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Platers Blog

How to Calculate the Price of Homemade Desserts

When you make desserts for Platers, one of the most difficult tasks is figuring out how to price it out. It is important to determine if you are making a return on your investment. To help you out, we put together some recommendations on how to price out your delicious sweet treats.

What to consider when setting your price

We’ve listed out some important factors that you need to take into consideration before settling on a price. 

Ingredients: Think of all the ingredients that you use for your dessert such as salt, sugar, flour, vanilla extract or pieces of fruit. When you buy an ingredient, the entire package or content may not be needed. Knowing that, it is important to figure out the cost of what you actually use when you make your dessert.

Example: You bought 24 eggs at the supermarket and paid $6.00 but only used 8 eggs in your cake. To calculate the cost, multiply the amount you used by the total price you paid. Then divide that result by the total units in the package: (8 x $6.00) / 24 = $2.00

 INGREDIENT QUANTITY UNIT PRICE COST
 Eggs 8 pcs 24 pcs $6.00$2.00

This way, you can get an idea of the cost for each ingredient that you used.

Labor: Learn how to value your labor. The amount of effort that goes into making a carrot cake is not the same as making a chocolate fudge cake. Each cake can take up different amounts of time, requires different skills, talent and techniques. Only you can determine how much you should charge. We suggest that you don’t forget to include labor costs in your final price of your product.

Operating expenses: When making desserts we use utilities such as gas, electricity, water and sometimes the internet! Factor in how much you’re using when you’re making your products and incorporate that usage into your final price.

Profit: Again, this is another element that only you can determine. We recommend a profit between 30% and 40% of your total. However, if you are just starting out in the business, it may be less. Some factors to consider are: the competition in your area, the experience you have making desserts and if you have had any professional training. 

All the factors that we listed are important to help you determine a price for your final product. Now it’s time to get down to work and delight your customers with desserts full of love!

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Source: Savorly

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Recipes

Simple Keto Bread

The best part about this recipe is that it’s simple, and once you have it down, you can replicate this keto bread recipe any time you want. It’s so nice to have a loaf of bread at your disposal when you’re on a keto diet. It almost feels like cheating. 

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes 
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes 
  • Total Time: 40 minutes 
  • Calories per serving: 90kcal

Ingredients

What You Need:

  • ▢8×4 Loaf Pan

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cup Almond Flour
  • 6 Large eggs Separated
  • 1/4 cup Butter melted
  • 3 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar It’s ok if you don’t have this
  • 1 pinch Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 6 drops Liquid Stevia optional

Instructions

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Add Cream of Tartar to the whites and beat until soft peaks are achieved.
  3. In a food processor combine the egg yolks, 1/3 of the beaten egg whites, melted butter, almond flour, baking powder and salt (Adding ~6 drops of liquid stevia to the batter can help reduce the mild egg taste). Mix until combined. This will be a lumpy thick dough until the whites are added.
  4. Add the remaining 2/3 of the egg whites and gently process until fully incorporated. Be careful not to overmix as this is what gives the bread it’s volume!
  5. Pour mixture into a buttered 8×4 loaf pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Check with a toothpick to ensure the bread is cooked through. Enjoy! 1 loaf makes 20 slices.

Notes

How do I get my loaf to be taller and fluffier?

The two major issues that will lead to a flat loaf is not whipping the egg whites and gently folding them in OR using almond meal instead of a finely ground almond flour. If you’ve tried everything and they don’t seem to be working for you, the next option will be to make a larger recipe. Try making 1.5x this recipe (it’s easy to do using the servings slide bar) and you’ll have a much larger loaf.

Trick

One of the tricks in this recipe that takes this keto bread from good to great is the separation of the eggs. You’re going to want to separate the yolks and the whites. The reason for this is that we’re going to whip the whites until they are fluffy. We’re looking for soft peaks.

Happy Keto Diet!

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Source: Ketoconnect

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Platers Blog

Start Your Homemade Food Business in Alberta

Under Alberta’s new regulations in 2020, Albertans can sell low risk home prepared foods without requiring a permit, commercial kitchen, or routine inspection! Finally!

What are Low Risk Foods?

