Are you ready to go back to basics, ditch packaged and highly-processed foods, and start cooking with raw ingredients? Starting your from-scratch cooking journey is easier than you might think. You can start scratch cooking today by following 5 easy steps.
You don’t need a homestead, fancy kitchen appliances, or years of cooking experience. You just need to start with one item in the fridge or pantry that you’d like to make from scratch. This article shows you how to start scratch-cooking in 5 easy steps and I’ll also share my top 5 from-scratch recipes with you.
1. Read labels
Change is in the air. Are you starting to question where your food comes from and what’s actually in it? You might have started reading ingredient labels yourself and found some interesting, terrifying, and surprising additions in some of your favorite packaged foods.
Reading labels is the first step in most people’s from-scratch journey. Simply open your fridge or pantry and start reading the list of ingredients for your go-to foods. Keep a phone handy to be able to look up letter and number codes.
2. Choose staples
After starting to read the list of ingredients on your favorite foods you’re determined to throw them all out and start making them all from scratch. That’ll backfire quickly.
Use up what you have and create a list of items you’d like to swap out for healthier, more natural options.
Now, group those products by:
- Frequency of purchase
- Skill level and time required
How often do you buy a food product? How much would you save by making it from scratch? And how easy and labor-intensive is it to make from scratch?
Single-serve porridge sachets are a good example. If that’s your go-to breakfast and you don’t like the sound of refined sugar, flavor enhancers, and anti-caking agents, plain oats are a great alternative. They’re cheap in bulk and portioning them off into single serves for the week with some spices and dried fruit won’t take you very long.
By following this process you’ll quickly be able to establish a long list of from-scratch recipes you’d like to try in order of priority.
3. Set a routine
Pace yourself. You’re better off mastering a recipe slowly than racing through the list and be left with a collection of kitchen failures, frustration, and wasted ingredients.
Set a routine that suits your lifestyle and circumstances. I challenge myself to make two kitchen staples from scratch in a month. Some are easy, like making a favorite spice blend from scratch, others are incredibly time-consuming and require A LOT of practice. Hello sourdough!
4. Focus on new skills
By cooking from scratch you’re effectively trading convenience and often money for time. Time spent on gaining new skills and connecting with the food you’re eating.
The key for success in this journey is to enjoy the process. Focus on the small wins, excepts fails (there will be lots), and share your knowledge with others. Most of these skills were naturally handed down through generations. They’ve been lost in the fast-paced lifestyle but you have the opportunity to pass any new skills on to your family and friends. And what a gift that is!
5. Have some fun
Knowing where your food comes and how it’s made, and enjoying the taste of homemade food is not just utterly satisfying but fun. It’s something I have become somewhat addicted to over the last couple of years and I know that you can easily be dogmatic about food.
Just because you made pastrami or aged gouda once, doesn’t mean you have to do it for the rest of your life. Experiment and keep making food from scratch that fits your schedule, budget, and whether you enjoy making and eating it.
Over the years many recipes have become firm staples such as my seed crackers, soft whey loaf, and red cabbage sauerkraut to name a few. But others have been fun to try but I quickly made it back onto the shopping list.
Download my top 5 from-scratch recipes
Start your from-scratch journey today by downloading my top 5 from-scratch recipes. Simply leave your email below and I’ll send you a handy recipe e-book shortly.