Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Healthier Homemaking: How to adapt a recipe for maximum nutrition, pt. 2

In my first post, I discussed substituting "real food" fats, sweeteners, and whole grains in recipes to make them healthier. To finish off the topic, I wanted to link to some excellent substitutions for processed ingredients that usually contain MSG, soy, and many other questionable ingredients.

While these will add a little bit of prep. time, most of them take just minutes to put together and can be made in bulk so your little bit of work goes a long way.

"Cream of" Soup
Unfortunately, even the organic varieties of these handy cans of soup have unpronounceable ingredients. Thankfully, it takes just minutes to whip them up at home with ingredients you probably have on hand--AND they freeze well. I like to make a big batch and freeze in can-sized portions for convenience. Added bonus: they're super tasty.

I use Tammy's recipe for Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup substituting whole wheat flour for the all-purpose without any dissent from my food-lovin' people. :) Amy has a recipe for Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup that I'm sure is fabulous. I haven't tried it because we just aren't really mushroom lovers around here. I have finally gotten to the place that I can tolerate them, but Ben is there yet. ;)

Seasoning mixes
An added bonus to these is that, in addition to being much healthier than their prepackaged counterparts, they are super inexpensive and can be customized to your family's taste preferences!

::Taco seasoning mix
::Ranch dressing mix
::Italian dressing mix
::Onion Soup mix

Enchilada Sauce 
I have used Lynn's Enchilada Sauce recipe before and it is really good! It keeps for quite a while in the fridge, and also freezes well.

I'm sure there are other ingredients that can be substituted with homemade alternatives, but these are the ones that appear in my kitchen most often. Can y'all think of any others?

This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday and Real Food Wednesday.


  1. MJ, Thanks for posting the links to these recipes. I'm going to give it a try this weekend since I'm making a recipe that calls for cream of chicken soup. Do you know of any recipes for homemade "seasoned stuffing" like the kind we buy in a box, to sprinkle over casseroles? I know it would be much healthier. Thanks!

  2. Great tips! I do all these things already! :) I love making cream of mushroom soup (and cream of chicken & broccoli!)

    @Marian - Try the Betty Crocker stuffing recipe if you have it! It's the BEST! Once you make it you'll never go back! If you can't find the recipe email me! - arestfulplace @ gmail . com

  3. Another great post Mary Jo! Thanks again for the great recipes!!!

  4. Thanks again Mary Jo for all the great recipes and substitutions !!!