Better No-Knead Bread Recipe | Serious Eats

Low-risk foods are shelf-stable such as; bread, biscuits, cereals, cookies, honey pies, pickled vegetables, dried fruits, popcorn and cakes (not cream or cheesecakes). Whole fresh fruits and vegetables are also classified as lower risk. Such foods are unlikely to be implicated in food poisoning and include:

  • foods that have been preserved, for example; jams, jellies, fruit preserves
  • dry goods, those that contain minimal amounts of moisture, such as; bread, flour, biscuits, dried spice blends,
  • acidic foods, for example; pickled foods, vinegar, fruit 
  • foods with high sugar/fat content for example; candies and chocolates

Home-based Food Business Foods with high value, and a long shelf-life.

Sauces, but only those that can be produced in the home kitchen. Hot sauce, barbecue sauce, mustard, vinegar, cooked salsa, ketchup, relish. Do you see a theme here? Condiments. Products that complement and bring flavour and zing to the mundane. Everybody’s looking for flavour! Baked goods top the low risk food list for sales in high traffic locations. Here are a few more popular low risk food selections.

  • Candy, such as brittle, toffee and exotic chocolates.
  • Chocolate-covered nonperishable foods, such as nuts and dried fruits.
  • Dried fruit.
  • Dried pasta.
  • Dry baking mixes.
  • Granola, cereals, and trail mixes.
  • Jams, jellies, preserves, and fruit butter that comply with cottage food standards.
  • Vinegar and mustard.
  • Roasted coffee and dried tea.
  • Dried or Dehydrated vegetables.
  • Dried vegetarian-based soup mixes.
  • Ground chocolate, or chocolate blends used in cooking and baking.

Getting Started With Your Business

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Categories
Recipes

Crispy Potato Bruschetta

The Platers team made this recipe a few weeks ago and have been eating it ever since. It is the perfect appetizer and our new favourite bruschetta. Even though we can’t get together for New Years, we will be making, and eating, this over zoom tonight! Substituting for bread will even help soak up some of the champagne!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes 
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes 
  • Total Time: 45 minutes 
  • Yield: 30 potato rounds

Ingredients

For the potatoes

  • 2 large (500 g total) Russet potatoes (unpeeled)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) grapeseed oil or virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt

For the avocado- tomato topping

  • 2 medium (7 g) garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup (15 g) lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cups (344 g/12-ounces) grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • 1 large (240 g) ripe avocado

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220ºC) and line an extra-large (or 2 medium) baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.
  2. With a sharp knife, slice the potatoes into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Make sure they’re not any thinner than that, or they might not be sturdy enough to pick up with your hands and the edges will burn more easily while cooking.
  3. Place the rounds into the centre of one baking sheet in a mound. Toss with the oil until all sides of the rounds are fully coated. Spread into a single layer, spacing them a 1/2-inch apart. Sprinkle liberally with salt.
  4. Roast the potatoes for 25 to 35 minutes (I do 30), flipping once halfway through baking, until tender and golden brown in some spots. I prefer these slightly overcooked so they’ll crisp up a bit around the edges.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the topping. In a large food processor, mince the garlic and basil until finely chopped. Add the tomatoes and pulseonly 10 to 14 timesuntil the tomatoes are chopped into almond- and pea-sized pieces. Remove the bowl, take out the blade and set aside, and stir in the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Set aside to marinate.
  6. Five minutes before the potatoes are ready, dice the avocado very small into almond-sized pieces. Fold the diced avocado into the tomato mixture. Taste and stir in more salt if desired. The mixture will look quite juicy/watery, but this is normal!
  7. After removing the potatoes from the oven, add another generous sprinkle of salt on top. Add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon avocado-tomato mixture onto a fork and strain out the juices by tapping the inside of the bowl. Place the strained mixture onto the centre of a potato round and repeat this process for the rest of the rounds.
  8. Serve immediately, directly from the baking sheet(s)I find serving from the baking sheet keeps them warmer, but if you prefer you can transfer the rounds to a platter before adding the topping. If the potatoes sit they will soften and lose their crispness, so I don’t recommend letting them sit around for longer than 10 minutes (usually not a problem in this house!). If you have any avocado-tomato mixture leftover feel free to polish it off with some tortilla chips!

