Everyday Cheapskate: Score With Homemade Healthy Snacks
With the Super Bowl coming up soon, hearty snacks seem to be the order of business. But store-bought snacks can blow the budget, and mystery ingredients can blow a healthy diet. What's a football fan to do? Make your own sweet and savory snacks with today's fun recipes.
If you love beef jerky -- the ultimate treat for family outings, sporting events, hiking trips and school lunches -- I'm certain you're not fond of the high price. At the typical supermarket, it's not exactly a cheap treat. Instead, make your own jerky for less than $3 a pound. You don't need a fancy food dehydrator (although if you have one, get it out).
1 pound of very lean beef -- a cheap cut like chuck, round or London broil
Jerky marinade (recipe follows)
Start by trimming all visible fat from the lean beef. Place in freezer until firm and solid, but not rock hard. Using a sharp knife, cut across the grain, making sure slices are as thin as you can possibly make them -- about 1/8-inch thick. Place strips in a large zip-type plastic bag or a large baking dish. Prepare one of the marinades below, and pour the liquid over the strips. Close the bag tightly, or cover the dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or for at least eight hours. Knead the bag occasionally to distribute the marinade evenly, or turn the meat strips if you are using a dish.
Preheat oven to 140 F. Remove meat from the marinade, and place the strips on a cake rack over a cookie sheet in the oven. Make sure they are not touching so that air circulates around each strip. Dry in the closed oven until strips begin to splinter on the edges, 18 to 24 hours, or longer as necessary. Or, if you have a dehydrator, follow the manufacturer's instructions. Cool completely before wrapping lightly with plastic wrap.
Notes: Jerky will keep in a tightly covered container for two to four weeks.
TRADITIONAL BEEF JERKY MARINADE
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce