What: Baking from scratch versus buying from the store
Why: Baking from scratch may seem like a chore for some. When time is hard to come by, baking a batch of cookies for the office may not be the first thing on the list to do. Though pre-packaged food is not wrong nor am I going to argue that everyone should bake everything from scratch. What I do want to say is that there are at least 5 benefits that I can think of when you bake from scratch:
1. Healthier. I know cakes, cookies, pies, and brownies aren’t necessarily high on the “healthy” list, but they can be! When you bake from scratch, you know what is in the item. When you buy it from the store, have you ever looked at the ingredients and wonder what in the world you are eating? Sometimes the ingredient is 15 letters long and it didn’t even take you 15 seconds to eat! When baking from scratch you can substitute ingredients (applesauce for oil) or add ingredients (flax seed or pumpkin) to make it healthier or more tasteful. Baking from scratch offers choices to make it healthier.
2. Easy. Baking may seem time-consuming. But consider the time and hassle it can be to run to the store to buy a cake? Think about the time it takes to bake a cake – even if out of a box. It is still probably healthier and it typically only takes 35 minutes. You could bake it while you are making supper or while reading the newspaper. With baking from scratch, you can choose a recipe as easy or as hard as you want it to be.
3. Gifts. Who doesn’t like a freshly made apple pie or fresh batch of cookies? Home-baked goods are a great gift for a loved one, someone who is ill, or just as a “thinking of you” gift.
4. Cheaper. The cost and quality of the cookies you buy in the store just doesn’t compare to what you can make at home. Think about a batch of cookies. Typically the cookies you bake are twice the size of the pre-packaged ones in the store. But think of how many your recipe makes and the quality – I would dare say baking from scratch is cheaper. Just think about apple crisp!
5. Lasts longer. This one could be up for debate, but typically a cookie recipe from scratch lasts longer than the store-bought cookies because the recipe usually makes more. Now this is where the argument could come – freshly baked cookies CAN be eaten quicker because they are so GOOD!
6. Fun. There is something about taking a pan of freshly baked cookies out of the oven. The smell. The joy in seeing what you just made. It can become a family affair. Think of what you might be teaching your kids if you spent time showing them how to make something from scratch. Don’t always lean toward the side of convenience – think about what you are passing on to your children.
There is no specific “how” on “how to bake from scratch.” Every family is different. I would suggest keeping the staples in the house, such as flour, sugar, butter, oil, vanilla, chocolate chips, etc. Take the time to find that favorite recipe, call a family gathering, and make something together.
Confession of the Day: My mom was an amazing baker. I remember as a child, Saturday mornings helping her make brownies or cookies. I look back at those times and realize that is where I learned to bake and have learned to love it. If no one had shown me, I would have no desire to. Living with less encourages time to be spent where your heart is – hopefully that is with your family, doing the things you love, with each other.
What is your favorite family recipe? Please submit it under the tab “recipes” at the top of the home page and I would love to share it on here!