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Baking Tips: How To Bake from Scratch While Going Green

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One of the three easy steps of going green is to reduce the amount of waste that each of us generates on a daily basis.  When we reduce the amount of waste that we generate, we have less waste to reuse and recycle.  There are many ways to reduce waste, but one of the best ways that I have found is to learn to cook and bake from scratch.

Cooking and baking from scratch might seem like an insurmountable task for those of us who are busy and over scheduled, but the truth is that cooking from scratch gets easier and less intimidating over time and it eventually  becomes second nature. Over the past two or three years, I went from buying canned, boxed, frozen, and pre-made food products to making the following foods from scratch:

The Benefits of Going Green by Cooking from Scratch

The following are the benefits of cooking from scratch:

  • Eliminates the need to recycle, reuse and/or throw away hundreds of boxes, cans and plastic packages every year.
  • Creates healthier meals by ensuring that there are no harmful additives and preservatives.
  • Allows for moderation of calories, fat, sugar, carbohydrates, etc.
  • Customizes recipes so that ingredients can be substituted to suit specific tastes and/or accommodate for food allergies.
  • Saves money.
  • Makes the food taste better.
  • Creates family bonding because kids love to help

Pantry Checklist to Help You Cook From Scratch

The following is a pantry checklist for going green by cooking from scratch:

  • flour (whole wheat flour is healthiest)
  • sugar (or sugar substitute)
  • brown sugar or molasses
  • baking soda
  • baking Powder
  • yeast
  • salt
  • baking cocoa
  • eggs (or egg replacer)
  • Various spices and seasonings
  • butter or butter substitute
  • vegetable oil
  • cooking spray
  • chocolate chips
  • rolled oats
  • milk (cow's milk. rice milk, soy milk etc)
  • applesauce

Learning to cook and bake from scratch might seem terrifying at first. However, once you learn how to improvise and use substitutions for ingredients that you may not have on hand, everything starts to click and the fear suddenly turns into a sense of accomplishment.

The most important thing to remember is that cooking from scratch doesn't happen overnight. Start small and before you know it, you'll have a long list of things that you know how to whip up at a moment's notice. I started with brownies. What will you start with?

 What foods do you love to cook from scratch?

Tracey Lenac is the founder, editor and publisher of Raising California, an online magazine that highlights elements of holistic, organic, GREEN lifestyle     choices along with homeschooling and spirituality.   She is also the founder of Soul Centered Kids in Los Angeles, California, where she teaches soul centered skills such as meditation, reiki and yoga to children of all ages and developmental abilities and the founder of The Souls of Boys, an online store specializing in non violent, non toxic, soul centered toys, books, media and resources for boys.  Tracey has a Master of Arts degree in Education and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She is also a registered Reiki Master/Teacher, organic gardener, the mom of two boys and a secular homeschooler.

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