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While you do your best to stick to your #cleaneatinggoals on a day-to-day basis, sometimes you can’t say no to a juicy, yummy sausage. Sadly, as convenient as it is to head to the nearest grocery store and stuff your cart with large packages of the meaty snack, off-the-shelf sausages contain all the wrong ingredients, from bad-for-you preservatives to cancer-causing toxins.
Wanna know the next best thing? Investing in a high-quality sausage maker and making your links at home. And yes, it may sound intimidating, but the effort could reward you in more ways than one. So, if you are still contemplating whether you need more homemade sausages in your life, these three reasons will make your choice much easier.
You Eat Healthier
Let’s be honest: Sausages were never considered a health food. But, not long ago, experts(1) took it a step further and found out that all processed meats, including your good old store-bought links, are carcinogenic to humans. The reason?
Prepackaged wursts contain a bunch of preservative substances known as nitrates and nitrites(2). Once inside the human body, these compounds convert into cancer-causing chemicals, posing a severe risk to your health. But, the story doesn’t end there.
Red meat sausages also contain a pigment known as haem(3). This naturally occurring nutrient stimulates the production of N-nitroso compounds (NOCs) which are known to increase the risk of both colon and gastric cancers.
Also, for the sake of long shelf life and flavor, manufacturing companies add lots of salt and fat to the mix, ruining the food’s quality even further. Of course, this is bad news not just for your waistline but also health since sodium(4) is linked to stomach cancer.
Given all these, homemade sausages pose as a healthier alternative as they contain zero additives and preservatives. In fact, making your own wursts means that you get to choose not just the type and quality of meat they’re made of but also the amount of salt and fat they contain.
This way you can significantly reduce the chances of munching on something unhealthy and sneaking carcinogenic substances inside your body. If you want to be sure that your DIY wursts are 100% healthy, you can also swap synthetic hog casings for organic ones.
You Save Money
Believe it or not, ditching the store-bought stuff and opting for the real deal could also save you a pretty penny down the line. You see, homemade links are made using just ground meat, the casings of your choice and a bunch of herbs/spices. All of these ingredients are very cheap when bought in bulk, minimizing the total cost.
On the other hand, prepackaged wursts come in small batches which are considerably overpriced compared to the same amount of links you can make at home. In fact, just one batch of 10 store-bought sausages costs well over 10-12$ (that’s about 1$ a piece) while the same amount of DIY wursts isn’t worth more than 4-5$ (that’s about 0.50$ per link).
You Eat Fresh
“Just how long have these sausages been sitting there before I bought them?” Chances are you’ve asked yourself this question more times than you can count. Unfortunately, most of the times, the answer to this question is not what a conscious eater would like to hear. So, if eating fresh is important to you, swapping the prepackaged stuff with the homemade version is a no-brainer. In fact, making links at home allows you to control just how fresh the ingredients are, reducing the likelihood of consuming something that’s well past its expiration date.
You Have More Flavor Options
Since you’ll be the one choosing what goes inside your sausages, you can also experiment with new flavors and ingredient combinations. That means you can add anything from aromatic herb blends to veggies and fruits and come up with different versions of your favorite meaty snack every time. Talk about a party in your mouth!
It’s true that small lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in our health and wallet. Τurning your back to preservative-laden sausages could be a powerful first step. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should eliminate the meaty snack from your diet altogether because you can always make some at home. Αnd trust us; the benefits are plenty, from sparing yourself the toxic ingredients to spending less on groceries. So, if you are ready to reap them, this beginner-friendly guide is just the thing to get you started.