There are certain ingredients that you are probably so used to buying that you don’t give it a second thought. Self-rising flour, icing sugar, applesauce…but did you know you can make your own? It’s a great way to save money, get creative, and know exactly what goes into your food. Here are a few recipes to get you started.
Breadcrumbs are used to make crispy fried chicken, bind meatballs, thicken sauces, or add a crunchy topping to a casserole. But instead of buying it at the store, you can very easily make your own at home – and reduce bread waste at the same time! Simply chop stale pieces of bread into cubes and place in a single layer on a baking tray. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for approximately 10 minutes and let it cool. Finish by blitzing the cubes of bread in a food processor and store in a Ziploc bag. You can also store breadcrumbs in the freezer to keep it fresher for longer.
Have you ever wanted to make a recipe, but can’t because you don’t have ricotta cheese? Make that a thing of the past by learning how to make your own. You simply need whole milk (full fat milk), salt, and lemon juice. Pour 2 liters of milk (0.52 gallons) into a large saucepan and place on medium heat. Add 1 tsp salt, stirring until all the salt has dissolved. When the milk starts to boil, stop stirring and add 100 mL (3.4 fl. Oz) white vinegar. You will see the milk stars to curdle. Remove the pan from the heat and leave for 15 min. Remove the curds with a slotted spoon and place them in a strainer lined with 3 layers of cheesecloth (or muslin cloth). Let the curds drain for about 15 min, then use the cheesecloth to squeeze out all the excess moisture. And there you have ricotta! Use the ricotta immediately, or store it in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Icing sugar (also known as powdered sugar or confectioners’ sugar) is used quite a lot in baking and it couldn’t be easier to make your own! All you need is plain white sugar, corn flour or cornstarch (to prevent clumping), and a blender. Use 1 Tbsp corn flour for each cup of white sugar you blend. Blend for about 5 min until the sugar is fine and powdery. Store your homemade powdered sugar in an airtight container.
With everyone baking these days, baking supplies have been running low at stores. But if you ran out of self-rising flour, you can make your own! Simply whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. For every 4 ½ ounces of flour used, add 1 ½ tsp baking powder with ¼ tsp salt. It’s better to measure out your flour by weight as it’s more accurate.
Applesauce is used in sweet and savory recipes, and in baking it’s often used as a healthier substitute for butter or oil. In a medium saucepan, add 4 apples (peeled, cored, chopped), ¾ cup water, ¼ white sugar, ½ tsp cinnamon. Cover and cook for half an hour, or until the apples are soft and the sauce begins to thicken. Mash the apples, and let it cool. If you have a lot of apples, you can also make applesauce in your slow cooker (crockpot).
What ingredients do you make at home? Tell us in the comments below!