Know What You’re Eating: DIY Recipes

by March 15, 2013 at 12:00 pm 1 Comment

From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT]


Know what you are eating. (Chelsea Rinnig)

Ever check the labels on your store-bought goods? Any idea what sucralose is? What about maltodextrin or xantham gum? These corn-based food additives, in addition to well-known sugars like high fructose corn syrups, appear frequently on grocery store shelves.

While preservatives and additives have revolutionized the food industry, subsidizing the cost of mass food production and ease of access to a variety of foods, they lead us consumers farther astray from nature.

Next time you peruse the aisles of your grocery store, compare your options and see how many ingredients you recognize on the back of the package. See how close you can stick to what you know and avoid those unidentified ingredients.

I understand though — baking your own bread can seem a little daunting. But these two DIY recipes for granola and rotis are very simple and well worth the extra effort — no added sugar, corn or unidentified ingredients in these recipes.

Whole Wheat Roti

Makes 8 rounds and can be used like tortillas if rolled thinner


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup warm filtered water


  1. Mix salt and whole wheat flour. Then, mix in olive oil until the flour is lump-free. Next, gradually add warm water a little at a time until the mixture incorporates all of the flour.
  2. Use your hands to mix it in until you can form one dough ball (the dough will be sticky, at first).
  3. Let the dough rest with a damp cloth over it for 15 minutes (hint, start prepping the rest of your meal while you wait!).
  4. Heat a heavy skillet to medium and divide the dough into golf-sized balls. Roll out using some extra flour into flat, circular thins.
  5. Cook each round on the heated skillet, flipping from one side to the other once bubbles begin to form on the uncooked side. Cook until browned and cooked through.
  6. If using an open flame, you can put the nearly finished roti on the burner using tongs, and let the bread puff up before serving.

Note: This process may cause some smoking, so make sure to open and window or use an overhead fan if this occurs.

Homemade, Too-Good Granola


  • 3 cups oats
  • 1/6 cup oil
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 cup chopped nuts of your choice: I like hazelnuts, brazil nuts, and almonds
  • ½ cup dried fruit of your choice: I like white raisins or dried figs
  • ¼ cup flax seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately.
  3. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and spread around a parchment or foil lined baking sheet until the dry mixture is entirely coated.
  4. Bake for 15-30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until granola is golden brown.
  5. Let the granola cool before adding in some dark chocolate, if you’re like me and can’t resist…

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