Nebraska Prairie Fast Food

Fast Food?

Now, really did you think the Nebraska Prairie Girl would do a blog post on fast food?   Seriously,  the only fast food we have around here is when a chicken or goat is being chased by a predator;  now that is really fast food.    We do have chicken nuggets but they come in a box in the mail and look something like this.
And our milk shakes are when our freshened goats(in milk)  take off running. 

The closest fast food restaurant to us is about 40 minutes away.   The closet grocery store is 45 minutes away.   Here on the Nebraska Prairie, if you run out of something you cannot just run to the grocery store.    You learn to stock up, and make do with what you have on hand.   You learn to make many of your food items from scratch.    I am very careful about what I feed my family.  No artificial colors or flavors, preservatives, sweeteners,  etc.    (This is very easy when you make everything from scratch.)

Below are a few examples of healthy alternatives made from scratch.

Ranch Dressing

1 cup mayo
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. parsley or dill
1/2 tsp. sea salt , pepper, garlic powder, and paprika

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with wire whisk.

 If you want to make a true batch of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, here is your ingredient list.
Vegetable oil, egg yolk, sugar, salt, buttermilk, spices, garlic, onion, vinegar, phosphoric acid, xanthan gum, modified food starch, MSG, artificial flavors, disodium phosphate, sorbic acid, calcium disodium EDTA, disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate.

I do not know about you, but I sure do not have any of the highlighted ingredients in my pantry .

Homemade Pancake and Waffle Syrup

1 cup brown sugar or sucanat
1 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla or natural maple flavoring
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
Mix all the ingredients in a sauce pan, heat until the syrup begins to slowly boil and sugar dissolves.

Here are the ingredients for Maple Syrup off of the store shelf.   Yum!
High fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water, salt, cellulose gum, molasses, potassium sorbate (preservative), sodium hexametaphosphate, citric acid, caramel color, natural and artificial flavors.
The only things on this list that I have in my pantry are molasses, salt and water.  I think I will stick to my recipe.

Guess what the ingredients listed below are from?

Gelatin, Adipic Acid  (for Tartness), Disodium Phosphate  (Control Acidity), Maltodextrin  (from Corn), Cranberry Juice Solids, Fumaric Acid  (for Tartness), Contains Less than 2% of Natural Flavor, Aspartame  (Phenylketonurics Contains Phenylalanine), and Acesulfame Potassium  (Sweeteners), Salt, Blue 1, Red 40


Here is my Jello recipe:

Knox gelatin

That is it, nothing more. Well, unless I add fruit.   Making Jello from scratch does not take any more time than making Jello brand Jello from the box.   And it tastes even better, says my family.

So, when planning your menus for the holidays look at ingredient labels. Choose wisely and give your family the gift of a  healthy preservative free diet.

Happy Holidays

Nebraska Prairie Girl


  1. Thanks for putting up the syrup recipe. I have pancakes and biscuits as my ULTIMATE comfort food (I actually know how to make buttermilk biscuits from scratch!) and I think the syrup will really kick them up to a whole new level.


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