Jan 6, 2014

Just how bad is that store bought stuff, anyway?

Things that are made for consumers are made to have a certain shelf life.  That need to "shelve" product for longer terms causes additives to be put into your product.  Are those additives all bad?  Probably not, but over time, probably.  There are some stabilizers that are more natural, but there is no need to purchase products that you can easily make at home, more naturally, AND save a ton of money on.

We have some chilly weather in our part of the woods in northern Georgia for a few days, so yesterday I made a homemade potato soup and homemade beer bread.  I was introduced to beer bread by way of a pyramid selling company called "Tastefully Simple" back in the early 2000's.  I could not afford the nearly $7 a box (once you add the taxes, shipping, and handling charges), so I researched ways to make it at home.  I have switched from my traditional beer bread to now adding honey in it and the new and improved honey beer bread is good enough to make you "wanna' slap yer' granny!"  I pulled up my simple recipe, and probably spent about $2 on it with my can of beer as the yeast agent for rising, and other common kitchen ingredients.  I know exactly what was put into my product, and can safely say that I can pronounce every ingredient.  (recipe to follow)

While I was gathering my ingredients, I panicked realizing that the recipe called for baking powder.  I had thrown away my baking powder after some research on the dangers of store bought with the aluminum addition.  So, I made my own!  It is not a double acting powder, but it honestly did not have a negative effect on my finished product.  The bread turned out amazing!  Do your research on aluminum  and making your own baking powder.  There are many scientific studies showing dangers to heavy metals.  I can testify that in the mid nineties, around the time of my hippy-headbanger phase, the Megadeath/Suicidal Tendencies concert had some lasting effects on me.  Heavy metal is nothing to joke about.
Because, what Jewish teen in the early nineties doesn't wear peace signs, black combat boots with shorts and go head banging?  I think that was my first confession when I became Catholic.  

Going to Cabbage Patch Land with your grandparents and mom on your sixteenth birthday is such a fun event when you are freak show like I obviously was.  There is just so much wrong with this picture.  Like, why are both my grandparents sun glasses on in doors? And Ma, that perm? 

So, here is the recipe I chose to use for the homemade baking powder.  Basically, 2:1 ratio of cream of tartar to baking soda.  I then added one tablespoon of cornstarch to the jar since I intended on storing some.  I found multiple different recipes for it, and ended up doubling my recipe and using the following; 4 Tbs cream of tartar, 2 Tbs baking soda, and 1Tbs corn starch.
I love using my contact paper to make my glass recycled jars look all fancy.  One day I will bore of that print. Today is not that day.  

Want my honey beer bread recipe just for fun on this arctic cold kind of day?  Okay!  Enjoy!


And when you read her blog, you will find that she took it from someone else, and that someone else took it from yet another, and so on.  I found her on Pinterest.com.

I also make my own laundry detergent and bathroom/kitchen cleaners.  I use peroxide to clean carpet stains,  Dawn (original formulation) mixed with half white vinegar (antibacterial properties) and some water on bathroom and kitchen.  I was a sworn believer of those bubble things, but I no longer scrub and man does it clean and not leave a film, therefore, it stays cleaner, longer.  I also make my own sugar scrub that I use in the shower each day!  I am going to make my own vanilla soon.  Want to use up what I have first, then, I will save a ton of money on the homemade stuff.  I do know if you plan on making that, you have to allow for at least a month or more for it to make, and you need to have some containers to store that in.  Need to research a little more into that one.

I have had a homemade fail or two.  Like, those dishwashing detergent tablets.  That were crazy easy to make, and really turned out great, but they don't work well.  That was the most ineffective one I have failed on.  I rely on the internet for ideas, but tweak them along the way as I learn how different recipes and products work.  We love our brownie mix more than any box we have ever bought.  I keep the dry ingredients together in a container or plastic baggie, and when we need a quick dessert, I just throw a few ingredients together with it, and we are set.

Do you have any home made products/recipes that you enjoy?  We stopped buying most prepackaged meals and snacks a few years ago, and while we still buy pretzels and chips, we buy much less than ever before, and stick to the perimeter of the grocery store for our staples.  The savings is appreciable.  What sort of changes have you made to not only save money, but your families' health?

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