Packaged foods are certainly convenient, but they’re often made with added preservatives and ingredients that are not necessary to include if you were to make the product yourself. In the interest of better health, try making these foods below at home. Here are five items you should stop buying at the grocery store ASAP and start making yourself.
When you make your own salad dressing, you get to control the salt content and choose the healthiest oil rather than settling for the unhealthy oils. Your bottle of vinaigrette probably does not contain cold-pressed oils. Cold pressed oils are produced without the addition of heat or dangerous chemical solvents, which enables them to retain more nutrients, as well as their natural, full-bodied flavor. Always choose “first cold pressed” and make your own salad dressing.
Would you like some unhealthy high fructose corn syrup along with your tomatoes? Ketchup should not be so sugary, but look on the back of your ketchup bottle and you will probably find HFCS or some form of sweetener. Making your own, organic ketchup tastes so much fresher than the bottled stuff anyway. Try this ketchup recipe, which calls for both tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes.
This item is just so ridiculously easy to make yourself that it is on this list in the interest of financial and plastic saving more than avoiding bad ingredients. I’ve found some hummus varieties that do not include preservatives, but most of the big name brands have some sort of additive. For basic hummus, you’ll only need chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic and water.
Try this Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Items Containing Red Food Coloring
Put down that box of sugary, red-colored food-like things ASAP. Red 40 is no good. The food coloring might contain contaminants that may contribute to cancer in humans and could trigger hyperactivity in children. It may cause symptoms of hypersensitivity in some people, including swelling around the mouth, and it may also cause hives. Throw away that little bottle of red food coloring you save to make blood-colored treats at Halloween and see this article on How to Make All-Natural Vegan Food Coloring instead.
Trail Mix and Nutrition Bars
Trail mix, protein and nutrition bars can sometimes be more hype than help. Sure, they’ll get you through the afternoon when your stomach is grumbling. They’re convenient. They’re not as bad as a candy bar but still taste kind of like one. But if you are eating these bars often, you are probably taking in more fat, sugar, calories, added vitamins and preservatives than you think. These bars are great for hiking and expending energy, but not so much if you are just sitting at your desk and need a snack. So many ingredients are packed into some of these bars. Simplify a bit and make your own healthier versions.