DIY Pantry Staples That Are Better And Healthier Than Store-bought.
This weeks project was to experiment with creating DIY Homemade Pantry Staples. The homemade pantry staples are family favorites that I make again and again, and it finally dawned on me that I could batch prepare some of these items. I now have a stocked pantry full of our go-to's, so I can whip up a favorite recipe in minutes... with almost zero mess. Bonus, these DIY pantry staples are way better and healthier than store bought.
Quick clarification. Since I used the term "healthier than store bought" in the title, I figured I should address this terminology. Everybody has their own definition of healthy and it can be a bit of a hot button topic, so I figured I would lay out my version.
Here is my ridiculously simple definition of healthy:
- Any whole foods, including all fruits, all vegetables, meats, cheeses, dairy, and grains. Whole grains and high quality meats get extra points but aren't always realistic everyday.
- Foods made with non-processed ingredients (or minimally processed such as flour) Ingredients you would find in your grandmothers pantry.
- Homemade. Any meal in which I know, and can pronounce each ingredient.
While I could continue to drill that definition down and be more specific about limiting sugar and relying on mostly fresh foods... I like to keep it simple.
Keeping processed ingredients out of my house as much as possible is important to me because my kids eat PLENTY of junk outside the home. This means that I need to forgo many convenience items at the good ole grocery store. I rarely buy cereal, granola bars, baking mixes, etc, which means I am always MAKING granola bars, oatmeal, pancake mixes, cookies, etc. At this point, I have favorite recipes for the items that I make again and again, and I make them so often I hardly need to even glance at the recipes. It is often a matter of mixing wet ingredients into dry ingredients and VOILA! These are the recipes that I will now and forever batch prepare and store as part of my DIY homemade pantry items.
While you can convert many recipes to make this work for you, here are my tips.
1.) Use a recipe that requires only two steps, i.e.: mix wet ingredients into dry. You won't have the luxury of separating ingredients, nor will you have lengthy instructions on your homemade packaging. My one exception is with my chocolate chip cookies. I kept the brown sugar in a separate baggie tucked into the mason jar. I did this so the brown sugar would not dry out, AND so I could beat the sugar with the butter first. You know...it's cookie gospel. Butter and sugar must be beaten together before you mix remainder of ingredients : )
2.) Use recipes where MOST the ingredients are dry. The convenience happens because most of the recipe is finished and waiting in the pantry. If you still have over half the ingredient to pull out and add in....it probably isn't a great recipe to convert to stocking the pantry. Example: pancake mix. Dry ingredients are mixed and ready and you only need to stir in milk, melted butter, and an egg...the same as if you bought Bisquick from the store.
3.) Use recipes you know by heart. I have no interest in writing a novels worth of directions to stick on my homemade package. I used small stickers with simple directions in bullet points. Example: warm milk on stove, add in pudding mix, stir until thick. Add vanilla and butter. Directions don't need to be detailed because it is either a recipe you know well, or because it is fairly common sense.
Bottom line: I am INCREDIBLY happy with the result and I have already been enjoying the fruits of my labor. I will absolutely keep up this DIY homemade pantry stock technique and I will add more recipes as I go on. At the bottom of this post I added other tried and true recipes that I will be converting into pantry items next. Ready to see what I made in less that an hour?
Other DIY recipes that will convert great into make ahead pantry staples:
DIY All Butter Buscuits-VIA Martha Stewart
DIY Muffin Mix-Via Little House Living
DIY Rice A Roni-VIA Fabulessly Frugal
DIY Hot Cocoa Mix-VIA Momables
DIY Ranch Dressing Mix-VIA Damn Delicious