Crafty Kitchens canned-goods-image-via-Shutterstock-(1-of-1)

Published on February 25th, 2014 | by Julie Finn

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DIY Pantry Staples: 35 Crafty, Creative Recipes

DIY Pantry Staples: 35 Crafty, Creative Recipes

canned goods image via Shutterstock

Want a pantry that’s as crafty and creative as the rest of your house?

Save money, eat more healthfully, and use your imagination to boost the flavor of your favorite foods when you restock your kitchen with these DIY pantry staples:

bread: Begin with this homemade sourdough starter, and you’re on your way!

canned goods: You know you want to learn to can. Here are five recipes to get you started.

condensed soup: Isn’t canned cream of mushroom soup gross-looking? And all the recipes call for it! You can make your own cream of something soup that *isn’t* gross-looking (and if it is, it’s nobody’s fault but yours). For even more convenience, you can make a dehydrated version.

cookie mix: For bonus points, this cookie mix is vegan!

crackersYou can make this pantry staple in the dehydrator, and it’s super healthy.

decorating sugar: Even non-organic sanding sugars cost a ton, but you can make your own organic sanding sugar in any beautiful color that you please.

dehydrated vegetables: Dehydrated vegetables don’t have to cost as much as they do at Trader Joe’s, and they’re dead useful in lots of recipes.

extracts: The vanilla extract that you make yourself tastes so much better, and you can make a TON. The mint extract is great for lemonade and anything chocolate.

granola: You can build the granola of your dreams. May I suggest cranberry almond? I often dream of cocoa granola, myself. But cinnamon chia is also acceptable

granola barsThese chewy granola bars taste just delicious. But when in doubt, add peanut butter. And if you like Larabars, you’ll like something *like* Larabars.

hamburger helper: I LOOOOVE Hamburger Helper, even though it’s so crap for me! Only this homemade hamburger helper *isn’t* crap for you, because you’re going to make it yourself using quality ingredients.

infused vodka: Be the party hero with homemade lemon basil-infused vodka. Also? You should make coffee liqueur.

ketchup: This homemade ketchup is free of preservatives and refined sugars, and it keeps in the refrigerator, so you can spice it however you like.

mayonnaiseVegan grapeseed mayonaise won’t give you heart disease! But if you like Miracle Whip, I’m not going to judge. Instead, I’m going to give you this homemade Miracle Whip recipe.

nut butters: Start with roasted almond flaxseed butter, just because it’s so delicious. And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’re definitely going to want to make this vegan nutella.

peanut butter chipsPreservative-free and perfect for cookies!

pop tarts: You can’t actually keep these homemade whole wheat toaster pastries in the pantry, but if you start craving pop tarts, you know what to do.

potato chips: You can create any flavor combination you want, minus the landfill-bound packaging, with this potato chip recipe from The DIY Pantry.

vinegar: Yep, you can even make your own fancy vinegars.

salsa: Isn’t this exactly the time of year that you wish you’d put aside an entire year’s worth of salsa *last* year? But if red salsa offends you, try salsa verde.

spice mixes: Homemade taco seasoning is definitely worth making yourself–you know you want extra garlic and a ton more cayenne! And homemade ranch seasoning? Also delicious.

sweetened condensed milkThis homemade version doesn’t come in a creepy little can.

syrups: If you’re feeling sick, homemade elderberry syrup will make you feel a LOT better.



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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.



  • Tina

    This year I WILL learn to can. And I really need to try making my own vanilla extract.

    • http://www.craftknife.blogspot.com Julie Finn

      I canned like crazy for a couple of years, but the last couple of years I’ve been lazy and freezing everything, even though I HATE taking the time to defrost something like applesauce that I could have simply popped open and enjoyed if only I’d canned it. This year, I, too, will can ALL THE THINGS!

  • Cynthia

    Great list of staples. Thanks for compiling this. I shared it!!

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