PACKAGED FOODS GONE WRONG. HOW YOU CAN MAKE THEM RIGHT

Since we woke up and smelled the processed foods a few years ago, I became aware of how much bad food is out there.  I am lazy, and lazy in the kitchen no doubt, but some of this convenience food has  Got. To. Stop.  Here are 12 packaged foods that I can even manage to make at home.

Making these foods at home is simple, and doesn’t take much time.  It has better ingredients, better taste, less additives, less preservatives, and costs less money.

Seems like a no brainer, right?

PackageFoodsimage

UNCRUSTABLES:

A PB & J in the freezer section, really?  I know we are all busy, but come on, let’s set the alarm a whole 45 seconds earlier and spread some peanut butter and jelly on bread.  Better yet, almond butter and real jam.  I even included the ingredients from their whole wheat version. Joke.

(Uncrustables ingredients: UNBLEACHED WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, WATER, WHEAT GLUTEN, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SOYBEAN OIL, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, DOUGH CONDITIONERS (DISTILLED MONOGLYCERIDES, SODIUM STEAROYL LACTYLATE, DATEM, ENZYMES [WITH AMYLASE, LIPASE, ASCORBIC ACID, CALCIUM PEROXIDE, AZODICARBONAMIDE, WHEAT STARCH]), YEAST.  PEANUT BUTTER: PEANUTS, DEXTROSE, SUGAR, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: FULLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OILS (SOYBEAN AND/OR COTTONSEED AND/OR RAPESEED), SALT, MOLASSES.  RASPBERRY SPREAD: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, WATER, RASPBERRIES, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: PECTIN, NATURAL FLAVOR, CITRIC ACID, POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVATIVE)

POPCORN:

I did this for the first time a few months ago.  Nope, I’m not kidding.  Maybe you know my story,  but even after all these years of eating better, I still refer to myself as a real food virgin.  For this recipe you can heat up some oil (I used ghee)  in a large pot, put two kernels in the pot, close the lid and wait.  Wait til you hear both pop.  Then dump in the rest of the popcorn, close the lid and shake it around to keep the kernals moving.  When the popping starts to slow down and end, take it off the heat.  Drizzle with melted butter and salt.  SO. GOOD.  You could add rosemary, parmesean, cinnamon, so many flavor options. Mmm.  Mmm. Mmm.

Oreville Redenbacher microwave popcorn ingredients: popping corn, palm oil, less than 2% of: salt, potassium chloride, butter, natural and artificial flavor, color added, tbhq and citric acid (for freshness).

GRANOLA:

Love, love, love cereal.  This brand is even “America’s Favorite Granola”, but it happens to be filled with a bunch of junk and so much sugar.  No wonder we American’s like it so much. 😉  Their 2/3 cup serving size (umm appropriate serving since for who?)  has 14g of sugar.  14g is about 3 teaspoons of sugar.   The American Heart Association says “6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons per day for men”.  So that tiny tini 2/3 cup is half my allotment for the day, or an American sized bowl…and your over your daily limit. 

I make granola every week, so I can control what goes in and the amount of natural sugar that goes in it.

INGREDIENTS: WHOLE GRAIN OATS*, SUGAR*, CRISP RICE* (RICE*, SUGAR*, SEA SALT, MALT*), SUNFLOWER OIL*, WHOLE GRAIN OAT FLOUR*, MOLASSES*, MALTODEXTRIN*, HONEY*, SEA SALT, VANILLA EXTRACT*. *ORGANIC.

 

FREEZER WAFFLES/PANCAKES:

I would say that pancakes or waffles are dishes that most people have made at some point in their life.  Like boiling water and making pasta.  Check it off our “know how to make list”.  So, next time you make a batch, double it.  Then freeze them, and you will have freezer pancakes or waffles whenever you want.  Tip: lay them out on a cookie sheet flat at first and freeze.  Once frozen, then you can transfer them into a ziploc bag.

