1. Bake low-fat tortilla chips in the oven.
Takes 10 minutes and zero skills. Here’s how to do it. Optional: You can make the corn tortillas yourself too.
2. Skip the not-so-awesome palm oil in Nutella by making your own.
Essentials: Hazelnuts, good milk chocolate, and a food processor you believe in. Recipe here.
3. Bake granola bars with less sugar and no preservatives.
Get the recipe for these crunchy peanut butter bars here.
4. Homemade croutons are way less salty and greasy than the shelf-stable version.
Also less likely to break your molars. Recipe here.
5. Make healthy “refried” beans in a slow cooker.
6. Pre-made lemonade is crazy sweet, but you can customize yours to taste.
And add other awesome things while you’re at it. Get the recipe for this sparkling ginger lemonade.
7. Try baking your own healthy potato chips.
8. All you need to make awesome peanut butter is peanuts, salt, and a food processor.
Skip all the hydrogenated oils (which are really bad for you!) and added sugar you get with commercial brands. You can also customize the basic recipe with your favorite kind of nuts and add-ins.
9. Skip the added sugar and price tag of jarred tomato sauce by cooking your own.
Everyone’s favorite tomato sauce in the world takes zero effort and litrally just four ingredients: canned tomatoes, onion, butter, salt.
10. Salad dressing is better (and cheaper) when you make it yourself.
11. Real whipped cream is so much creamier than the gummy canned stuff.
Required: cream, bowl, whisk, arm (or cream + electric mixer). Add a little sugar and vanilla before you start beating, and make sure you stop just around the soft-peaks stage, or the cream can get overwhipped and turn clumpy/weird.
12. Once you make hummus at home, you’ll never buy it again.
You will need a decent food processor if you want it super-smooth, but nobody’s going to mind a few little chunks. Recipe here.
13. All you need to make amazing applesauce is…apples.
It will make you realize that store-bought sauce is basically just supersweet baby food. Recipe here.
14. Bake your own yummier, healthier, easy-to-customize granola.
Seriously, it’s SO EASY. Here’s how.
15. The best pesto is the freshest — i.e. the kind you make yourself.
16. Make your own pancake “mix” by measuring multiple batches of dry ingredients ahead of time.
Then you can package the mix in airtight containers and label with the amount of eggs, milk, etc., you’ll need to add when you’re ready to make the pancakes. Bisquick can be magical, but it’s no match for the real deal. Here’s a recipe for our favorite basic buttermilk cakes.
17. Fresh homemade guacamole is way better than the shrink-wrapped stuff.
And so easy to make that you have no excuse not to. Avocados, lime, cilantro, and plenty of salt are the only ingredients required; add tomatoes, garlic, and chiles if you feel fancy. Recipe here.
18. DIY breadcrumbs are a delicious way to upcycle old, stale bread.
19. Impress your friends and your mouth by making fresh salsa.
Although this is only worth doing in the summer when you can get good tomatoes. Recipe here.
20. Mayo in a jar is problematic, but homemade stuff is a totally different story.
You can customize this basic recipe for mayonnaise whichever way feels right (shown here with sriracha, because yum).
21. Once you learn to make stock, it will become your secret kitchen weapon.
The stock you use can be seriously make-or-break for a ton of sauces, casseroles, soups, and other recipes. Investing a little time to make your own (and freeze extra for later) will pay you back and then some.
22. Soak vanilla beans in booze to make your own vanilla extract.
Just dump ‘em in and walk away for a month. The extract makes a great gift too. Instructions here.
23. Nuts + dried fruit + dates = easy homemade power bars.
24. Making yogurt at home just takes milk, a thermometer, and a little patience.
It’s also super-satisfying because yogurt cultures = amazing science magic. Get the recipe.
26. Homemade Pop-Tarts are chemical-free and infinitely customizable.
Do you dream of a world where banana cream Pop-Tarts exist? MAKE IT REAL. Recipe here.
27. Make your own steak sauce and feel like a boss.
Smoky grilled onions and garlic are the secret ingredients in this recipe.
28. Delightfully fluffy, non-chemically ‘mallows just take a few ingredients to make.
29. Home-baked goldfish crackers are possibly even more adorable than the originals.
The trick is making an adorable little cracker cutter out of a soda can. Here’s how.