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Why Buy? DIY! Hummus Edition

Important bean cooking lesson: Always cook a full pound so that you can make hummus on a whim. Hummus is so easy and cheap to throw together that it’s really not worth buying it pre-made. I’m sure you can find a brand with decent ingredients, but eh…it seems like more work to go to the store than plug in the food processor.

There are many ways to make hummus and this is only one . . . → Read More: Why Buy? DIY! Hummus Edition

How to Make Sour Cream

Although we can get lots of dairy products at the Union Square greenmarket, we haven’t been able to find sour cream. I needed some for a Super Bowl dip , so I did a little internet research. Everyone seems to use the same method and it’s insanely easy. Will we use it every time? Probably not. In most recipes we substitute our homemade yogurt for sour cream, but it might be worth it the few . . . → Read More: How to Make Sour Cream

How to Cook Dried Beans

Yes, canned beans are handy, but they’re full of sodium. And they’re more expensive than even the fancy ones we get at the farmers’ market. A can of organic black beans is $1.39 at our grocery store. We bought a pound of organic local black beans from Cayuga Pure Organics this weekend for $4. After cooking, we got the equivalent of 4 cans of beans, which is $1 a can. Who says it’s more expensive . . . → Read More: How to Cook Dried Beans

How to Make Vegetable Broth

This is an incredibly simple, mindless vegetable broth. It mimics the boxed or canned brands, but is salt-free (a standard 1-cup serving contains 20-25% of your daily sodium allowance!) and allows you to control the quality of the ingredients. It also takes advantage of my favorite appliance, the slow cooker, so you can throw it together with about 15 minutes of hands-on time.

We’ve been making this about every two weeks, but that’s kind of . . . → Read More: How to Make Vegetable Broth

How to Make Crackers

Making crackers is very similar to making pie crust. It’s pretty simple and allows you to use local ingredients and avoid the dreaded high-fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oil. Yuck!

We adapted a recipe from Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It, a great resource for DIY cooking projects. We made some adjustments (as usual) for local ingredients. If you don’t have a food processor, you could use a pastry blender or a couple of . . . → Read More: How to Make Crackers