Do we know what really goes into supermarket bought foods? Recently an Ipswich-based creator of “fresh” pesto were caught out by Trading Standards when it was found that their listed ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, locally grown basil and grana padano cheese, were actually cheap sunflower oil, Israeli basil and Latvian cheese. And while the pesto was marketed as ‘fresh’ it was actually being batch frozen.
The makers of the pesto claim that it was simply a change in recipe that was not updated on their packaging, but it does make you wonder what Trading Standards haven’t yet discovered in supermarket ‘convenience’ products.
Is it really more convenient, cheaper or tastier to buy supermarket ingredients like pesto?
At Hello Fresh, we think that the best meals are freshly made with a little love at home. Not only do these meals taste better, they contain only what you put in – so no dodgy stabilisers or preservatives. What’s more, buying the raw ingredients and making your own bits and pieces helps minimise the wastage of short-life supermarket products.
Here is our top 5 list of things to make at home:
The irony of the pesto example is that anyone can enjoy fresh pesto within minutes. All you need is some basil, olive oil, pine nuts and grana padano cheese. Bung it all in a blender and voila!
The advantage of fresh pesto (besides the great taste) is that you can also alter the recipe for special diets. Allergic to nuts? Use toasted sunflower seeds instead. Vegetarian? No problem, just use veggie cheese.
2 . Nut butter
Usually made with peanuts, but almost any nut can be turned into a delicious spread
simply by blending them together with a bit of oil and a pinch of salt and sugar to taste.
Try combining peanuts and cashews for a slightly sweeter taste and try adding natural honey instead of processed sugars for a healthier touch.
3 . Tortilla Crisps
Tortilla crisps are so easy to make and can help use up those left-over tortillas. Just spray with oil, add flavouring and bake. You could use packet-brought tortillas for the task or make your own quite quickly and easily with a bit of flour, baking powder, oil, salt, and milk. Find a great tortilla recipe here.
4 . Soup
A study recently found that canned soups contain high levels of bisphenol A (BPA) which is linked to certain health risks. But it is so easy to make delicious soups at home. Lghtly fry some onion, add whatever other veg you like and some stock, leave for half an hour and blend. You can even chuck some good quality meat in there too if you like.
5 . Dips
Dips like guacamole, tzsatziki, hummus, and salsa are all incredibly easy to make and provide a wonderful flavour! By mixing them yourself you can tweak them to your taste or the dish you’re preparing and leave out all the excess salt and sugar.
Why not try coating pan fried salmon with your homemade guacamole to complete a special Hello Fresh meal?
What is your favourite or signature homemade food? Share your tips and recipes with the Hello Fresh community and help others eat fresh!
For recipes, cooking ideas and the confidence to create wonderful homemade food give Hello Fresh a try today. We provide carefully sourced ingredients, perfectly measured out for you, along with 30 minute recipe cards so you can eat fresh, homemade food without the fuss.