By Contributing Writer Brandy Ferguson

If you missed the first post in the Simple Steps to Begin Cooking Homemade series, we talked about some essential pantry staples that will help you get started cooking from scratch.

And this month, we’re discussing one of the most obvious, and probably one of our most favorite aspects of cooking homemade – baking!

I’d always loved to bake, and as we began to have children, I realized more and more the importance of using simpler ingredients.  Even if I made something with white flour, I still felt better about serving that than I did canned biscuits or pancakes made from a boxed mix that contained ingredients I couldn’t pronounce.

Over the years, I’ve replaced more and more packaged baked goods with healthier homemade versions. Baking from scratch does require a bit of planning ahead, and of course, a bit of prep work, but not only is it healthier, it can be a lot of fun!

Baked Goods to Make Instead of Buy

If you’re just beginning to bake from scratch, here are a few simple recipes to experiment with, instead of buying and using packaged mixes:

Pear Pecan Muffins

Healthier Pancakes

Pie Crust

Easy, Fluffy Biscuits

Whole Wheat Crackers

Organic Peanut Butter Cookies

Easy Pizza Dough

Fabulous Homemade Bread

Granola Energy Balls

Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies

Crunchy Oats and Honey Granola Bars

Pantry Staples to Help You Bake From Scratch

Other posts in the series:

Real Food Made Simple: A Beginner’s Guide to Eating Better

First Steps to Real Food

What Is Real Food?

Cutting Your Kitchen Prep Time in Half — Or More!

Confessions of a Formerly Picky Eater

How to Read Food Labels

The Grain Controversy: Should We Eat Them or Not?

Second Steps Towards Eating Real Foods: Switching Your Food Sources

Sweeteners: How They Affect You, Which Ones are Best, and How to Use Them

Simple Steps to Begin Cooking Homemade: Pantry Staples

5 Strategies to Help Your Husband and Kids Transition to Real Food 

7 Foods to Avoid

Finding Real Food in the Grocery Store

20 Easy Real Food Switches and Substitutions {with Free Printable Chart}

First Steps to Eating for Fertility

Keeping Costs Down in a Real Food Kitchen

Raising Kids on Real Food

5 Ways to Get More Fruits & Veggies into your Diet

Food Is Not Cheap: 4 Steps to Budgeting in Real Food

Simple Roast Chicken (And Fabulous Side Dish Recipes!)

17 Homemade Spice Mixes {with Recipes & Why You Should Use Them!}

5 Ways Green Living and Real Food are Connected

Simple Steps to Begin Cooking Homemade: Soups, Sauces, and Simple Dinners

Where are you on your real food journey?  Do you have a favorite recipe to share?

Natural Living Tip ~ Baking is nutritious and FUN!