Notes

  1. Potato lost crispiness? Should your potatoes become soft from sitting for too long, these reheat well on a sauté pan, preheated over medium heat, for 1 to 2 minutes. This results in slightly browned bottoms and revives the firm texture without affecting the toppings.

Do you have a recipe you would like to share with other cooks? Please submit your recipe Here!

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Source: Oh She Glows

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Platers Blog

9 Simple Steps to Keep Your Home Kitchen Clean

Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘A clean home is a happy home?’ Well this phrase especially applies to the heart of the home, better known as the kitchen. Whether you’re cooking for your loved ones or cooking for hungry customers who ordered from your menu on the Platers App, maintaining a clean kitchen is the single most important part of your preparation process. Good kitchen hygiene ensures that people can enjoy your delicious food while remaining happy, healthy, and worry-free — which is the key to keeping your customers coming back for more. 

Ready to learn how to keep your kitchen clean while cooking delicious meals for your home-based restaurant? You’ve come to the right place!  Here are 9 simple hacks to keep your kitchen squeaky clean as you prepare meals.

Person Washing Hands Before Cooking

Step #1: Wash Hands Frequently

This step goes without saying, but it’s so important that it can’t be skipped over! The most fundamental way to keep your kitchen AND your food clean is by washing your hands frequently while you cook. Before you begin prepping your ingredients, wash your hands for 30 seconds according to the guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Keep your hands clean throughout your cooking process by washing your hands after touching raw ingredients. Also wash your hands after any activity that requires you to touch other items including smoking, eating, drinking, touching trash, or touching body parts including your face. Germs linger everywhere even in unexpected places, so washing before and after you touch items throughout your home ensures that you keep your kitchen clean as you prepare tasty meals for your customers.

Pro Tip: We know it’s hard to stop scrolling, but you can keep your hands extra clean by minimizing phone use while cooking. Phones hold more gems than almost any other item we use in our day to day lives.

Keeping a Clean Kitchen

Step #2: Create a clean cooking space

There’s nothing like the feeling of creating a tasty meal in a clean kitchen! It gives you the physical AND the mental space to get creative with your meals, plus it ensures that everything your food touches is squeaky clean and germ-free. Before you begin cooking wash any dirty dishes, clear away any clutter, and wipe down your countertops and sink thoroughly. You can use sanitary wipes or bleach diluted in water to disinfect any surfaces — both options work just fine! 

Pro Tip: To keep your kitchen clean while cooking, have your go-to cleaning products and sanitary supplies close by so that you can tidy up as you go. Make sure to reset your space by cleaning up any sticky spills after prepping each ingredient to prevent any cross-contaminations or spreading of germs.  

Clean Wooden Kitchen Utensils

Step #3: Sanitize Your Cooking Utensils

Your cooking utensils are some of the most important tools you’ll use in the kitchen, which makes it all the more important for them to be sanitized before they touch any food you’ll be preparing. Before you get to cooking, sanitize your cooking utensils by washing any dishes, pots, and pans and detachable pieces such as blades or handles in hot soapy water. Rinse them in clean water to remove any excess soap or residue, then place your items in a container and submerge them in a sanitizing solution. You can create your own solution by mixing 1 tablespoon unscented chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of warm (not hot) water. Remove your utensils from the solution and let them dry fully before using them to cook. Also, no double-dipping! Do not reuse the same utensils while cooking unless you thoroughly clean them first — especially if you are the designated taste tester.

Pro Tip: Use a different cutting board for the different categories of food you work with so that you never cross-contaminate. This is not only important for sanitation, but it is important to prevent cross-contamination that can cause your customers to become sick or have allergic reactions. We recommend purchasing a pack of color-coded cutting boards to ensure that you never cut up your meat and vegetables on the same board.

