If you’re anything like me, you try to cook from scratch and eat whole foods. When you do end up buying packaged food from the store, you check out the ingredients list and try to find something that’s pretty simple and made from things you can pronounce. Well, last week I just really wanted goldfish! Or some other cheesy crunchy orange snack from the middle aisles of the grocery store.
The ingredients in goldfish certainly aren’t the worst, but for someone who eats organic, savors grass-fed dairy, avoids highly processed vegetable oils, and soaks her grains and flours before baking, they’re pretty far from what I’d like to be eating on a daily basis.
What do do? Make my own!
Here are a few recipes I’ve tried recently to add some fun snacky homemade foods into our lives:
-The recipe I followed: Serious Eats Cheez-Its
-Thoughts: Addictive! Totally met my craving for goldfish, but probably wouldn’t want to have around the house all the time.
-How I tweaked it: I used whole plain yogurt + 3 tablespoons of melted butter (1 cup total volume) instead of cream. I then mixed the yogurt, melted butter, and flour 24 hours ahead of time, allowing it to soak covered at room temperature (read more about soaking grains here). When I was ready to bake, I mixed the dry ingredients first, dumped them into the wet ingredients, and kneaded the (very wet!) dough on a floured surface. I followed some advice from the recipe’s comments and rolled out the dough directly onto my silicone pad (which I use instead of parchment paper). The wet dough on the pad was super easy to slide on to a tray, cut into squares, and put in the oven. I baked at a lower temperature (325) for a longer amount of time (until they were golden brown) to get them crispy without burning. I put the tray back in a warm oven later that night (after I had baked something else) to help them dry out all the way.
Homemade “Kind” Bars
-The recipe I followed: Fruit and Nut Bars from The Nourishing Home
-Thoughts: It totally worked! Mine are slightly more fragile (crumbly), but they do stay together as bars and have a great balance of salty and sweet. Perfect for keeping at work for days that I didn’t pack quite enough for lunch.
-How I tweaked it: I used maple syrup instead of raw honey – my preference when baking (raw honey loses its benefits when heated). Molasses would also be a sweetener that would add an interesting twist to the flavor. I also splashed in some vanilla. In need of more “glue,” I added a bit more nut butter+coconut flour. It would definitely be possible to change the ratio of fruit to nuts (or add something else, like chocolate chips or granola), as long as the total amount comes to just under 2 cups total.
Homemade Sour Watermelon Gummies
-The recipe I followed: Sour Watermelon Gummies from Meatified
-Thoughts: Not as good a match to the real deal as the recipes above (adding more honey would likely get it closer), but a great way to enjoy a fruity snack and get some pastured gelatin into your diet (your skin, hair, nails, and joints will thank you).
-How I tweaked it: Didn’t! I did end up adding a heaping tablespoon of honey. This was the perfect use of the extra watermelon we threw in the freezer last summer. If you don’t have silicone molds, it totally works to pour liquid into a flat-bottomed dish and then cut into squares when gelled. A note: If you taste your liquid before cooling, it should be super tangy and sweet – it will become much more bland when cooled.