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Everybody Eats: Mix things up in the kitchen and enjoy less expensive food

Making your own mixes lets you tailor them to your taste and nutrition needs

It’s Saturday morning and you wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and the sound of pancakes being flipped in the kitchen. Somebody loves you!

Better yet, those pancakes have a healthy twist from the whole wheat flour you used when you mixed up a cost-effective pancake mix.

This morning reverie can be your dream come true by using homemade mixes in your home.

The convenience of mixes is sometimes negated by the long ingredient list of common grocery store mixes, like cakes and brownies. While all foods can
fit, making your own mixes lets you tailor them to your taste and nutrition needs. For instance, instead of buying taco seasoning you could make your own mixture of spices cut back on salt and reduce the sodium at your next Taco Tuesday.

Another important aspect of nutrition is the enjoyment of food. You might take more pleasure in your next cup of hot chocolate if you make a hot chocolate mix that includes a little more chocolatey cocoa powder and even a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

As we shift into the holiday season we begin to think about ways we can share our love through food. Jars of layered cookie mix or bean soups can be a cost effective gift that leaves the recipient with a delicious dish and no extra clutter, save for the reusable jar! Buying the ingredients in bulk can reduce the costs and you can thrift the containers at reasonable prices.

If time in the kitchen is at a premium, mixes can help cut the time down.

With a warm stew in the crockpot the meal can only be improved with a quick batch of cheese biscuits warm from the oven. Mixes could help your get it all on the table a little more quickly.

As well, if you’ve got a child who is learning to cook, a homemade mix can help welcome them into their new role. Perhaps using the biscuit mix makes
it possible for them to produce the biscuits and show off their burgeoning cooking skills. They say nothing tastes better than homemade but there’s a case to be made for new cooks that nothing tastes better than “I made it myself!”

Eager to give it a try? This pancake mix recipe has long been stuck to the inside of the pantry in a local Guelph home. Make it in bulk and store it in an air-tight container. You’ll need to add the milk, eggs and butter or oil at the time of cooking.

Maybe you saved some berries this summer in your freezer and heating them up into a delicious fruit sauce would be the icing on this pancake!

Nell’s Favourite Pancake Mix Recipe

● 12 cups flour, a mixture of whole wheat and all purpose
● 6 tablespoons of baking powder
● ½ cup sugar
● 1 tablespoon salt
Mix together and store this mixture in an air-tight container.
Recipe for one batch
● 3 cups of pancake mixture
● 3 cups milk or buttermilk
● 2 eggs, beaten
● ¼ cup melted butter

1. Preheat a frying pan on medium heat. Melt a little more butter in the pan.
2. Mix wet and dry ingredients until just mixed.
3. Scoop mixture into the pan in the size of pancakes you enjoy.
4. When there are bubbles bursting open in the top of your pancake, lift up the pancake with a spatula or turner and flip it onto its uncooked side.
5. Cook until it is golden on both sides.
6. Serve with your favourite topping

If you love the idea of mixes and want to do some good, consider purchasing The SEED’s Super Heros soup mix that raises funds for Guelph’s beloved food access group. The SEED defines itself as a do-it together food movement. They are working toward a connected community where everyone has access to healthy food.

Souper Heroes is a delicious soup mix prepared by wonderful volunteers at The SEED that raises funds for The SEED’s food security work.

Souper Heros is available from The SEED website in two sizes and two varieties.

Local retailers like Marketfresh, Flour Barrel, Park Eatery, Rowe Farms and Jess for You cafe also sell the mix and you can find the Souper Heroes at the Farmers’ Market and U of G during Fair November.