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Today we are going to talk a little about scratch cooking. I know, I know, when I say that, it conjures images of my grandmother in her apron rolling out biscuits or dumplings. And that is great! But…that’s not exactly where this is headed. I’m talking about taking those seventies cans and packets that have steadily added more and more sodium and fillers into our diets and breaking them down into their simple ingredients. Because here’s the thing, once you get used to cooking with basic ingredients, you won’t want to go back. For one thing, it’s cost effective. For another, I know exactly what is in my food.
So today I’m going to point out a few items that you could be making yourself from scratch. And no, it does not take me loads of time to do things this way. It’s often a once-and-done thing, like when I make taco seasoning, or it’s a matter of a few seconds work, like when I make cream of…well…anything!
If you notice, I also do not use sugar in my seasonings. That is not something that I liberally dump on everything. If I taste a dish and feel it needs some sweetness in the recipe, I’ll add it. But most of the time I don’t. Also, salt is something I do to taste. It is not automatically in the proportions of my seasonings. I add flavor in layers with my cooking, and if I add salt to ingredients near the beginning, then put in a seasoning later that also has salt, I’ve just doubled my intake for NO reason.
Here are some of my scratch basics recipes. Take a look!
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1 tbs chili powder
1 tbs cumin
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbs oregano
½ tbs onion powder
½ tbs garlic powder
If you want to go ahead and add the salt to your mixture, put in ½ tsp. I leave this out and adjust salt according to the dish I am preparing.
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs onion powder
½ tbs dill
Again, if you want salt added, put in ¼ tsp. I leave this out and adjust according to the dish.
Cream of… whatever! (mushroom, celery, broccoli, etc):
1 cup milk
1 heaping tablespoon of corn starch
Salt to taste
Stir until all the lumps are gone.
Add in whatever makes it cream of __________! (mushrooms, celery, broccoli, etc.)