DIY Noms

Sure it's more convenient to buy these, but it's a heck of a lot cheaper to make them. Plus, you can control what chemicals are or are not in them, and save the Earth by not investing in a lot if packaging...chances are, you already have the ingredients on hand!

Granola bars (all you need is oats, honey, and misc nuts/berries/seeds)

Oatmeal (cook up some rolled or steel-cut oats in a big batch, and then separate into individual servings- every day you can add fruits, nuts, spices, etc to change it up!)

Pancakes (you don't need Bisquick- cut down on the sugar and have the freedom to use alternatives, like whole wheat or almond flour)

Salsa (this recipe is good for a base, but feel free to play with what you put in it- as long as it has tomatoes, cilantro, and crunchies like onions)

Guacamole (mash some avocado, add a little lemon juice, salt, and optional tomatoes and onions- bam! cheap dip)

Hummus (blend tahini, garbanzo beans, lemon juice, a little salt, and whatever spices you want in a food processor until smooth- total control to make it garlicky, or spicy, or use white beans instead, or whatever)

Salad Dressing (any oil-blend dressing is easy to make...just combine balsamic vinegar with oil for the simplest option)

Soft cheeses (ricotta, notably, is super easy to make and fun to do with kids)

Yogurt (warning: I've never made this work with Greek yogurt before- this is only for the usual runny stuff)

Fruit Leather (no dehydrator required!)

Tortillas (flour or corn- and when they get stale, spritz them lightly with oil, cut into wedges, and bake for some fresh tortilla chips)

Nut Butters (use fresh nuts, whenever possible- walnuts in particular go rancid relatively quickly)

Pasta sauce (tomatoes or tomato paste + whizzed veggies + seasonings + thinner/thickener as needed...voila!)

Pesto (fresh basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, and you're done!)

Pasta (ok, this can get a little space consuming, but it's totally worth it when you can make your own ravioli)

Ketchup (or Catsup, if you prefer)

Fries (simple, and low-mess because they're baked, you can actually use a variety of potatoes with this)

Ice Cream (without a machine! There's also the "in the bag" method, but I have difficult with consistency with that method)

Popsicles (freeze juice in ice cube molds, with popsicle sticks in the middle as a handle when it sets)

Frozen Yogurt (literally....my mom used to freeze yogurt like popsicles for us kids and it worked like magic!)

Avocado Pudding (it's delicious AND healthy! Avocado, milk, and honey is all you need...I've also done something similar with plums and corn starch to thicken)

Inspired yet? You don't have to be a homesteader or have fancy equipment, or hours to spend. The kids can help make many of these, and they're easy to make ahead of time and freeze, or portion out during the week. Plus, each of these will save you money while letting you have greater control over what goes in your belly. 

It's a win-win!

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