DIY Ingredients

Fruit-Infused Honey Vinegars (courtesy of the National Honey Board)

While it’s convenient (and sometimes cheaper) to grab ready-to-use ingredients like salad dressings, seasonings and condiments, there are some good arguments for taking the time to make them yourself. And it’s not as hard as you might think.

Whether you are trying to move away from more processed foods, need to steer clear of particular ingredients for health reasons, or just want to try your hand at some new recipes, DIY ingredients like these can be a great way to meet any of those needs.

So here’s a recipe, a round-up, and a quick video to set you on your merry DIY way.

These Fruit-Infused Honey Vinegars (pictured above) can be drizzled over salads or used as dips for fresh bread.

Start with:

  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup honey

Combine them in a medium saucepan, then stir in one of the flavor additions below.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes. Let cool, then pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove any solids. Store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Flavor Additions:

  • Apricot: 2/3 cup apricot jam
  • Pear: 2 15-ounce cans pears, drained and diced
  • Raspberry: 1 6-ounce basket fresh raspberries, mashed
  • Fig: 2 cups dried Mission figs, quartered

DIY Recipe Round-Up

Brown Sugar (Poor Taste Magazine)

Brown Sugar – I had no idea you could make this stuff until I ran across a couple of recipes for it. Here’s one from Poor Taste Magazine.

Homemade Ketchup (Food Republic)

Ketchup – This ketchup is tomato based, but they don’t have to be. Over at Food Republic you’ll find the recipe for this good-looking ketchup, and find out about what other ketchups are big around the world (Mushroom ketchup? Banana ketchup? Yup.)

Homemade Taco Seasoning (Brown-Eyed Baker)

Taco Seasoning – Put some zip into your tacos with this easy mix from Brown-Eyed Baker. It’s got lots of cumin in it, so I love it already.

Rainbow Sprinkles (Brave Tart)

Rainbow Sprinkles – Yes, it’s a heckuva lot easier to buy a little plastic jar of these things. But, come on – how cool would it be to make your own? Commercial sprinkles can have more than a dozen ingredients – including wax. These (from Brave Tart) have 4. Plus, they can also be made completely vegan, if you don’t want to or can’t use the little bit of egg white in the original recipe.

DIY Recipes from Annie's Eats

A Round-Up of Round-Ups – One of my favorite food blogs is Annie’s Eats. She rounded up a bunch of her DIY recipes – including Vanilla Extract and Flavored Syrups for coffees. Then, pop on over to Tasty Kitchen for stuff like pasta, ricotta, baking powder and plenty more.

And last, but not least, here’s a video to show you how easy it is to make a tasty Herb Vinaigrette.

Now go mess up the kitchen and have some fun DIYing it!

Dawn Mundy

I write food and lifestyle articles for Family Features by day. I wish I could say I was a superhero by night, but alas, that is not so. I’m a mom who loves cooking, gardening, music and books. See what I’m cooking at home at

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