Pantry Revamp

One of our main goals in starting this experiment in urban homesteading is to eat better food. Organic produce and natural food available in the grocery store can be very costly. However, doing it at home can be cheaper and definitely better for you and the environment.

There are quite a few processed foods in our snack cabinet on any given day, more or less.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some gems hidden amongst the crap – nuts (though they are heavily salted) and Kashi granola bars are generally free of the most offending ingredients, but they are still highly processed and mass-produced.

My goal is to revamp this snack cabinet (and eventually my whole kitchen).  By purchasing only whole ingredients and making all of our snacks at home, I can be sure of what is going into them and therefore, sure of what I am feeding my little ones (since they are the biggest “snackers” in the house).

I already did a post on making our own granola.  I’m hoping that it will replace all of the boxed cereal we buy.  The next thing I am tackling is graham crackers.  Generally speaking, graham crackers are a great snack.  However, the ones that are readily available in the store all have high fructose corn syrup –  added, which is an ingredient I try and keep out of my house.  So, I made my own using a recipe from a book.

They were relatively easy to make and the best part is, I was able to approve of every ingredient that went in.  Rather than reproducing the recipe here, I’ll give you a link to it from the website  Food52 – .  The author of Homemade Pantry wrote a short article and provides the recipe.
One ingredient that you might question when you look at the recipe is the use of shortening or lard.  Most health food stores sell a natural variety of shortening that is much better for you and is non-hydrogenated – .  I found one at my local  Sprout’s. –
If you are going to make them, two things I noted.  1.  Work in small batches when you are rolling out the dough.  The recipe says to cut the dough in half to roll it out.  I think next time I’ll cut it into fourths.  2.  Rolling it thin is good but not a deal-breaker.  I got sick of rolling near the end and made some that were a bit thicker.  They are really good too.  Don’t stress too much about it.
Overall, a win and two thumbs up from the family.  No more store-bought graham crackers!  And with that, the pantry revamp begins!