Eating healthy, organic food is important. But man-oh-man, it can really be expensive sometimes! The key is to find the things you can make cheaper and easier at home. Here are 3 items that I skip at the store and make at home.
Hummus – this must the easiest and most fun thing to make at home. All you need a food processor and an imagination. Here is the basic hummus recipe:
2 cups cooked chickpeas (I use the no salt added canned chickpeas)
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1-3 cloves of garlic (optional)
Place all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.
Variations: Now the fun part – you can put anything into this mixture that you want depending on what type of hummus you like. I like garlic hummus, so I add more garlic, lemon and tahini to this mixture. but my husband loves roasted red pepper and olive hummus so we add those to the basic mixture. You could do cilantro, chive, dill, parsley, sun dried tomato – the possibilities are endless!
Granola – I love making granola at home because I can put whatever ingredients I like most and I can choose how much sweetener (if any) I want to put in. Here is a granola I make regularly at my house.
Yummy, Crunchy Granola (inspired by one of my lovely clients whose recipe I tried and then made my own)
4 cups of Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1 1/2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup ground ﬂax or chia seeds
1/2 cup of bran
Heat 1/2 cup of coconut oil, 1/2 cup raw honey, 1/2 tsp of vanilla.
Add the honey-oil mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. The mixture will be very dry – don’t worry!
Spread onto an oiled cookie sheet and bake at 325 until golden brown. This will take about 20 minutes. Be sure to stir every 3-5 minutes at ﬁrst and then every 2-3 minutes so that it doesn’t burn.
Store in an airtight container in a dry, cool place.
Veggie Burgers – these can be expensive to buy but there are a great go to food when you are in a rush. Throw them on top of a salad, crumbled into a stir fry, or make a sandwich. There are so many great recipes. I’ve been trying a bunch out lately, but here is one of my old time favorites.
Black Bean Veggie Burgers (adapted from Women’s Health Dec 2012)
1 1/2 cups canned no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1/3 cup roughly chopped red onion
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1/3 cup gluten free quick-cooking oats
2 1/2 tsp olive oil or coconut oil
1/2 tsp cumin
Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Form into 4 patties.
Mist a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray and place foil on the grill. Cook patties on foil for 5 minutes, ﬂip, then cook 5 minutes more.
Variations: I like to shred zucchini and chop kale up very ﬁne to add to mine. It doesn’t change the taste but you get a lot more bang for your buck!
Also, you can freeze them! Lay them out on a piece of parchment paper in the freezer. Once they are frozen, wrap them individually. Then just heat them up when you are ready to eat them.