As I have openly shared, I used to be reckless with my health. But thank goodness, that changed years ago. One of the ways I started taking better care of myself was through my diet. I started shopping the circumference of the grocery store and staying away from pre-made stuff. I’m now big on DIY. That does mean more time in the kitchen but our health is worth it. Without it, we have nothing! I also buy organic fruits and vegetables and read labels.
I usually read the labels of everything I buy but there are certain items I just never thought about checking, like raisins. For me, raisins are just dried grapes. Well, raisins are just dried grapes but out of the three raisins I found in bulk at my local health food store, only one was just that, a dried grape. One contained canola oil which I am stay away from and the other had a preservative. The third, the one I bought, was just plain old raisins with nothing else.
Also, and contrary to my good habits of checking labels, I bought sun butter the other day without looking at the label. Sun butter is like peanut butter but with sunflower seeds instead. It’s actually quite good. I was horrified to later see that they added sugar to it. I thought this expensive organic sun butter would be pure but nope. Sugar is on my “bad” list and I don’t want it in my sun butter.
I learned a valuable lesson here. Don’t make assumptions and check every label. Manufacturers sure love adding sugar and salt to everything. I understand why. Salt and sugar enhance flavors but I rather add my own sugar and salt, thank you very much. I use Stevia and Xylitol as a sweetener even though I am not a sweets person and only use pure unprocessed sea salt.
I am a purist and like things as natural as possible. That is why I am now a huge fan in making things from scratch. I made tahini for the first time today and boy was it easy. DIY cooking ensures high quality usually for less cost. Don’t you want to know all the ingredients in the food you and your family consume? I sure do.
Here are two basic recipes that I make all the time. They are easy and delicious.
DIY Salad Dressing
Store-bought salad dressing can contain all kinds of ingredients in it that aren’t necessarily good for you. Here is the basic DIY recipe that I use when making salads for my husband and me. You can always replace the apple cider vinegar for lemon. You can also add 1/2 – 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar. If you don’t have tomatoes in your salad, you will need extra olive oil.
- 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper
DIY Chicken Marinade
This marinade is super easy and flavorful. We marinate our organic chicken thighs for 5-10 minutes and then grill it. It’s a winner with all of our guests. I used to only buy organic chicken breasts but find the thighs so much more flavorful and moist.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp of tamari sauce (wheat-free soy sauce)
- 1-3 cloves garlic (optional)
What do you prefer to make from scratch because store bought is either too expensive or not pure enough? I’d love to hear from you.