I know that it seems like our weekends are filled with holiday parties with friends, family, or at work. On top of that there is shopping to do, possible holiday travel to plan, and the list goes on and on. But, inevitably, there will be some cooking or baking that you need to do either as a guest or a host, and I know with limited time it seems like purchasing pre-made or ready to be made (i.e. pre-made mixes) are the winners choice, but are they really?
Just some food for thought (pun totally intended):
Let’s use a box of yellow cake mix as an example, if you were to purchase a $3.45 box of cake mix (that makes one serving and you still need to purchase eggs and oil to make the cake mix into a cake) you get ingredients of: wheat starch, salt, dextrose, Polyglycerols Esters of Fatty Acids, partially hydrogenated soybean oils, maltodextrin, cellulose, artificial flavors, xanthan gum…..and the list goes on.
If we were to purchase our own flour ($2.46), baking powder ($1.89), and sugar ($2.35) our dry goods would cost a total of: $6.70. The ingredients you get for flour: enriched unbleached flour, baking soda: sodium bicarbonate and corn starch, sugar: pure sugar cane.
The winner for price? It seems worth it to buy everything separately….a little more up front, but you can make more cakes (or whatever you choose to do with those extra dry goods). If we used all our dry product, we have at least 4 cakes worth of dry goods, so its about $1.68/cake. But the real winning point for me? The ingredients! When you bake at home, you know what you are putting into your cake, it may not be the fluffiest or most delicious cake anyone has ever had (on the other hand, it totally might be!) but you know that you made it yourself, which people tend to really appreciate, and you know that the ingredients you used were clean and with as few fillers as possible.
The winner for time? Per the directions on a yellow cake mix box, it will take 3 minutes of prep time and 28 minutes (approx) of baking time. For a classic yellow cake from scratch, it will take you 15 minutes of prep time and 25 minutes to bake. It’s basically a wash!
Think about it: we all are trying to be healthier, economically savvy, and all in the limited amount of time we have to spare, so why not make something from scratch that you can feel good about eating yourself, feeding your children, and others because you know what went into it. Plus, it takes no more time than baking from a box. I will tell you, I would rather feast on an ugly looking cake made with clean products rather than one filled with preservatives and other man-made things ANY day!
Yours in Good Health