I’ve been hearing a lot lately about clean eating and preparing staple foods from scratch. It tends to come up a lot in frugal living books because when you make more of your family’s foods yourself, you tend to eat better and spend less on groceries.
But many cookbooks focus on recipes for meals, not staples, and most recipes contain at least white flour and processed ingredients.
So when I heard about a new cookbook, Homemade Snacks & Staples, I was anxious to try it! I admit I’ve been doing a lot of cooking for convenience rather for health and cost lately, so I figured this would be good “staple” among my cookbooks to help me “clean up” my cooking.
Homemade Snacks & Staples is a 284-page cookbook written by a Wisconsin food blogger, Kimberly Aime, who emphasizes “whole foods, clean eating and local ingredients.” She also adapts recipes for food allergies because of her own dairy intolerance and her husband’s sensitivity to gluten. Her blog is called “Badger Girl Learns to Cook” and is at learntocookbadgergirl.com.
Kimberly starts out the book with a story of how three years ago she and her husband cleaned up their diet, then gives a great overview of real food cooking, discussing the real food revolution and how to clean up your cooking and eating. Then she presents over 270 recipes divided into the following sections:
Staples, Sauces and Spices:
- Make Your Own Staples
- Get a Little Saucy
- Dress Up Your Salads
- Super Spreads
- Spice It Up
Snacks, Salads and Mini-Meals
- Morning Munchies
- Salads and Slaws
- Hand-to-Mouth Snacks
- Just Dip It
- Marvelous Mini-Meals
Sweet Treats and Beverages
- Fruity Treats
- A Clean Cookie Jar
- Cakes and Cupcakes
- Fantastic Frozen Desserts
- Beverages for All Ages
I spent a good amount of time paging through the book (maybe I’m weird but I love browsing through cookbooks in bed!) and have already tried three recipes:
Ketchup (page 54)
I figured this would be an easy recipe. The whole process took about an hour from start to finish, and used tomato puree, chopped onion, celery and red bell pepper, agave nectar (which doesn’t spike blood sugar like most sweeteners) and a few other simple ingredients. I wasn’t crazy about how the apple cider vinegar smelled while it cooked, but it tasted ok when it was done, and works great on my veggie burgers and with our homemade garden potato fries. I’d probably try this recipe with regular white vinegar next time.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies (page 210)
I have a huge weakness for chocolate chip cookies, even good-for-you ones. So while Heidi was at school one day, Thor and I made this recipe together for gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. Though my family doesn’t seem to have any gluten sensitivities, I know even gluten-free recipes can be really tasty. This one uses ground rolled oats which we made by just pouring oats into my coffee grinder and blending for a few seconds. It also uses unsweetened applesauce and dark brown sugar as sweeteners. Thor loved pouring in the chocolate chips, and he and I loved the cookies! They were surprisingly moist and tasty.
Homemade Cereal Bars (page 116)
A healthful recipe that uses whole-wheat pastry flour, spelt flour, unsweetened applesauce, butter, jam and more, They’re made in a muffin pan because they’re less messy, and could just as well be called fruit-filled muffins. They’re super good fresh out of the oven.
There are lots of other recipes I’m anxious to try in this cookbook, including peanut butter, toaster pastries, and desserts like chocolate cake. They’re designed to replace the mostly commercially-made, preservative-filled varieties you buy in the store, are better for you and are great for the frugal, self-sufficient cook!
YOU can win your own copy of Homemade Snacks and Staples by leaving a relevant comment and/or filling in the Rafflecopter form below. Be sure to include your email so I can contact you if you win! I’ll be sending it to the winner myself!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this cookbook in exchange for writing a review and hosting this giveaway. My opinions are 100% mine.