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Stop Buying, Start Making

Why, exactly, did I start the “Stop Buying, Start Making” series?

No, it wasn’t out of some burning desire for “natural” or some environmental crusade. I live on the West Coast…we have a lot of “crunchy” people…did you know that is what people call them? No offense to crunchy people; embrace your crunchiness!

Anyway, back to the reason for this series.
1) Its cheaper- and I mean a lot…it adds up over time.
2) It tastes/works better…and I mean tastes a lot better. So much better you’re taste buds say “Oh! That’s what this is supposed to taste like! (or that’s how the restaurants make it taste like this!”). For cleaning items, it works just as well or better if I’m recommending it.

Spices!

Homemade pumpkin pie spice

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. ground ginger
1/2 Tbsp. allspice
1/2 Tbsp. ground cloves
1/2 Tbsp. ground nutmeg

Directions:
(though I really shouldn’t need to say this)
1. Mix spices together in a bowl. Store in air-tight container.

Homemade Apple Pie Spice blend...make at home, cheap and easy. Plus ideas where to use apple pie spice (besides in apple pie, obviously).

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon all spice
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 & ½ teaspoon ground ginger

optional add-ins:
½ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Directions:
1. Mix together. Store in an air-tight jar.

See the original “Apple Pie Spice” post for ideas (besides pie) of where to use it!

Trust me...you will NEVER buy store-bought again. Plus ideas for where to use Cajun Seasoning.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2  & 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 & 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
1 & 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions:
1. Mix spices together in a bowl. Store in air-tight container.

See original post (Stop Buying, Start Making: Cajun Seasoning) for a ton of ideas of where to use it!

Homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning (aka: Montreal Steak Spice): easy to make, better than store-bought. Use on steak, pork, chicken, and more.

Ingredients: 
2 Tbsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. salt
1 & 1/2 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. crushed coriander
1 Tbsp. dill
1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 Tbsp. smoked paprika

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together. Store in air-tight jar.

See original “Homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning” for various ways to use (including a fabulous pork recipe)!

Dressings!

Homemade blueberry-lemon dressing. Delicious and easy.

Full blog post -or-

Ingredients:
1/2 C. blueberries
1/3 C. lemon juice (preferably from fresh lemon)
1/4 C. olive oil (extra-virgin)
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp.-1 Tbsp. Splenda (to taste)
Salt & pepper, dash each
Poppy seeds, optional

Directions:
1. Mix blueberries, lemon juice, olive oil, & honey in Magic Bullet until pureed.
2. Taste-test and decide if you want to add Splenda. (I usually add the full tablespoon). Add a dash of salt and pepper. Blend.
3. Add approximately 1 & 1/2 tsp. poppy seeds, if desired.
Note: if you don’t have a Magic Bullet, I recommend making a double or trip batch of dressing in regular blender. Then freeze whatever won’t be used in next 2-3 days. I freeze it in little 1/4 C. containers, then I have dressing for a couple of weeks!

Homemade Oatmeal Flavors

Directions: Boil between 2/3 & 1 cup of water (depending upon how much fruit in jars). Stir into oatmeal jars, mixing well. Allow to sit (covered) 5-10 minutes until oats cooked.
-or- (preferred), add water to jar. Heat in microwave 2 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Instant Oatmeal Jars: Cheap, Healthy, & Fast. Over 15 recipes, directions, and calorie information.

“Instant Oatmeal Jars” – I highly recommend visiting the original post. It has a TON of information about storage, oatmeal options, flavoring options, different fruit and nuts to add, etc. Below is the absolute basic recipes:

Every jar contains 1/2 C. oats

•••Blueberry Cream Protein  (240 calories)
70 cal. dried blueberries (20 grams)
20 cal.: 2 tsp. protein powder    (9.375 calories = 1 tsp. Muscle Milk, vanilla creme)
1/2 tsp. Splenda

•••Apple Pie Spice  (210 calories)
1 tsp. splenda
60 cal. dried apples, cut into smaller chunks (20 grams)
3/4 tsp. apple pie spice

•••Pecan Pumpkin Pie  (250 calories)
1 tsp splenda
100 cal. pecans, chopped  (15 grams)
3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

•••Cinnamon raisin  (215 calories)
65 cal. raisins
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Splenda

•••Maple & Brown Sugar  (240 calories)
2 Tbsp. brown sugar (90 calories…can use less)
1/2 tsp. maple extract (add immediately before adding water)

