Choosing home cooked over packaged foods is one of the best things you can do for supporting both your own health and the environment. By reducing the amount of packaged foods you buy means less packaging in to recycle, or worst, to go to the landfill. But eating less packaged foods is also a wise thing to do for your health. Packaged foods are made by big corporations that aren’t always using the healthiest ingredients.
5 packaged foods to never buy again
Most ready-made soups pose health problems. The often comes in a can that contains BPA , and most of them contains nasty ingredients like animal fat, additives, GMO , or a heaping amount of salt. Homemade soup is always bursting with flavor. And besides, it’s really easy and dirt cheap to make! Google is a wonderful resource to find delicious soup recipe with any vegetable that is sitting in your fridge.
So now that you’re making your own soup, you’ll need to have stock. Canned stock poses the same health problems as canned soup, and stock cubes, besides than being high in salt, they also often contain hidden forms of MSG . Making stock can be a good way to reuse your vegetable trimmings before putting them in the compost bin. Save potato peels, apple cores, onion skins, leek tops and other vegetable parts you would be otherwise discarding to make delicious homemade vegetable stock. Once you have enough, place them into a big pot half filled with water, add seasoning, turn on the heat and let simmer for a few hours. Filter and freeze in ice cube trays. Voilà!
Cake mix/ pancake and muffin mixes
Don’t be fooled by the organic cake and muffin mixes. It’s not because it’s organic that it’s not high in sugar or fat. And honestly, why spending more for a simple mixture of flour, sugar and leavening powder? Making your own is easy, and you get to control how much sugar (and the type of it) you add in. Same thing goes for pancakes and muffin mixes.
One of the main marketing arguments of oatmeal is that it’s rich in fiber, which contributes to a healthy lifestyle. However, flavored oatmeal mixes are laden with sugar and artificial flavors and uses instant cooking oats that increase blood sugar levels. It’s best to buy old fashion, steel cut oat and flavoring it with fresh fruit. If you can’t go without the convenience of oatmeal packages, at least make you own by mixing quick cooking oats with dried fruits, spices and maybe a hint of maple sugar.
Packaged cereal is commonly high in sugar, and many are sweetened with HFCS or contain GM corn or soy. Plus, “healthy” cereals like granola are greatly overpriced. Preparing a batch of muesli, which consists of uncooked granola, only takes a few minutes, and even cooked granola is a no-brainer. To make granola, mix oats, chopped nuts and dried fruits with a bit of oil, salt, maple syrup and spices, spread on a baking sheet and cook at 325°F for 10 – 12 minutes, mix well, and return to the oven for another 10-12 minutes. Done!