7 Snacks You Should Never Buy Again (Plus Recipes)

We all know eating whole food is vital to our health. Making meals from scratch and baking from scratch can eliminate the unknowns and unnecessaries in your diet. Since we know all this, why are the grocery stores full of premade meals, baked goods, and packaged snacks? That’s easy. Because it is easy. And quick. Time is always of the essence to most people and it is much easier to buy it than make it. Or is it?

Here are my picks for 7 snacks you can easily make at home with minimal time and effort. The best part is how surprisingly easy they are to make!

  1. Yogurt
    Store-bought yogurt usually contains thickeners, artificial colors and flavours, high amounts of sugar and preservatives.  The ingredients may be GMO.  You can EASILY make thick, rich, creamy yogurt from milk, cream and a yogurt starter or a Tbsp. of plain yogurt.  So easily you’ll wonder why you have never done it before.  Click here for the recipe.
  2. Ice Cream
    Store-bought ice cream contains thickeners, ingredients to make it stay frozen longer, ingredients to make the ice cream feel creamier, artificial flavour and color, preservatives and is high in sugar.  The sugar, unless it is organic, is almost guaranteed to be GMO. With an ice cream maker you can make healthy ice cream with 3 basic ingredients: Milk and/or cream, sugar and vanilla.  That’s it!  And it tastes WAYYYYYYYYYY better.  Click here for a recipe.
  3. Granola Bars
    Once you stand and stare at your astounding selection of granola bars and then start reading labels, you’ll realize that they are pretty much just a highly processed junk food.  They contain WAY too much sugar (likely GMO unless it is organic), preservatives, high fructose corn syrup and transfats.  Granola bars are very easy to make without the above ingredients.  And they taste better too.  Click here for a link to my granola bar recipe.
  4. Fruit Leather
    Fruit Roll Ups, or any variation of fruity snacks, generally contain an alarming amount of GMO sugar, thickeners, preservatives, color and artificial flavouring.  With the use of a food dehydrator, (and can also be done in the oven), you can make your own fruit snacks from just plain mashed up fruit.  You can add a bit of honey, maple syrup or organic sugar to sweeten it a bit if necessary.  The kids love it.  Click here for my instructions
  5. Smoothies
    Don’t waste your money buying a “smoothie” from McDonalds or any other fast food restaurant selling smoothies.  If they contain real yogurt you are lucky.  They will also contain artificial color, flavour, thickeners, too much (GMO) sugar, and if you are lucky enough to find real fruit in them, it likely won’t be fresh, local or organic.  Smoothies are so ridiculously easy to make.  You just need a blender, yogurt, your choice of fruit/vegetables, and a touch of your choice of sweetener, if you choose.  Click here for a simple smoothie recipe..
  6. Popsicles or ice cream/yogurt – sicles
    Commercial popsicles are either made from (GMO) sugar, water, artificial color and flavouring and preservatives, or if they are all natural and made from real fruit, they cost an arm and a leg.  Click here to find out how to simply make frozen treats from plain old fruit (or fruit juice), homemade ice cream, yogurt or left over smoothies.
  7. Chocolate shell for ice cream.
    Don’t waste your money buying those chocolate sauces you pour on top of your ice cream.  They are loaded with preservatives, colors, thickeners, wax, artificial ingredients and more.  Make it OH SO SIMPLY from healthy coconut oil and chocolate.  Find the recipe here.

This post has been linked to From The Farm Blog Hop #38.

Lip Balm Recipes: Honey Vanilla, Chocolate Chip Mint and Sweet Almond.

Most commercial lip balms contain petroleum products, artificial colors and flavours, and are loaded with preservatives.  Applying these to your lips is as good as eating these ingredients.  Thankfully, lip balm is simple and cheap to make.  You can make it with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, or at the very least, that you can find fairly easily in natural foods stores.  With pure, all natural ingredients these lip balms are effective and safe, and they make fantastic little gifts!

Choosing your oils

You can use any cooking oil you like.  Some have better qualities than others.  Choose one with little or no fragrance unless you love the fragrance.  Good ones include olive oil, grape seed oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, sweet almond oil etc.  You can use any of these oils instead of the ones in the recipe.  They will all work well.  You can also use herb-infused oils such as chamomile or calendula to create a very soothing, calming product.

Choosing your butters

Butters are oils that are solid at room temperature.  (Except coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature but classified as an oil, not a butter).  Butters are loaded with enriching qualities.  Cocoa butter, shea butter and mango butter are great choices for lip balms and other body products.  Cocoa butter is probably the easiest to find.  You can substitute any of the butters with each other.

Beeswax

Beeswax is necessary to solidify the product.  If you are vegan you can try substituting carnauba wax for beeswax, but you will need some kind of wax in the balm.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is moisturizing and has antioxidant qualities.  It is also added as a natural preservative.  It helps prevent rancidity, and extends the shelf life of the product.  No natural preservatives are as effective as synthetic ones, so use up your products in a matter of months, not years.  Store any products you aren’t currently using in a freezer in a sealed container.  If you don’t want to use vitamin E you can substitute it for rosemary essential oil, which also has natural preservation properties.

Essential Oils

Essential oils can be substituted for others, or left out entirely.  They do have a bit of a natural preservative effect, but if you don’t want fragrance they can be left out.  Do not use citrus essential oils.  Most citrus (and a few others… worth checking out the link) are photo-toxic and should not be worn when you are exposed to the sun.  Peppermint essential oil contains menthol, a natural analgestic which soothes sore, chapped skin.

Extras, such as honey or chocolate chips.

Again, these can be left out entirely.  Honey is great in body products because it attracts moisture.  It is also naturally antibacterial and… it tastes good…  The chocolate chips are added for color and flavour.  I choose organic, all natural ones to maintain the purity of the product.  Do not add ingredients that are water based such as aloe, or rosewater etc.  Introducing water to your product will allow a bacteria-growing medium into your product which you don’t want, and is completely unnecessary for lip balms.

Choose your recipe below, and follow these directions. 

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except essential oil in a small sauce pan or double boiler and melt, on low heat.   Stir just until melted.  Do not allow the ingredients to boil!
  2. Stir in essential oil.
  3. Pour immediately into lip balm container.
  4. Allow to cool before moving.  Cap and use!  Or gift!

Here are three “tasty” recipes to choose from.

Chocolate Chip Mint

Honey Vanilla

Sweet Almond

Mountain Rose Herbs has exceptional quality, certified organic herbs, spices, essential oils and more.  They maintain a strict emphasis on sustainable agriculture.  I highly recommend them for outstanding quality and service.

Notes:

  • Each recipe fills 2-3 tubes or tubs.
  • You can purchase the lip balm containers at Mountain Rose Herbs.  Search “lip balm containers”.
  • Use up in a few months to avoid the oil from going rancid.

This post has been linked to Homestead Abundance #1Waste Not Want Not #9 and Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #57.