They're coming after your baking supplies.

By JM Davis

Cooking & Baking From Scratch


Nine ingredients and some bonuses with their ingredients, and solutions.

Hello, I’m Janet Davis and welcome to Food Plus Freedom Podcast. Today is March 5th, 2024 Episode 23. They’re coming after Your Baking Supplies. 9 baking supplies and what’s in them plus solutions or alternatives.

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Episode 22, They’re coming after Your Baking Supplies.

Calling all homesteaders, bakers, and anyone who likes to cook or bake from scratch. The agenda is coming after us through food ingredient changes. We already knew that. Now they are coming after our individual ingredients we use for healthy from scratch food. The good news is enough people are eating from scratch that we’ve alarmed the food system. I’m sure they are thinking, oh no! These people are getting around, being poison, let’s get them.

The bad news – they’re coming after us. The good news is, we can fight back easier than they can come after us because we have the skills and knowledge to eat from scratch. It’s not feasible to grow all our own food unless we are going to do without. And yes, there are things I do without. But when it comes down to some basic needs for making our own, we all buy it. Even if we are buying organic, they are still adding crap to it. And the more I read about what’s going on in the organic industry, the more I want to find a new planet (Anyone want to go!) and only take like-minded people with me. But that isn’t going to happen anytime soon, is it?

As far as the organic, it’s the best we can do. There are several different organic labels besides the USDA Organic. There is another label called real organic. We will get into some of those in a different episode. 

I have nine of ingredients that we all bake with at one time or another that the food industry is ruining and I have some alternatives for you so we aren’t affected. So let’s go!!

  1. Yeast as in bakers yeast and not to be confused with nutritional yeast. They are two different things. Brewer’s yeast and bakers yeast are similar depending upon the alcohol you’re making, but I’m going to just stick to packages of baking yeast.
    Bakers yeast is actually the common name for strains of yeast used in baking. It’s a leavening agent, aka it makes things rise. I don’t know about you but I buy it by the pound. Yes, I use that much of it throughout the year and have for many many years. 
     It comes in several options or names like. Active Dry, Rapid Rise, Instant Dry, quick rise, fresh yeast cake, to name a few. 
    When I discovered what was going on with the butter, as you recall, they were adding natural flavors to it.  I went back and read everything in my house to find my lack of rereading labels was my downfall. If you haven’t already go listen to Episode 14 about rereading labels, you should.
    What should be in your yeast? Well, Yeast and nothing more. In my yeast I found yeast and depending on the packaging other ingredients as well. Of course, I went down a rabbit hole to find out what else other companies were adding to the yeast. And no, it didn’t matter if the yeast was organic or not. The following are the ingredients I found in different packages in my house and online. Depending on the manufacturer depending on the combination. All had yeast or Saccharomyces cerevisiae. I’ll just say yeast. And yes, there are some companies that only have yeast or bakers yeast in the ingredients. Maybe this is a good time for me to do sour dough. Just thinking about it. I’ve done it before, but it may be a better option to do it a lot. 
    Here are the ingredients and what they are used for. 
    Ascorbic acid, also known as Vitamin C. It’s added to help the year work better. There are tons of natural ingredients to make yeast work better like ginger or apple cider vinegar. Why would I want the company to add it the yeast, especially since I don’t know where it came from.  Even if it’s organic yeast, it doesn’t say organic ascorbic acid. 
    Sorbitan monostearate: It’s a Food Grade vegetable based emulsifier. An emulsifier helps mix substances together that normally don’t mix. Like oil and water. Wait a minute. When I read this, I thought that’s a crock. Sure when you dump the yeast in the water, though I recommend adding it with the flour, just how I do it, it floats. But as soon as you add flour and mix the yeast starts to ferment, it starts to dissolve like it’s supposed to, no emulsifier needed. You don’t need anything better that comes from the company. 
    Solution: Buy Baking yeast that only has yeast in it or learn to make wild or sour dough yeast and bread. I am currently looking for large quantities of just yeast, but will begin getting serious about sour dough and wild yeast breads. Good thing there is a baker in my family that knows her sourdough. 
    Another ingredient is wheat – this was in an organic yeast. Sounds like a filler to me. I am going to add enough wheat to my bread; I don’t need extra wheat in my bread yeast. Again, I don’t know where it’s coming from. 
  2. Baking Soda or Sodium Bicarbonate makes baked goods rise when it mixes with an acid and produces carbon dioxide. This is used not instead of yeast, but anything you want to rise that you don’t use yeast in. It’s a different kind of rising agent. I didn’t find any packages that said it contains aluminum, but I did find several articles that said baking soda is 99% pure, what’s the other 1%. 
    I did find one baking soda that was referred to as multi-purpose baking soda which included cornstarch, Bicarbonate of soda, sodium aluminum sulfate, and mono-calcium phosphate, which seem to align more with baking powder than baking soda. Yeh, I’d stay away from that one. It says you can clean with it which you can, and you can put it in your food, which I wouldn’t want to. 
    Solution: Buy non-aluminum baking soda. I’ve never used a substitution buy found that whipped egg whites work well. I’ll definitely have to try this in my pancakes soon and report back.
  3. Baking Powder is another leavening agent for cooking. There is aluminum and aluminum free. Unlike baking soda, baking powder does contain sodium aluminum if it isn’t specifically aluminum free. Other ingredients that I found were as follows. Remember, this is a list I found between many different brands so some have all the ingredients and others do not. 
    Cornstarch (remember if it’s not organic, its most likely genetically engineered), mono-calcium Phosphate (an inorganic chemical compound, that means it’s synthetically made), baking soda, Acid phyrophosphate,which helps leavening through lowering the ph.
    I’ve been playing with not using baking powder anymore. Here are some solutions I’ve tried and found. You have to be careful not to add too much baking soda or it’s very salty. You also have to make sure you lower your salt in your recipe or it will really be salty. 
    Solutions to use something else: 
    Lemon juice and Baking soda: 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.
    Molasses and baking soda: 1/4 cup of molasses with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. You need to take out the same amount of liquid to keep the constituency and be aware it may taste sweeter. I have not tried this one.
    Vinegar and baking soda: add 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Watch for consistency. Yes, it’s the old volcano we make with the kids. I have used this.
    Yogurt and baking soda: add 1/2 cup of yogurt to your wet ingredients, and an extra 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to your dry ingredients. Make sure you remove 1/2 of cup of wet ingredient for consistency or you’ll need to add more flour. I have not tried this one either, but I will. 

