Recipes from World War II : 17 “Cooking on the Homefront” Recipes

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17 Recipes fromWhen I was growing up, some of my favorite things that my grandma would whip up in the kitchen were the things she remembered from her childhoodthe era of World War II. Because of rations imposed during the war, those who remained on the home front were encouraged to cut back on certain things. Then-president, Theodore Roosevelt, established the U.S. Food Administration to help make food and resources last until the end of the war.

The recipes that came from this era were usually very simple and straightforward. It was during this time that “Meatless Mondays” and “Wheatless Wednesdays” were created, and people were forced to rethink the way they ate for the greater good. Rations on sugar, wheat, and meat were the strictest. There were also rations on coffee, which sounds like my worst nightmare.

Money was tight, so recipes became budget-friendly and often had very few ingredients. Their ingenuity paid off, and they created some genuinely amazing recipes in the process. My personal favorite is a recipe for brown bread, made with molasses instead of granulated sugar, that has remained in my family for generations.

Quick Mushrooms in Sour Cream SauceRecipes for Meatless Monday

Meatless Mondays were one of the biggest ways that people helped save food for the war effort. My family still does meatless Mondays every now and then.

Wartime Macaroni and Cheese Copycat

Just Like Amy’s Lentil Soup

Quick Mushrooms in Sour Cream Sauce

Meatless Lasagna Primavera

BONUS: 4-Ingredient No-Chicken Bouillon

Copycat Cracker Barrel Beef StewOld-Fashioned Soups, Stews, and Sides

Soups and stews were another way that some people cut back. They were easy to make, often required only a few ingredients, and they could feed a whole family.

Copycat Cracker Barrel Beef Stew

Poor Man’s Stew Recipe

Vintage Frank and Bean Casserole

Copycat Pioneer Woman’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Old-Fashioned Friendship Bread RecipeBudget Friendly Foods

For women whose husbands were away in the war, budgeting became a harsh reality of everyday life. These recipes were the ones they used to make every dollar count.

Old-Fashioned Friendship Bread Recipe

Copycat Stouffer’s Chicken and Rice Bake

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries Copycat

5-Ingredient Luby’s Grits

Ruby Tuesday’s White Cheddar Smashed Potatoes

Momofuku-Inspired ShortbreadSweet Treats Without the Sugar

Some of the strictest wartime rations were on sugar, which meant that people had to cut back on sweet treats. However, if you had an insatiable sweet tooth like I do, there were ways around it. Honey and molasses were often used in place of sugar to sweeten desserts.

Outback Black Bread Copycat

Perfect Homemade Graham Crackers

Momofuku-Inspired Shortbread

What wartime recipes has your family kept? Let us know below in the comments!


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