Ever looked on the ingredient list of one of your favorite grocery store item and find that half the ingredients are unpronounceable words that you’ve never seen before? Even the seemingly simplest items are made up of weird ingredients. If you want to ensure that the food you eat is made of all natural, healthy ingredients, you can easily make it yourself at home.

Here are a few of the easiest at-home recipes for grocery store essentials.

Salsa 

Salsa is one of the simplest recipes you can make at home, and one of the most fun—whether spicy or mild, with or without onions, full of lime or cilantro, you can make this family favorite however you like.

  • Boil a large pot of water, with a pinch of salt.
  • Add 2 large tomatoes, 1 onion cut in half, and a few jalapenos (3-5 depending on your inclination for spicy salsa.) You’ll notice that the vegetables are getting soft when the tomatoes start to peel.
  • Drain the water and then put the vegetables in the blender.
  • Add a handful of cilantro, 2 tablespoons of garlic, 2 tablespoons of ground cumin, and 2 tablespoons of chili powder before blending.
  • Blend until it gets to the texture of your preference, whether you like chunky or thin salsa.

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Tortilla Chips 

 No salsa can be enjoyed without a good chip to dip in it—some people find the chips to be the best part! If you’re looking to turn this into a low-calorie snack, then corn tortillas are the way to go. They make the perfect chips with just the right amount of crunch.

  • Stack the tortillas on top of each other before cutting them into 4 triangles with a pizza cutter.
  • Put the tortillas in a 400 degree oven for around 6 minutes, or until crisp.
  • Before the chips cool, you can put seasonings, such as salt, chili powder, or paprika, on the chips.

Hummus 

Hummus is one of the most versatile snacks out there. It can be paired with vegetables, crackers, or pita bread, giving great flavor to any one of these items. Even more than this, it is chock-full of protein, making it a very popular choice for vegetarians. But vegetarian or not, hummus is delicious and incredibly filling.
  • Start with 4 cloves of garlic in a food processor until minced.
  • Then add 2 cans of drained chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of the chickpeas liquid, 1.5 teaspoons of kosher salt, 6 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/3 cup of tahini, and a bit of hot sauce (according to preference) into the food processor.
  • Mix until the ingredients are coarsely pureed.
  • Taste it to see if you need more seasoning before serving.

Croutons 

Although a crouton is most known for its role in salads, who’s to say you can’t eat them for a snack next time you get the munchies? Croutons are small, but when making them at home, you can make them as flavorful as you want. After one batch of these, you’ll never buy them from the store again.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Gather 3 slices of whole grain bread.
  • Cut the bread into ¾ inch cubes.
  • Toss the bread cubes, 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon of oregano, and a pinch of salt and pepper together.
  • Spread it out onto a large baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until it’s brown and crisp. Then let it cool.

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Ketchup 

Ketchup has been one of the most popular condiments for years. Whether it’s being mixed into eggs, slathered on a juicy hamburger, or used as an add-on for hot dogs, ketchup compliments food effortlessly. While it may just seem easier to buy it from the store, this recipe could just change your mind for the better.

  • Depending on your preference, you can either use fresh tomatoes or 2 cans of tomato paste to make your ketchup. The tomato paste is the faster way to go.
  • Gather ½ cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon allspice, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon molasses, 1 teaspoon agave nectar, and 2 ½ cups of water.
  • Mix all of the ingredients in a simmer pot for about 2 hours. Cover the pot when it starts to boil.
  • After 2 hours, put it in your preferred container and refrigerate.

The groceries you depend on in your everyday life can be made quickly and in a very healthy way. With these simple recipes, you no longer have to rely on packaged and processed foods and the mystery behind them.

Virginia Cunningham is a freelance writer in Southern California who works with Northwest to help others stay healthy. She is constantly finding ways to be as healthy as possible, and loves to do this through her cooking, as well as with vitamins.


Images obtained from Creative Commons.

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Bert Anderson is a blogger and social media manager mom of three living outside of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. She’s the author behind the blog First Time Mom, where she honestly chronicles the peaks and valleys of parenting. Even though she has more than one child, Bert maintains that whether you have one child or 19, there’s a first time for everything. She’s a lover of coffee, conversations, pop culture, healthy living and fitness.

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