What helped me most during our healthy eating journey was realizing that while we were changing the way we purchased and made food, we were not trading Cheesy Velvetta Dip or Jello Pudding for a boring diet of tasteless rice cakes and bland green things that I’d never heard of. I simply found new ways to create our favorite foods. We didn’t have to stop eating peanut butter, pasta, pizza, tacos, cookies, pancakes, mac and cheese and burgers – I just needed to learn to make them in a healthier way.
Look through all of our recipes (scroll through the drop down Recipe Menu at the top of our site) to find long lists of Bread and Breakfast recipes, Main Dishes, Side Dishes and Snacks, Desserts, Condiments, Dairy Products – so many recipes that are easy to make, kid friendly, and healthy – all at the same time! Life does not end once you’ve decided to throw away your boxes of Partially Hydrogenated High Fructose Corn Syrup Red Food Dye #40 (otherwise known as the cereal that claims to be a part of “this complete breakfast”).
I know that not everyone enjoys cooking and creating in the kitchen as much as I love it. I mean…I love it. That has made this transition easier for me. But even if you don’t love cooking, there are some very simple foods you can make that aren’t difficult at all – and they just might replace (in a very delicious way) some of those “foods” you threw out the other day.
Your Funky Fresh Kitchen Challenge for today includes choosing one food item that you can make from scratch that will replace a less healthy option from the store. For instance:
- Homemade Peanut Butter
- Homemade Ranch Salad Dressing or Dip
- Homemade Yogurt
- Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix
- Chewy Granola Bars (make ‘em with your favorite ingredients!)
- Whole Wheat Graham Crackers
- Healthier Cheese Dip (a Velveeta/Rotel Knock-Off)
- Whole Wheat Vanilla Wafers
- Chocolate Syrup for Chocolate Milk
- Cheeseburger Macaroni (so much better than Hamburger Helper!)
- Homemade Vanilla Extract
- Homemade Poptarts
Those are just a few fun ideas to get you started. Look through all of our recipes, or look elsewhere on the web (or in your favorite cookbooks) for a recipe you can make that replaces an unhealthy variety of one of your favorite foods. I promise you that all of the above listed ideas are super easy to make. You can make peanut butter in five minutes with only a food processor and some peanuts. Making your own salad dressings is one of the easiest changes I made in my healthy kitchen. Take a look at this post called Five Minutes to Cultured Dairy for inspiration on making your own yogurt and other dairy products. Making Homemade Mac and Cheese takes the same amount of time as using the boxed stuff. Let go of the unfounded fears that cooking from scratch means that you’ll rub blisters, break nails and faint from exhaustion.
Pick one (or five!) and make it a project. Leave a comment on this post telling us what new recipe(s) you plan to make yourself. (No, it doesn’t have to be a recipe from our Heavenly Homemakers site – you can pick anything that will be best for your Funky Fresh Kitchen!) Your comment will serve as your entry in the giveaway for one of five $10 gift certificates to our Shop. Then, after you’ve completed your Make it Yourself project, come back and leave another comment sharing the results. (This will be a second entry!) Share with us – Did you like the new recipe? Did it work well for you? Was it easy to make? I can’t wait to hear about all your Funky Fresh Kitchen projects!
Let the Make it Yourself Challenge begin!
(As for me, for a long time I have wanted to try to make Homemade Beef Pepperoni – a recipe I found at Tammy’s Recipes. I challenged myself to make that this week and YUM! I’ll share more about it next week. I’m so excited – I made homemade pepperoni!!)