    When I say watch for consistency, because you’re taking out a liquid or adding a dry ingredient, you need to be mindful of needing more liquid or dry ingredients. 
  4. White Sugar: There isn’t anything added to your sugar, but you should be aware of the type of sugar your baking with.  You want pure cane sugar. If it’s not pure can it’s probably beet sugar and about 85% of beets grown in the US is a gmo or bio-engineered or genetically engineering  and heavily sprayed crop. Pure Cane sure is also more granular than beet sugar. It’s what sugar is suppose to be in my book or at least what I grew up on. 
    White sugar or table sugar is made by removing all of the molasses from the sugar. You can get organic sugar so you know the process didn’t include synthetic chemicals. 
    Solutions: Raw Honey or Maple Syrup: 
    On a side note Honey makes everything more dense and heavy. I think the maple syrup is a little sweeter. I am talking about real maple syrup, maple sap boiled down, nothing added. If you’re swapping out honey you’ll need to use less honey than sugar. Usually about 3/4 of the amount. You may also need to add more baking soda. Honey is sweeter than sugar, but depending on the honey also depends on the flavor and liquid consistency. You’ll need to subtract the same amount of liquid you added for the honey so your consistency is the same. When baking with honey lower the temperature by about 25 degrees lower. It may take longer to cook, but honey tends torown ad look like it’s burning faster. Remember honey also adds a color to your baked goods sugar doesn’t. Depending on the coloring of the honey. 
    If you’re using maple syrup follow the same as above, with one exception. Maple syrup is thinner than honey so watch your consistency and you may need to take out more liquid or add a little more flour.  
    I bake with both honey and maple. A lot of it is trial and error and more baking, depending on what flour, maple or honey you use. I prefer using maple than honey due to the density of the maple. Plus I can make something taste sweeter faster with maple syrup. And well, my fmaily just lies it better.
  5. Brown Sugar. Brown Sugar is white sugar with the molasses in it. It comes in dark and light brown sugar. Some brands leave the molasses in it, while other take it out and add it back in. Brown sugar is used for flavoring in baking. It never made sense to me why a company would take out good stuff nature gave us just to put it back in so we had it. I’m guessing it’s because they aren’t putting everything back in they took out, so they are making money off of it. I’m also guessing that what they are putting back in isn’t as pure as what nature puts in it, it’s that’s just my speculation. Brown sugar is used for flavor in baking
    Ingredients from different manufacturers: sugar, molasses, cane molasses, brown sugar. Makes me wonder why some are brown sugar and others say both molasses and brown sugar. Are they adding both back in? I don’t know. 
    molasses and white sugar: For light each cup of brown sugar use 1 cup of white sugar and 2 teaspoon of molasses. Now you’re adding your own molasses back in and you can choose what kind omolasses you want to add back in. For Dark 1 cup of sugar with 1 tablespoon of molasses. 
    You can also just use honey and maple syrup as you would to replace white sugar and replace the brown sugar as well.
  6. vanilla extract: It’s used for flavoring in your baking. if you know it or not. There are two types of vanilla, vanilla bean or artificial vanilla flavoring. 
    Vanilla bean or real vanilla: water, cane alcohol, vanilla bean
    Artificial vanilla or vanillin or imitation vanilla: water, sugar, artificial flavor, citric acid, sodium, benzoate, carmel color. As a side note vanilla that is artificially derived is called vanillin in your products is often made from a by-product of the wood pulp industry. gross just saying. Just saying I’m eating something from the biproduct of the wood industry. Like peoeple making book shelves. That’s justgross. 
    Let’s just stick with real vanilla bean and for the tip of the day I’ll teach you how to make real vanilla bean. And in the tip of today I will teach you how to make it. 
  7. Other extracts: look at the ingredient and choose nature flavors if you must use. Such as almond, lemon etc. If you need to use one of these flavors use ones thatis real flavor. Use a real flavor, because just like vanilla if it’s not real it has all of those extra flavorings in it. If you need almonds and don’t have real almond extract, use almonds and ground it up. If you need lemon use a little bit of a lemon. 
  8. Colors: Baking can be more fun, especially icing when you use colors. DO NOT use artificial colors. Whenever you see colors that are bright for food it’s a chemical based, petroleum color. You’re not a car, truck or tractor. You do not need petroleum based anything in your body. It’s toxic. Also avoid polysorbate 80 for it’s a synthetic chemical as well. I found this in some products that touted no artificial dyes and plant based food coloring. 
    Instead use an organic or non-gmo brand that uses fruits and vegetable for the coloring. If you can’t read the words pass on it. Other items you can can use for coloring are what these manufacturers use for coloring. Like ground up beets and the beet juice make red, ground up carrots and soaked make orange coloring. Instead of using those fake colors use natural or make some of them yourself. 
  9. Butter: 
    I’ve talked about butter before. Watch out for natural flavors in your butter. Many times we bake with unsalted butter and it seems the unsalted butter is the biggest issue with natural flavors. What kind of natural flavors are they going to add. Butter? Butter is made from cream, that’s it! And organic brands weren’t any better. 
    Solution use salted butter and don’t add the salt. Many bakers will say that salted butter bakes differently etc etc. Well either you need to find unsalted butter without added flavors or just use salted butter and adjust.
  10. And a bonus 10 which isn’t a specific baking item, but all fats and oils. Stay away from vegetable oil, canola oil, Crisco, and seed oil like sunflower seed. They are extremely processed. And if you’re using olive oil make sure it’s real. There have been articles in the news about some companies adding some seed oil to it. It makes it so the olive oil doesn’t change it’s taste or burn factor, but it makes you have more.
    I contacted an olive oil company in Arizona who grows their own olives and inquired. They said they knew there was an issue and no they wouldn’t dare add anything to their olive oil, but olive oil. If you don’t see the red sitcker from about oliver oil. 
    Alternatives: Find olive oil companies that are real. You can check out the site for all the info on olive oils. If you can learn to use tallow ( from beef fat), lard (from pork fat), coconut oil which is pure and solid, and real butter.

