I’m handing my blog over to Kacey from The Drifter Collective today! She has some tips about making homemade versions of the pantry staples we all rely on.
Add These Homemade Foods to Your Pantry to Help Simplify Your Day
Not everyone is a natural-born chef, and that’s okay. However, the knack for cooking often comes with a sense of what one needs to have on-hand in order to whip up a hearty, tasty meal in a pinch.
So, if you’re looking for that type of pantry efficiency without complete kitchen mastery, you’ve come to the right place. The following six homemade foods will help you turn your storage into a seriously useful resource. Let’s get cooking:
- Homemade Broths
You don’t realize it until you need it, but so many recipes require a good broth as a base. And, when you decide to make it on your own, you’ll find it adds so much more flavor to the dish than a store-bought version. Most broth-makers will stick to chicken broth, which can last for up to three months in the freezer when preserved in the proper, sturdy container. Oh, and the chicken you use to make your broth? That can be used to make another meal. We call that a win-win.
- Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, Sauces…
Now that your freezer is ready for any soup you might decide to make in the coming months, it’s time to prep your pantry for another dose of goodness: canned fruits and veggies.
Really, the possibilities are endless when it comes to canning. Just look at the Amish, who have perfected the art of canning to preserve food over the years and continue to do so despite the rest of the world’s dependence on grocery stores for these staple nowadays. These traditions can help make your life easier, as well as much tastier, to say the least!
Fortunately, canning is a simple process and you can use it for produce, as well as jams, salsas, tomato sauces, soups… anything you can buy at the supermarket in a can or jar, really. Once you’re stocked up, you’ll have go-to snacks, lunches and sides when you’re in a time crunch.
- Roasted Nuts
Another pantry staple is a good-for-you, tasty snack. You can prep those at home and in advance, too — and, if you’re a fan of roasted nuts, you’re in luck. Some nut-toasting experts suggest stocking up on the proper oil to match your nut of choice so that the flavor of your almond is matched by the almond oil you drizzle on top, for example. Otherwise, a few stripes of rapeseed oil should do the trick, and the task itself hardly takes any time at all.
- Smoothie Bags
Everyone loves a good smoothie, although all of the prep work can get a bit tedious. That’s why the idea of a frozen smoothie bag is so beautiful: it’s more convenient to cut enough fruit for, say, five drinks, freeze it, and pull out just enough to whip up a sweet, healthy beverage.
There are plenty of online recipes to inspire your blend of fresh, frozen fruit. You could, of course, get creative and come up with your own combinations based on what you typically like in a smoothie. Either way, you’ll be making your life a bit easier by prepping in advance and having them on hand.
- Instant Oatmeal
You can easily buy packets of instant oatmeal at the grocery store, but they’re often full of sugar and other unsavory additives. Making your own version puts you in control of the ingredients, flavor and calorie count.
So, dust off your food processor and turn everyday oats into finer, easier-to-cook ones. Mix in a pinch of salt, as well as the toppings you like best on your oatmeal. Then, divide the resulting mixture into baggies so you can pour them out, add water or milk, heat and have a filling breakfast. Yum.
- Dried Fruit
Finally, you can turn fresh produce into a more lasting snack by drying it out in the oven. The process requires a bit of slicing and dicing to prep — you don’t want to dry out a whole apple and bite into it later. Other than that, you can use your oven and baking sheets you likely already have in order to dehydrate nature’s candy just enough to remove bacteria and enjoy it weeks down the line.
The best part about this prep is not that you’ll have tasty snacks and ingredients on hand, although that is a big plus. It’s really the comfort in knowing exactly how your food is prepared and that it’s done with quality and care.
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.