Eggo Ingredients: water, enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, vitamin b1 [thiamin mononitrate], vitamin b2 [riboflavin], folic acid), whole wheat flour, vegetable oil (soybean, palm and/or canola oil), egg whites, wheat bran, sugar, contains 2% or less of leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate), salt, malt flavoring, whey, soy lecithin. vitamins and minerals: calcium carbonate, vitamin a palmitate, reduced iron, niacinamide, vitamin b12, vitamin b6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin b2 (riboflavin), calcium pantothenate.

YOGURT WITH FRUIT ON THE BOTTOM:

It is expensive to buy portioned foods, and these prepackaged yogurts are filled with sugar and other additives.   Also, in my opinion, those portions are way too small, so I like to decide how much yogurt I serve myself.  Again this is filled with crap that does not help fill you up, which is why there is so much disappointment after you finished what you thought would be a delicious, filling snack.  You are better off, eating a huge bowl of real, whole fat, plain, organic yogurt with fruit, nuts, granola or honey.  THIS will fill you up.  Yogurt should have organic milk and live cultures.  That’s it.

Yoplait Ingredients: Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Nonfat Milk, Strawberries, Water, Sugar, Contains 2% or less of: Corn Starch, Natural Flavor, Potassium Sorbate Added to Maintain Freshness, Yogurt Cultures (L bulgaricus, S, thermophilus) Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3.

INSTANT OATMEAL PACKETS:

I know, instant sounds like it takes zero time, right?  It’s right there in the title, INSTANT.  Well, according to their package, it takes “90 seconds”.  Regular bulk bin oatmeal takes less than 3 minutes.  So for an extra 90 seconds, you can have real oatmeal, with less crap in it.  Oh and it tastes good, no gummy texture oIr maple “flavor”.  If it is the convenience you need, because you take those packets on the go…then make a few homemade packets on Sunday nights.  Pour a cup (or more) of oatmeal (you can buy good quality quick cooking oats or pulse regular oats in your food processor a few timesinto a zip bag with a few walnuts or raisins or maple syrup, and add it to a bowl of hot water when you get to work.

Quaker Oats Maple Brown Sugar Ingredients:
WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, SUGAR, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR (what does this mean exactly?!?!), SALT, CALCIUM CARBONATE, GUAR GUM, CARAMEL COLOR (is listed at a carcinogen, and in government-conducted studies caused lung, liver, or thyroid cancer or leukemia in laboratory mice or rats). Link http://www.cspinet.org/new/201102161.html, NIACINAMIDE*, REDUCED IRON, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE*, RIBOFLAVIN*, THIAMIN MONONITRATE*, FOLIC ACID*. *ONE OF THE B VITAMINS

BEAN & CHEESE BURRITO:

So just to clarify, a bean and cheese burrito is beans…and cheese wrapped in a tortilla?  Yes?  Okay, then.  Now I am pretty sure we can all throw this together and put it in the freezer for a last minute meal.  The Food Babe has a great version

Comida Del Sol Ingredients:  Pinto Beans (Water, Pinto Beans, Soybean Oil, Onions, Salt, Serrano Peppers, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder , Potassium Chloride), Spanish Rice (Water, Parboiled Rice (Rice enriched with Niacin,  iron [Ferric Orthophosphate],  Thiamine [Thiamine Mononitrate], Folic Acid ), Soybean Oil, Tomatoes, Chicken Base (Chicken Meat Including  Natural Chicken Juices, Salt, Sugar,  Corn Syrup Solids, Chicken Fat, Flavoring, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Tumeric), Potassium Chloride,  Salt, Onion Powder, Paprika, Garlic Powder),  Red Sauce (water, tomato sauce [tomato concentrate made from red ripe tomato, salt, citric acid, red bell pepper powder, dextrose, Natural Flavoring spices], vinegar [white distilled vinegar, water] , onion, garlic powder, sugar, Chili Powder [chili pepper, Spices, Salt, Garlic], paprika, cumin, chicken base [chicken meat including natural chicken juices, salt, sugar, corn syrup solids, chicken fat, flavoring, autolyzed yeast extract, turmeric], salt), Reduced Fat Monterey Jack Cheese (pasteurized milk, cultures, nonfat milk, salt, modified food starch, flavors, vitamin A palmitate, enzymes), Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese (pasteurized milk, nonfat milk, salt, cultures, modified food starch, flavors, annatto color, vitamin A palmitate, enzymes), Flour Tortilla (enriched wheat flour [wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], water, soybean oil, salt, vital wheat gluten, guar gum, baking powder, emulsifier [ sodium stearoyl lactylate and guar gum], dough conditioner [inverted sugar, propylene glycol, carboxymethylcellulose gum, sodium metabisulfite, riboflavin, folic acid]), water, Bleached wheat flour enriched (niacin, reduced iron, thiamine, mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid).

