Dried and tinned goods sit in kitchen pantries all over the world. They’re great products and can last for what seems to be for a lifetime. These items are wonderful for those on a budget and can be saved for rainy days when your fridge is empty. Yes, these store cupboard items are indeed brilliant – but how good are they for you? Many have preservatives and high salt and sugar content, which isn’t necessarily what you want if you’re trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Instead of letting these products sit and gather dust in the back of your cupboards, why not try to make some yourself? Here are a few classic store cupboard items you can make from scratch.
Fresh pasta is amazing, and it kicks dried pasta’s butt. Although it might not keep as long as the other stuff, it is worth taking the time to make it from scratch yourself. Not only will you notice a vast improvement in the flavor, but you will also impress your guests at your next dinner party when they see you’ve made an effort. Invest in a pasta maker and purchase some top-quality pasta flour and eggs. It might take time to perfect your skills but it will be worth the extra effort. Fresh pasta can last in the fridge for two to three days or can be frozen and used at a later date.
For those who like to make their pasta sauces instead of using one from a jar, you’re likely to have several cans of chopped tomatoes in your cupboard – but why not go the extra mile and make your own? Again, you might need to invest in some equipment like jars and a canning pot, but if you enjoy spending time in the kitchen, this is just another thing you can experiment with yourself. It’s easy to do: peel the tomatoes skins by lightly cutting an ‘X’ shape on the bottom and place them in boiling water for about a minute. Then take them out with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of ice-cold water. Let them chill for about five minutes and the skins should come off with ease. Then simply chop up the tomatoes, add some lemon juice, basil, and oregano, and you’re done! Just make sure you’re using the freshest produce for the best results.
Preserves, Pickles, and Chutneys
If you’re already experimenting with canned tomatoes or you just love homemade preserves, you may already have a collection of jars at home to use. Fruit preserves will require you to remove all of the cores and stems, and you should make it in small batches to avoid spoiling it. Be careful, though, as the fruit and sugar will get very hot – you don’t want to spill any on your skin! Proceed with caution and perhaps avoid doing this with young children. When it comes to making pickles and chutneys, remember to leave them for at least three months to mature, otherwise, the vinegar will be overpowering and it will taste all wrong.
If you want to try experiment more in the kitchen or would simply like to try and make homemade produce, try these classic store cupboard items, and see how yours differ to store-bought versions.