•••Apple Cinnamon (or Apple Cinnamon Maple)  (210 calories)
60 cal. dried apples, cut into smaller chunks (20 grams)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Splenda
add dash of maple extract if you wish

•••Strawberry Banana  (200 calories)
50 cal. freeze-dried strawberries & bananas
1/2 tsp. Splenda

•••Strawberry/Blueberry/Raspberry Vanilla Protein  (203 calories)
33 cal.: 1/3 C. freeze dried strawberries (or blueberries or raspberries)
20 cal.: 2 tsp. protein powder    (9.375 calories = 1 tsp. Muscle Milk, vanilla creme)
1/2 tsp. Splenda

•••Triple Berry  (183 calories)
33 cal.: 1/3 C. freeze dried berries (strawberry, blueberry, etc.)
1 tsp. Splenda

•••Blueberry Almond  (249 calories)
70 cal. dried blueberries (20 grams)
29 cal. slivered almonds (5 grams)
1 tsp. Splenda

•••Apple Cranberry  (240.5 calories)
32.5 cal. (10 grams) cranberries
60 cal. dried apples, cut into smaller chunks (20 grams)
1 tsp. Splenda

Fall Oatmeal Jars: Cheap, easy, pick your favorite flavors- over 15 options!. Calorie counts included. And free printable!

Fall Oatmeal Jars” – Again, I recommend visiting the original post. However, here is the pdf for the basic recipes:

fall-oatmeal-combos_pdf

Below that is the picture images.

Fall Oatmeal Jars: Cheap, easy, pick your favorite flavors- over 15 options!. Calorie counts included. And free printable!
Fall Oatmeal Jars: Cheap, easy, pick your favorite flavors- over 15 options!. Calorie counts included. And free printable!

•••Blueberry/Raspberry Walnut  (235 calories)
20 cal. freeze-dried blueberries(5 grams)
65 cal. walnuts (10 grams)
1/2 tsp. Splenda

•••Maple Cinnamon  (150 calories)
1/2 tsp. maple extract (add right before adding water)
1/2 tsp. splenda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

•••Peanut Butter Banana  (223 calories)
50 cal.: 1/3 c. freeze dried bananas
23 cal.: 1 Tbsp. PB2 (powdered peanut butter)

Homemade Noodles (much easier than you think)

While it is not hard to make homemade noodles, I still did 12 step-by-step pictures for those attacking noodles for the first time. I always prefer pics when possible!

But rather than copy them all over, and cause this page to take even longer to load, I’m going to direct you to the original blog post “Homemade Noodles“.

Never Buy Green Onions Again

It’s easy to do. Take some green onions. I used the slightly wilted ones I had forgotten about in my fridge.

Trim off the roots just a little. Then cut about 1″ above the white part (see picture below).

Prop up in a pint mason jar with a couple of inches of water. Place in a window with sunlight.

The last picture is from about two months after starting. We’ve been eating a lot. I think I’m going to trim the roots and “start over” with the ones I have. That should encourage growth.

Take some green onions. I used the slightly wilted ones I had forgotten about in my fridge. Trim off the roots just a little.
Take some green onions. I used the slightly wilted ones I had forgotten about in my fridge. Trim off the roots just a little.
Then cut about 1″ above the white part.
Then cut about 1″ above the white part.
Prop up in a pint mason jar with a couple of inches of water. Place in a window with sunlight.
Prop up in a pint mason jar with a couple of inches of water. Place in a window with sunlight.
After about 1 week of growing.
After about 1 week of growing.
After 3-4 weeks of growing. I've been snipping off bits to eat whenever I want to.
After 3-4 weeks of growing. I've been snipping off bits to eat whenever I want to.
After about 2 months. Starting to get too many roots and growth slowed down. Going to repeat the whole thing with those left in the jar!
After about 2 months. Starting to get too many roots and growth slowed down. Going to repeat the whole thing with those left in the jar!

Homemade Chicken & Vegetable Broth

I freeze some of it in a larger container- for when a recipe calls for 2 cups- and the rest as “ice” (broth) cubes. Each cube is approx. 1 Tbsp., so it’s easy to thaw out exactly how much I need.

While it is not hard to make, I still did plenty of step-by-step pictures. I always prefer pics when possible!

But rather than copy them all over, and cause this page to take even longer to load, I’m going to direct you to the original blog post “Stop Buying, Start Making: Homemade Vegetable & Chicken Broth”.

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