Forget the grocery: Make these 3 simple foods at home


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When it comes to eating healthfully, there’s nothing like cooking at home. You can control what ingredients you use, how the ingredients are cooked and eliminate unnecessary additives and preservatives. But there are some products we’re so used to buying at the store that we don’t even think about making them ourselves!

So next time you’re whipping up a sandwich or salad, skip the store-bought stuff and round out your meal with one of these fresh, easy recipes.


Homemade whole-wheat croutons

Fresh croutons taste so much better than the ones you buy at the grocery anyway! Cut two slices of whole-wheat bread into 1-inch cubes (cut crusts off, if desired). Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a microwaveable bowl; then combine butter, bread, 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley, a dash of salt and a dash of garlic powder.

Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 300 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. If you like your croutons extra crunchy, turn on the broiler for a few minutes — just be careful they don’t burn! (2 servings)


Roasted garlic aioli

You’ll never go back to mayo again. Cut the pointy top off a head of garlic to partially expose the cloves, drizzle garlic with olive oil and wrap tightly in foil. Bake in at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until garlic is soft. Set aside to cool.

In a bowl, whisk together one egg yolk, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard until well-mixed. Add ¼ cup of olive oil, whisking constantly until the mixture is emulsified, adding slightly more oil if needed. When the garlic has cooled, add as many cloves to the aioli as your taste buds allow. For us, the more, the merrier. (Yields approximately ½ cup.)

For a spicy variation, omit the roasted garlic and add jarred horseradish to the aioli instead.


Apple cider vinaigrette

Newman’s Own has some good salad dressings, but nothing beats homemade. In a bowl, whisk together ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup of honey and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Slowly add ¾ cup of olive oil, whisking constantly, until the mixture is emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper; then serve over your favorite salad. (Yields approximately 1 cup.)