I had the opportunity to share some more of my “Make vs Buy” real food tips on the Charlotte Today Show yesterday. Here’s a copy of the video clip for you and also a summary of the products I discussed on the segment just below.
What Real Food to Make vs Buy
It’s no secret I’m a big fan of cooking from scratch in order to avoid highly processed food. BUT, as I’ve mentioned before, if there’s a perfectly suitable store bought product it’s hard to justify the time to practically duplicate it at home.
Here’s how some popular staples stack up:
Store bought chicken broth not only contains additives you wouldn’t use when making it at home, but it’s also made using factory farmed animals (something we personally like to avoid at all costs). Thankfully making homemade broth is so simple and easy you can literally do it in your sleep using my Overnight Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot recipe. And you can even use veggie scraps and chicken bones that would have ended up in the trash anyway, therefore saving you money in the long run. Oh and I almost forgot to mention – the taste of the homemade version is far superior.
Answer: Make (recommended equipment: slow cooker)
Ketchup is one of those condiments that we just don’t use enough of to justify making from scratch – so you’re off the hook here! During our 100-day pledge when we couldn’t use any refined sweeteners (a standard ingredient in ketchup), I tried making it all different ways with honey and pure maple syrup and it just wasn’t as good as the store bought stuff. So, after our pledge ended it didn’t take me long to decide this had to be incorporated back into our lives as an “exception” to our rules.
Deciding if you should make or buy hummus is a toss up – I do both! Making hummus isn’t all that hard, but some days it’s just nice to have one less thing to do. So when I make my monthly stop at Trader Joe’s I do occasionally buy their organic, plain hummus (my favorite store bought brand). It is made with refined oil (another ingredient we like to avoid), but since it’s certified organic at least I know it’s not GMO oils.
Answer: It depends!
The standard Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup is an unfortunate mix of high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and artificial flavor (no, thank you!). There’s just no need to go that route when it’s SO easy to make your own at home. Simply mix together 1 part unsweetened cocoa (I like the “special dark” variety) with 2 parts pure maple syrup. It takes a couple minutes of stirring for it to fully come together, but when it does you’ll never consider the store bought stuff again!
This is another one of those condiments that we personally just don’t use a lot of – maybe 1 to 2 tablespoons a month for the whole family. And it’s also another item that I tried desperately to recreate when I could not buy it during our 100-day pledge. But, no matter what I did it just wasn’t the same consistency as the white fluffy stuff out of the jar that I was expecting. Plus many of the recipes I found called for raw egg, which I am on the fence about eating. So as a result, we now just buy the best option I can find and use it sparingly.