Underrated in America: Cooking from scratch
Nov 5th 2008 9:00AM
Updated Nov 6th 2008 2:29AM
Cooking from scratch, which can also be called homemade cooking, is making a comeback these days. People are realizing that scratch cooking provides multiple benefits. Food cooked using real ingredients is more digestable than prepackaged meals. Food cooked from scratch contains fewer of the chemicals foreign to our bodies. Scratch cooking lowers grocery bills. Lastly, and most importantly, food prepared from scratch just plain tastes better than those plastic- encapsulated, reconstituted, freezer-to-microwave meals. At least it tastes better in my house.
Just to be clear here --for easy daily cooking, I do believe in such things as premixed spice blends, frozen vegetables, and prepared sauces. I also believe that homemade cooking strategies are wide- open for adaptation.
Not everything has to be produced on our own stove tops. Scratch cooking can be as easy as placing a nice little chuck roast into a slow cooker with some carrots, peas, and diced potatoes. Adding a tablespoon of Cajun seasoning to the blend will provide exceptional flavor. Leave the mixture on low heat all day and you'll come home to an aroma reminiscent of grandma's loving kitchen.
One trick to saving money by cooking from scratch is to buy things in large quantities. Meat can be purchased in bulk and kept frozen. The same goes for vegetables. Likewise, you can produce dishes from scratch, then freeze some for a later time. Poultry, lasagna, and some soup recipes work very well for this. Scratch cooking success comes from finding recipes which match your available time and talents.
Right now, we're undertaking a new scratch cooking project at our house. Every day, I take several cereal bars or granola bars to work in my lunch box. I munch them throughout the day to keep my strength up. It has occurred to me that those highly processed bars, with their binders, preservatives, and sweeteners, might be causing some of the digestive quirks that I've had to deal with. So, we researched the web for homemade oat-based snack bars, and found literally hundreds of recipes for wholesome snacks. Mine will be oat-based, for the cholesterol lowering properties that oats are claimed to provide. My wife indicates that the homemade snack bars will cost us about half as much as the prepackaged ones did. A great place to start looking for recipes is (found using the source link below) . That is where my first oat bar recipes shall come from. I look forward to daily snacks which are tastier, healthier, and less expensive. Better yet, will be the knowledge that they have been created in my own home by loving hands. What could be better than that?