Tidy Dry Goods Stored in Pantry

Step #4: Use Best Practices for Washing & Storing Ingredients

Now that your cooking area and utensils are clean, it’s time to make sure the ingredients you’ll be cooking with are clean too. Fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables should be washed under cold running tap water. DO NOT use soap or detergent to wash your produce — cold water works just fine to safely remove dirt. Once your produce is clean, cut any damaged or bruised areas and refrain from using them since bacteria can thrive in these areas of fresh produce. Wash and chop your produce, then immediately place it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh and safe to eat.

After all the hard work you’ve done to clean your kitchen, you wouldn’t want it all to go to waste by spreading even more germs in the process, right? According to the USDA, it is not recommended to wash raw poultry and meat because bacteria can easily spread to other foods utensils and surfaces.  The best way to keep your meat bacteria-free is to simply cook it at a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F. This is also the best way to maintain the highest kitchen sanitation standards by preventing the spread of food-borne bacteria from splashing over different surfaces where you typically prepare meals.

Step #5: Keep Your Prep & Cooking Space Dry at All Times

Damp areas in your kitchen are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to spread, so do not let wet items sit around for too long. Wipe up any spills or messes made while you’re cooking as soon as they happen. Instead of using sponges and towels so frequently, consider using disposable paper towels or wipes. 

Also remember to disinfect your hand towels and sponges weekly. You can throw your kitchen towels into the washing machine with your laundry. To clean your sponges, saturate them in water and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, then dry thoroughly. Or you can soak your sponges in bleach or vinegar to disinfect them before rinsing them out.

Step #6: Handle the disposal of waste and garbage properly

Cooking can easily become a messy task that leads to the accumulation of tons of trash — especially when you’re cooking for a large number of people. Don’t let your garbage pile up on you while you cook! Keep separate disposal methods handy for the different types of garbage you’ll create: one for cans or bottles such as a recycling bin, and one for scraps of food such as a compost bowl.  This will help you skip multiple steps during your post-cleanup routine and it will lower the risk of any potential cross-contamination of bacteria.

Woman Taking Baked Cookies Out of the Oven

Step #7: Be aware of recommended cooking times for all ingredients

When cooking for customers of your home kitchen, adhering to all recommended cooking times for ingredients, especially raw foods, is essential to kitchen sanitation. Cooking times aren’t only important because they ensure that your meals are fully cooked and ready to eat, they’re also important because they ensure that the ingredients have been cooked long enough to kill any bacteria or germs. 

Thaw foods by using the refrigerator, microwave, oven, or by placing sealed packages in cold running water. Do not thaw food on your kitchen counter under any circumstances. The outer layers of the food will warm before the inside thaws, and bacteria will grow and spread in these conditions. 

If you can’t serve your food immediately once it is hot and fresh out of the oven, put it in the fridge or freezer as soon as it’s cooled or within 2 hours of preparation.

Step #8: Keep Your Meal Packaging Sanitary

Since your customers will be picking up their tasty meals to go, you want to make sure their food stays clean and germ-free from beginning to end! Before you pack their meals in your preferred packaging, thoroughly sanitize and dry them. Similar to your cooking utensils, you can sanitize your meal packaging by washing them in hot soapy water. Rinse them in clean water to remove any excess soap or residue, then let them dry fully before packing your meal orders. For the safest meal packaging options for your to-go orders use new, disposable packaging such as biodegradable and compostable food packaging items to minimize single use plastic or styrofoam waste and stay eco-friendly. You can google several companies offering multiple biodegradable container options in bulk such as Be Green Packaging

Woman Writing Kitchen Cleaning Schedule in Notebook

Step #9: Have a Cleaning calendar for overall kitchen maintenance

Prepping your kitchen to cook will always require some additional time, but you can make this process a bit easier for yourself by creating a regular routine for cleaning different parts of your kitchen. 

 A cleaning schedule is essential for your home-based restaurant because it ensures all food preparation areas are kept clean and sanitized at all times. It also creates a simple and easy reference for everything that needs to be done to keep each area of the kitchen clean. 

To create a cleaning schedule, walk through your kitchen and make a list of all the items that need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Include everything from pots, pans, and equipment to walls, floors, and doorknobs. Once you have everything listed, take notes on how it is cleaned, how often it needs to be cleaned, and what materials are needed to clean it. Break this list down into daily, weekly, and monthly tasks and add this schedule to your phone so you can always make sure that your kitchen is nice and clean before preparing meals for your customers.

