Making homemade pantry staples can be a game-changer if you want healthier, tastier, and more budget-friendly options for your cooking. We’re going to look at the benefits of creating your own pantry staples and share some easy and delicious recipes to get started.
The beauty of making your own staples is that it can save you trips to the store, cost less than store-bought products, and save you money over the long haul.
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Why Make Homemade Pantry Staples?
Making your own pantry staples offers various advantages that go beyond the simple act of cooking. Here are a few reasons why you should consider taking the DIY approach:
When you make your own pantry staples, you have complete control over the ingredients used. You can choose organic, locally sourced, or even grow your own produce.
This enables you to be sure you’re eating high-quality, nutritious food without any added preservatives or artificial flavors. It also means you can avoid allergens, animal products, or any ingredient you don’t want in your food.
Buying pre-packaged pantry staples can add up over time. Making them at home allows you to save money by buying ingredients in bulk and in-season.
Additionally, homemade versions typically give you larger quantities, which can last longer and reduce your grocery expenses.
By making pantry staples yourself, you have the freedom to customize each recipe to your taste as well as your dietary needs. You can experiment with different spices, flavors, and textures.
Essential Homemade Pantry Staples
Before we get into the individual recipes, let’s explore some single-ingredient pantry staples you can make at home.
Store-bought vegetable stock often contains additives and high levels of sodium. Making your own vegetable stock is easy and allows you to control the ingredients and flavors.
Simply simmer a mixture of vegetables like carrots, onions, celery, and herbs in water for an hour or two, strain, and store in the fridge or freezer for future use.
Homemade tomato sauce is incredibly versatile and can be used as a base for many dishes: pasta, pizza, soups and more.
Start by sautéing onions and garlic in olive oil, then add fresh or canned tomatoes, herbs like basil and oregano, salt, and pepper. Simmer for an hour to develop rich flavors and blend until smooth.
Store-bought nut butter often contains added sugars and preservatives. Making your own nut butter allows you to control the ingredients and create unique flavors.
Roast your favorite nuts until lightly golden, then blend in a food processor until smooth. Add a pinch of salt or sweeteners like honey or maple syrup to enhance the taste.
Homemade salad dressings are healthier and more delicious than their store-bought counterparts. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar (such as balsamic or apple cider), Dijon mustard, honey, garlic, and herbs to create your own signature dressing. Experiment with different flavor combinations to find your favorite.
Creating your own spice blends allows you to enhance the flavor of your dishes while avoiding additives or excessive salt. Some popular blends include curry powder, taco seasoning, Italian seasoning, and garam masala. Mix together a combination of herbs, spices, and salt (if desired), and store in airtight containers for future use.
Sauces That Keep
All of the below sauces will keep for some time in a fridge, and they’re good to have on hand for all sorts of meals and snacks.
You can amke your own brown sugar with just two ingredients. This is great for when you're out of brown sugar and you want to make something with that special flavor that's so much better than plain table sugar.
Make your own dry mix that's a copycat of Hidden Valley Ranch Mix and keep it on hand. You can make dressing and dip with it, but you can also add it to homemade chips, meats, veggies, the french fries you got with your fast food, and so much more.
This recipe lets you skip some additives and save money while you're at it.
It's easy to make your own mayo. This is a creamy, flavorful recipe with only a handful of ingredients. Use it just like regular mayo - spread it on sandwiches, make dip with it or put it in a tuna or potato salad.
You can make your own chicken bone broth in an Instant Pot. It's easy and a big money saver! It can also be healthier than the chicken stock sold in stores, and you can make it tastier, too. It's great for keto and low-FODMAP chicken recipes like soups, stews and more.
This caprese is a toasted fennel tomato jam. It combaines tomato with fresh herbs and spices, reminiscent of a tasty sweet pizza sauce or Italian sausage. It's a great thing to do when you've got more tomatoes on hand than you know what to do with.