Last Flour is an entirely different animal or shall I say grain in itself. We will be doing some podcasts and videos and articles about flour. The different types, grinding it from scracth, buying, etc. very very soon. so hold tight. 

Remember homesteading is a peace of mind not a piece of land, and anyone can do it.

This is Janet Davis from Food Plus Freedom. 
Hang tight for the tip of the day.

Do you want to make your own vanilla bean extract? Well You can. All you need is at least 40% alcohol or 80 proof, 10 organic vanilla beans, 1.75ML of alcohol and time. Do not gip yourself on the time factor. As for alcohol, yes you can buy organic. You mihgt just need to look for it. If you choose a clear alcohol compared to a dark alcohol this will affect the coloring of the vanilla. My favorite is spiced rum, but you can use any type of alcohol you like providing it’s in a glass jar. Do not use alcohol in plastic containers. 

Slice your vanilla bean from top to bottom (length wise) in a half. Leave the beans and everything inside of the bean for the best flavor. You might have t take out a little bit of the alcohol to make them all fit. Drop all 20 halves into the alcohol, close the alcohol up, and set it in a dark cool area. Make sure you label your bottle with your start date and estimated end date. I’ve used vanilla made in this manner within 6 months, only because I was out. One year is perfect for my tastes, while a friend of mine likes 18 months. 

Cooking while drinking might take on whole new meaning with this vanilla bean. When it’s time to use the vanilla, either use 1/2 the recipe calls for or do half extract to water. 

Now you know! Until next time. 

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