Proper sanitary practices have always been important but amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become even more essential for the food industry to gain the trust of their customers by taking the utmost care to create the safest and healthiest experience possible. Follow these simple kitchen cleaning steps to keep your cooking space squeaky clean so your customers can enjoy your tasty food without the fear of catching germs! If you have any questions about the best kitchen cleaning practices, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at the Platers – we’d be happy to help! 

Source: HomeMade App

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Platers Blog

Studies Show Homemade Food is Healthier

A Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research study shows that people who frequently cook meals at home eat healthier and consume fewer calories than those who cook less.  Researchers evaluated more than 9,000 meals prepared at home.  On average, homemade meals contain more vegetables, less carbohydrates, and less fat than any other meal.  Study researchers also concluded that people who eat homemade food also go less often to fast food chains.  According to Julia A. Wolfson, the main author of the study, these conclusions apply even when the person who is cooking isn’t trying to lose weight.

Similarly, research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific 2015 revealed that people who ate about two homemade lunches or dinners each day (or 11 – 14 meals per week) had a 13%t lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to those who ate less than six homemade meals a week.

So why is homemade food so much better?

We all know that cooking our own food, or cutting back at eating out at restaurants is a healthy habit to build.. but why?  Well there are several factors that play info it, namely:

  • Hidden Calories, Fat & Sodium in Restaurant Food
    Restaurants utilize various techniques to add flavor to their food, such as incorporating butter, cream, sugar or sodium to enhance flavors in their dishes, which as a result, adds extra unnecessary calories, saturated fat and cholesterol to meals.  Furthermore, to keep food costs low, some restaurants will utilize highly-processed ingredients in their recipes, such as low-quality oils or high-fructose corn syrup.Data shows that adults consume an additional 200 calories on days they eat at a restaurant.  The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) studied data from over 12,000 adults between the ages of 20 and 64, from 2003 to 2010.  Study participants visited fast food and full-service restaurants on two consecutive days.  On days the participants ate at a restaurant, data consistently showed an increase in caloric intake, saturated fat, sugar, and sodium.
  • Homemade uses Simple & Natural Ingredients
    Homemade recipes utilize a simple array of ingredients, that are natural, such as fresh vegetables, and minimally processed.  Additionally, processed foods contain artificial preservatives, to keep the food tasting better for a longer period of time. This great infographic below (courtesy of http://www.lchef.com/) depicts just how complicated and unnatural eating processed foods can be:
  • Homemade is local and fresh
    You probably hear the mantras of ‘eating local’ or ‘farm to table’ movements all around you, but why is it so important?  Is it actually a thing?  Turns out YES… there are nutritional benefits behind eating locally sourced and locally prepared food.  Restaurants typically source their ingredients from large food distributors who provide products in bulk, and thus the wholesalers themselves are purchasing huge lots of these items from sources all around the world.  These products can take long trips, with many warehouse stops on the way, to actually get into the meal you order at the restaurant.  Purchasing ingredients at the grocery store can still get you products that have been imported, but at least the time from when a homecook takes their groceries home and utilizes them in a meal are typically less than compared to a restaurant setting.On a similar note, restaurants typically prep the main components of their dishes early in the morning, before actual opening hours, and just ‘assemble’ or heat items when a customer places an order.  For example, the vegetables to be used that week can be sliced and diced 6-8 hours before they are even used in a dish.  This causes immediate oxidation of the vegetable / fruit, leading to depletion of its antioxidant and vitamin levels.

At Platers, we take trust and safety very seriously. Although cooks on our platform are ultimately responsible for food safety, they are vetted by the Platers team and are held to high standards. Platers has created its own approval process that each cook must complete before they can offer food on the platform.

Our team understand the importance of providing homemade, natural, and wholesome food options, and helping busy families incorporate these healthy habits into their schedules.  We also understand that not everyone has the luxury of time, or talent, to cook their owns meals everyday. Let Platers approved home cooks & bakers help you experience a revolutionary way of dining.

Are you a talented cook? Apply and become a Plater.

Source: Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dishdivvy

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