3 Things to Start Making at Home

I think we all love the idea of eating everything unprocessed– whole fruits, vegetables, homemade sauces and pastas and milk all sound like a culinary dream. And also like a lot of work. With today’s conveniences and the fact that you can get literally anything delivered to your doorstep (even Imperfect Produce is stepping into packaged goods!) it’s all too easy to get ready-to-go sauces, meals, etc. But it ain’t all that! 

Something I’m trying to do in my diet is incorporate more homemade items, and I’ve gotten pretty consistent with making these few things. Call this a homemade starter kit, if you will. We’re starting small, I’m talking BABY STEPS (you’ll notice I’m still using processed things to make the less-processed final product 🙃. Back to the motto: do what you can with what you have!)

ANYWAYS, I’m doing this for a few reasons: 1) because what the hell are those ingredients in the things I’m consuming? 2) it’s fun to master a few things and learn some kitchen skills, 3) I’d like to think it’s a little less wasteful. (TBD on that one though)

1. Coffee creamer

This is my new bread and butter. I used to LOVE getting fancy coffee creamers, and while I love black coffee as well, this is my morning “treat,” if you will. (It’s not though, please don’t think of coffee with creamer as treating yourself). Everyone’s got their preference, though, so I’ve included my go-to recipe as well as some other highly reviewed recipes. There’s just something pleasing about knowing the ingredients of your creamer, being able to adjust it based on your mood, and having the option to make some seasonal variations 🙂

My Go-To
– ¼ cup coconut milk (canned)
– ¾ cup almond milk (I usually use unsweetened vanilla – can be subbed for any nut milk/oat milk)
– 1 tbs maple syrup (adjust based on milk)
– 1 tsp vanilla (adjust based on milk)

Blend all ingredients and you’re done!

Despite my recipe stated clearly above, I actually don’t normally follow a recipe on this, and here’s why:

  • Some nut milks are thinner than others. If yours is very THIN, add more coconut milk to thicken it up. If you have a thicker nut milk, you can use less coconut milk.
  • Depending on your milk and your personal preference, you may need more or less sweetener
  • Coffee is SUCH a personal preference IMO, just tweak the recipe based on your likes!

2. Dressing

Most dressings on the shelf freak me out. Why do they have a four-year shelf life? No thanks! (Except Hidden Valley ranch dressing. You can stay.)

I usually alternate between two dressings: tahini-based dressings or balsamic vinaigrette. Dressings are ridiculously easy to make, and it’s even better if you can find a dressing that works as a topping for salads, bowls, sandwiches, etc. so you can use it it many dishes before it goes bad. I’ve linked some dressings below that I’ve used and liked!

Zesty Tahini Dressing – ALWAYS stocked in my fridge, I am obsessed
Classic Tahini Dressing – 3 ingredients you may or may not have on hand
Minimalist Baker tahini dressings – Any and all
Balsamic Vinaigrette – This one is a bit lower in oil than most dressings, which I like

3. Soup

For me, soup season is every season. It could be 90 degrees outside and I still want it. BUT, winter here is eight months long, so it’s especially practical 😉 

I recently started making my own soup because it’s incredibly easy and it’s a great way to combat food waste and use the ingredients you have in your kitchen. I’ve been using the Better than Bouillon vegetable paste in lieu of veggie/chicken stock, but any will work! You can also make your own veggie stock (I haven’t had much luck with this but would like to try it again).

Soup tips:
1. Make a batch when your veggies start to go bad or if you have an excess (soup freezes well, also!)
2. Make soup based on ingredients you have on-hand (i.e. if you have a taco night one night, use leftover ingredients for a tortilla or black bean soup)
3. Utilize pantry items for protein (lentils, beans, chickpeas, chickpea pasta, etc.)
4. Get creative – there’s so many options as far as taste and style of soup

When I’m just spitballing in the kitchen, I’ll saute some vegetables, add spices and herbs, a protein/grain, and then add the stock and let it simmer. When I’m being a little more intentional, I always turn to Minimalist Baker for nutrient- and flavor-rich soups. Their recipes are ALWAYS GOOD (as you can tell, because I’ve linked to them 392 times in this post).

So there’s our starting point! On the next edition, I want to start tackling body butter, granola, and salsa. What’s something you started to make at home and didn’t stop? Comment below, throw it in the comments of my IG, slide in my DMs, give me a call, I don’t care! 

Thanks for reading, XOXO!

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