love for it her freshman year at college and it’s only deepened since then. Upon graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Communication in 2013, she began working in online marketing for the hospitality industry. She currently splits her time between NYC, where she works, and NJ, where she lives—but hopes that one day she’ll be able to live & work in the same state (that’s the dream).

6 Foods Worth Making Yourself

Even with much of food culture swinging towards emphasizing from scratch techniques, for many people there is still a sense of hesitation about making food from scratch. For some things this hesitance is warranted and making something from scratch will bring you little more than pride—or anger, depending on how it turns out. There are other foods that are worth the little bit of research it takes to make them yourself. You will most likely find that they are a lot easier, cheaper, and less time consuming to make that you initially thought. Below are my personal favorite foods to make from scratch.

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Granola

Such a great food to snack on, to eat for breakfast, and to call dinner once you realize you’ve had about 1500 calories worth in one sitting. Have you ever looked at the ingredient list or nutritional information on a package of this stuff? It’s a little bit scary. Thankfully it’s not terrifying at all to make at home. You’ll be able to cut out a lot of those unpronounceable ingredients that are there unnecessary in home cooking but the best part is that making this yourself means it’s completely customizable. A real plus for people who are allergic to tree nuts (shout out to myself) because so many store bought granola’s have at least one type of nut in them. I like using this recipe for loose granola and this recipe for granola bars as a guide.

Guacamole

In the interest of full disclosure, this is something that I’ve never actually purchased from a grocery store, I’ve only ever made it myself or gotten it with my burrito at Chipotle. It’s so simple to make yourself and contains ingredients that are readily available these days that it’s really not ever worth buying it. You’ll find that the most difficult part of making guacamole is actually something you have to do before you even start: pick the right avocado out at the store. With a few minutes of research though, the hard part will be behind you, and fresh guacamole will be in your hands.

Peanut Butter

Little bit of an addendum to this one: only if you have a food processor. If you do, stay here! If you don’t, carry on buying it at the store with no guilt attached whatsoever. But if you’ve got a processor, you have GOT to make peanut butter at home at least once in your life, if only to marvel at the stages the peanuts go through in the process. It’ll blow your mind, and I’m not speaking hyperbolic here, it really is cool to watch. Another plus of making this at home? You only need one ingredient. And it’s peanuts. That’s it. You can add salt, honey, cinnamon, agave, or anything else you can think of but you don’t need to. All peanut butter really needs to be is ground up peanuts.

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Oatmeal

Oatmeal is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat for breakfast but those instant oatmeal packets—similar to store brought granola—are filled with extra sweetener that you don’t need in the morning and added chemicals that you don’t need ever. If you like traditional oatmeal, this one can take a little extra planning time, because oatmeal on the stove takes longer than in the microwave. The good news is that most of it is hands off time, as you’re just letting the oats and liquid do their thing on the stove. If you aren’t set on having it the traditional way, my favorite way to eat oatmeal is overnight oats. You put it together the night before so you don’t have to worry about your breakfast when you are rushing around in the morning, which actually means that it’ll take less time than those instant oatmeal packets do to put together.

Salad Dressing

If you are a big salad eater, I can’t suggest making your own dressings enough. It might seem completely unnecessary but, as with many other foods on this list—have you ever read the label on those bottles? So. many. words. So. not. needed. in. a. salad. Most delicious dressings only need a few ingredients and once you find your favorite one you’ll be able to throw it together in less than a minute. So much better than ruining the good you are doing for yourself by eating a salad with a surprisingly sugar filled bottled dressing. This is my favorite link to help out with making homemade dressings.

Tomato Sauce

While I advocate for making any pasta sauce at home, I suggest making tomato sauce from scratch more than any other. Some pasta sauces are a little more difficult and time consuming so purchasing those can come in handy but for such a staple food, tomato sauce is surprisingly simple to put together. And the taste, possibly more than any other food on this list, is night and day between the store bought stuff and your homemade deliciousness. There are thousands of recipes for sauce out there (from everybody and their mother, literally) but I use this one from The Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Parmigiana recipe. Kind of. I mostly use it as a base recipe subject to change based on how I feel and what I have in my pantry. Once you start making it you’ll find that it’s easily adjustable to your tastes as well.

What’s your favorite food to make at home?

Image featured on this post is from Ree Drummond.

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5 Comments on “6 Foods Worth Making Yourself”

  1. peeledwellness March 23, 2015 at 11:30 am #

    isn’t Ree the best? She’s a standard Sunday morning routine with me. coffee & Ree time. I admittedly need to take the time to make my own sauce more often! I’d love for you to share a post at my link up tomorrow, if you’re interested!

    xoxo K

  2. but i'm hungry March 23, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

    Totally agree on the salad dressing! When you get used to homemade, you can never go back! And so much cheaper and healthier!

  3. camstlaurent March 23, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    Reblogged this on cameronstlaurent.

  4. camstlaurent March 23, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

    Reblogged this on cameronstlaurent.

  5. bigdealwithcharlie March 24, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    this looks good and i am sure it tastes good too

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