If you want to save money and really know what is going into your body, then you need to make your own mixes. Many of the pre-packaged ones contain fillers or excess sodium. None of us need those!
For years, I have used a few books with recipes to make my mixes. One of them is out of print, so if you ever see one at a garage sale, grab it! It is priceless. How To Make Your Own Groceries by Daphne Metaxas Hartwig is the one out of print. The second one I use is HP Books Make-A-Mix Cookery by Karine Eliason, Nevada Harward and Madeline Westover; and finally, Mix-A-Meal by Deanna Bean and Lorna Shute.
My first and favorite mix recipe that I started with over 30 years ago was the hot cocoa mix.
Hot Cocoa Mix
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 cup instant, nonfat, dry milk powder
1 cup non-dairy creamer powder
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (in a pinch I have used Nestles chocolate milk mix)
Put ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Store in an airtight container.
To make one serving: Place 4 heaping teaspoons in an 8 ounce coffee mug. Add boiling water and stir.
Hooked on DIY Mixes
That was the mix that started it all! After that, I was hooked. To save money, I began to look for other mix recipes that I could try. In Make Your Own Groceries, the recipes were endless…instant meals, side dishes, make ahead convenience mixes, condiments, dressings, sauces, seasonings, pickles, bakery goods, dairy products, deli products, beverages,snacks, sweets, baby foods, and non-foods which even included foods for pets!
In Make-A-Mix Cookery, there were recipes such as master mixes, breakfast and brunch, bread and rolls, appetizers, soups, main dishes, casseroles, cookies, cakes, camping and gift items.
Mix-A-Meal contained basic mixes, sauce and spice mixes, instant meals, and dessert mixes. With this book, however, I found that it called for some unusual items such as dehydrated butter or shortening, so I did not use as many from here as these items were not easily found for me. However, it did have recipes that let you make a smaller batch to see if you like it or not.
I was hooked! I began making up a myriad of mixes to use. I was delighted to be able to control what went into my kid’s foods, to be able to save money and to be able to save time. It was a win-win situation! Here are some of my favorites:
Nature’s Seasoning Salt
3/4 cup salt
1 tsp paprika
1 TB black pepper
2 TB dried parsley flakes, finely crushed
2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Combine ingredients. Use with steaks, chops, salads, soups, and hot vegetables. If you need low salt, use a salt substitute or leave out salt.
1 cup dried chili peppers or 3/4 cup hot red pepper flakes
1/4 cup ground cumin
2 TB garlic powder
1 TB oregano
1 TB cayenne
Remove stems and most of the seeds from the peppers. Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and whirl until powdered. Let chili powder settle before removing the lid so you don’t burn your eyes or nose. Use as recipe calls for chili powder.
Italian Bread Crumbs
12 slices stale bread
2 TB dried basil
1 1/2 TB oregano
Food processor method:
Rip bread into 1 inch pieces to make one cup. Quickly turn on machine on and off for about 20 seconds; pour into a bowl. Repeat for remaining bread. Add spices to bread crumbs and stir together. Let the crumbs stand, uncovered , in your kitchen or in a cold oven for several days. Stir bottom crumbs to the top now and then. If you wish to hasten the process, spread crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet. When crumbs are dry, package them in an airtight container.
8 1/2 cups flour
1 TB baking powder
1 TB salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup instant nonfat dry milk
2 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
In a large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. Blend well. With pastry blender, cut in shortening until evenly distributed. Mixture will resemble cornmeal in texture. Put in a large airtight container. Label. Store in a cool, dry place. Use within 10-12 weeks. Makes about 13 cups of quick mix.
Quick Mix makes: Doughnuts, coffeecake, muffins, pancakes, fry bread, cornbread, banana bread, nut breads, biscuits, cookies, bars, cakes, pies, cobblers and shortcakes.
10 cups flour
2 1/2 cups instant nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking powder
2 TB salt
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together to blend well. Put in a large airtight container. Label. Store in a cool dry place. Use within 6-8 months. Makes about 13 cups of pancake mix.
Pancake Mix makes: Oven pancakes, perfect pancakes, French toast, Monte Cristo sandwiches.
There you have it I hope this spurs you on to looking for your own mix recipes to use. Which will you try first?