Monday, October 8, 2012

Making Your Own Convenience Foods

Posted by Unknown On 9:29 AM | 1 comment
Luke helping me make oatmeal packets.
As a busy mom whose husband works alot, there are plenty of times when I need convenience. When it comes to food convenience usually means that the food isn't nutritious, it's full of junk, and is likely to make my kids act crazy later. So what's a harebrained mom to do? Why make my own, of course!

Years ago I stumbled across The Hillbilly Housewife. Her site first introduced me to homemade convenience foods. Before that day it never dawned on me that I could make my own taco seasoning, or a powdered "cream of" mix, or (eek!) corn-dogs! The first thing I made was corn-dogs. They weren't great, but they were edible, and the kids loved them. We've since changed the type of hotdogs we eat, and I would love to venture into that recipe again, but the point is that you can make these quick-fixes at home. And because you are controlling every ingredient, you can make them healthy and nourishing! Here are the ones I use in my house most often.

Taco Seasoning

  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 1/8 cup cumin
  • 1 Tbs garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs paprika
  • 1 Tb salt
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
Mix it up, shake it up, and use a few (3?) tablespoons per/lb of meat. 

Cream of Everything Soup

  • 1/3 cup nonfat dried milk
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 4 Tbs dried minced onion
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
Whisk together with 1 1/4 cup of appropriate stock (chicken, beef, veggie) over medium heat until thickened.

Chocolate Syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups raw sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Combine sugar, cocoa powder, water, and salt in a pan. Stir to combine and get rid of all lumps.Continue stirring while the sugar melts. Once your ingredients are boiling, turn the burner down a bit until your pan is just simmering. Let it go until you reach your desired consistency. Let your syrup cool before pouring it into a container to be stored.

Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal

  • 1 large container of quick cook oats (mine is 47oz)
  • brown sugar
  • salt
  • plastic baggies
Into each plastic bag, measure out 1/2 cup of the oats, 1.5 Tbs of brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. Each bag is equivalent to 2 packets of store bought instant oatmeal. Even the baby eats at least 2 packets of store-bought, so this size works perfect for us. If you want them smaller, half the ingredients per bag.

1 comment:

  1. Very Cool! The taco seasoning and oatmeal recipes have a date with my kitchen!! :)


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