SHREDDED CHEESE:

I know grating cheese can be a pain, and maybe messy to clean up, but these pre shredded cheeses usually have caking agents and other funky stuff to keep the shreds separated and from molding.  If you have a food processor, it is so fast.  Or just do it in a minute or 2 with a cheese grater.  Better yet, have the kids do it (with supervision).

Ingredients: Monterey Jack, Colby, and Cheddar Cheeses (Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes, Annatto [Color]), Cream Cheese Powder (Milkfat, Nonfat Milk, Milk, Sodium Phosphate, Salt, Carob Bean Gum, Cheese Culture), Cellulose Powder Added to Prevent Caking, Natamycin (A Natural Mold Inhibitor).

READY COOKED BACON:

I am so grossed out by this.  Mostly because when I saw it the other day it was out on the regular shelf…not refrigerated.  Ummm, doesn’t bacon need to be refrigerated?  G R O S S.  Cooking bacon doesn’t take much effort.  Get some good quality bacon, put it on a cookie sheet and bake it for less mess and for less standing over the stove watching it.

Mmm.  Bacon.

 

SWEET POTATO FRIES:

It is not that difficult.  Also, some brands (Alexia) have added sugar, and I’m pretty sure sweet potatoes are sweet, so I’m not sure why they have added sugar.

Ore Ida Ingredients: sweet potatoes, canola oil, modified food starch, rice flour, tapioca dextrin, sea salt, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate), xanthan gum, annatto (color), sodium acid pyrophosphat

PITA CHIPS:

Buy Whole Wheat pitas (link to post).  Cut Pitas. Brush with oil.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Put in oven.  Set timer. Eat Pitas.  Seriously, eeeeeeasy and they taste so much better, especially when they are hot out of the oven.  Easy Pita Chips here

Private Selection Ingredients: wheat flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), sunflower oil, sea salt, yeast, cultured wheat flour.

VEGGIE BURGERS:

The ingredients in these are scary, and the packaging seems so innocent and healthy, don’t you think?   I had never made a veggie burger in my life, and didn’t plan on it, but I did and there’s no going back.  This one is soooo easy, just mash up brown beans and cooked brown rice, freeze.  They are ready when you are.  My husband, the carnivore, actually loves these or this one

Garden Burger Ingredients: cooked brown rice (brown rice, water), vegetables (mushrooms, onions), water, rolled oats, mozzarella cheese (pasteurized part skim milk, cultures, salt, annatto, enzymes), bulgur wheat, water, cheddar cheese (pasteurized milk, salt, enzymes, cultures, annatto), soy protein concentrate, contains two percent or less of parsley, yeast extract, salt, modified vegetable gum, wheat gluten, garlic powder, autolyzed yeast extract, spices, citric acid, malted barley flour, natural butter flavor, annatto, whey, guar gum, natural smoke flavor, turmeric, soy lecithin.

SLICED APPLES:

Come on now.  Just. Cut. The. Apple.  Not just because of the added cost of paying a machine to do it, but for your own self-worth.

These apples contain:organic apples, ascorbic acid, calcium carbonate (a blend of calcium and vitamin c to maintain freshness and color).

 

We can do it!

Any other packaged foods you like to make at home?

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