Prepackaged foods may be easy and convenient to pick up at the grocery store, but at what cost to you? Not only can many of the ready-made container foods you’re used to buying cost you a lot more money, they can be filled with unwanted and unknown ingredients as well. Spending a little extra time and effort by making some of these healthy foods can benefit your waistline and your wallet. Here are 6 healthy foods that you should consider making yourself rather than buying at the store.
Dips & spreads- One of the best aspects of making your own versions of store-bought foods, is that you can include your favorite flavors and avoid all of the artificial preservatives. Rather than buying containers of hummus, salsa or guacamole, it’s a much better idea to make these items yourself. Guacamole takes simple and fresh ingredients simply mashed together so it is the perfect dip to make yourself rather than buy. When it comes to hummus and salsa, all you need is a food processor and the natural ingredients to make your own healthy (and taste-tailored) version.
Nut butter- Almost every nut butter is filled with large amounts of unneeded salt and fat. Rather than buying a jar of Jiffy at the store, you can quickly and easily make your own healthy version of nut butter out of your favorite choice of nuts. All you have to do is throw a bunch of nuts into a food processor, and grind them up until they are smooth enough to spread. Nut butters should be made rather than bought so you can benefit from all of the healthy fats and vitamins the nuts provide, rather than loading up on the sugar and salt many of the packaged version contain.
Iced Tea- Why spend a ton of money on bottles of a drink that can be easily made yourself? While tea is one of the healthiest beverages, the iced tea bottles sold in stores filled with artificial sweeteners and other unhealthy ingredients. Brew your own favorite flavor of tea with about 8 inexpensive tea bags, and then put it into a container to cool in the refrigerator for your own healthy iced tea.
Granola bars and trail mix- Again, these snacks are so much better to make yourself because you can put whatever you want into them. Prepackaged granola bars and trail mix are not only incredibly expensive when bought at the store, they are also weighed down with sugar, salt and preservatives. Make your own natural and healthy version by mixing up your favorite nuts, seeds and dried fruit (which can also be made yourself) into a delicious and healthy blend. There are plenty of homemade granola bar recipes online to try, usually only needing to add some natural honey to allow the ingredients to stick together.
Pasta sauce- Preservatives, sugar and salt are again some of the top ingredients included in jarred pasta sauces. With your best fresh vegetables, you can make a healthy version at home that can be completely natural and much better for your wellbeing. Rather than buying pasta sauce, you can use a little bit of preparation and simmering on the stove to create a delightful blend of tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and spices to invent your own healthy version.
Spice mixes- Almost any dish can be instantly improved and brightened up by throwing in a mix of your favorite spices. However, if you take a look at any of the prepackaged containers of spice mixes on the shelves of the grocery store, the first ingredient will most likely read “salt” which is not a good thing! Rather than paying a lot of money for salt mixed with a vague blend of “herbs and spices”, take a look in your cabinet for a variety of herbs you have on hand, and make your own healthy mix of savory or spicy rubs and seasonings.
Other healthy foods that can be easily made at home rather than bough at the store include soup, salad dressings, yogurt, cereal, baby food and fruit snacks. A lot of times, you’re paying more money for the packaging and labels of these healthy foods that you can easily make in your own home.