Good nutrition is difficult to maintain without having some skills in the kitchen. Whether you’re learning to cook or looking for time-saving kitchen tips, you’ll find this post as the perfect guide for getting started. Once you learn the basics of cooking, you’ll have the tools to continue creating delicious meals for the rest of your life. Although it takes time and willingness to try new things, the end result is well-worth the effort.
Create a weekly menu and grocery list at the beginning of each week so that eating healthy becomes an easy part of your routine. Be sure to include days you’ll need a packed lunch and meals you’ll be dining out. With a weekly menu in place, it’s much easier to eat healthily, prevent food waste and even save money.
Half the battle of eating healthy is to have nutritious foods on hand. Prepare yourself by stocking your fridge, freezer, and pantry with healthy ingredients so you can whip up something delicious in minutes. If you have it on hand, you’re more likely to eat it. The same goes for junk food, so don’t buy it!
Keep it Simple
Cooking doesn’t need to be complicated or intimidating. You don’t have to be Rachel Ray to work your way around the kitchen. Learn a few easy go-to recipes and everything else will seem even easier to pick up.
Sharpen Your Knife
A sharp knife results in less injury, faster results, and better food. Your knife should be sharp enough to slice through a piece of paper. If your knife is dull, sharpen it with a sharpener, such as AccuSharp.
You’re not going to become a master chef after making one meal. Repetition is key to learning any new skill. It’s important to learn from, and appreciate, your mistakes by keeping notes of what worked and what didn’t. With plenty of practice, you’ll begin to cook more delicious foods frequently.
Prep and cook food in batches or double the recipe so you have plenty of leftovers. Cook once and eat for 4 meals to save time. For example, if you’re roasting a chicken, add sweet potatoes, cauliflower, winter squash, or mini quiches. With a little creativity, you can spruce up those leftovers for more variety.
A high-speed blender and an Instant Pot make mealtime a painless feat. A blender is ideal for quick and easy meals on-the-go. An Instant Pot is perfect for making an entire meal that awaits you after a long day.
Get your family and friends involved. Cooking is a great way to spend time together and work as a team to create a dish everyone can enjoy. Getting kids involved is a great way to breakthrough picky eating habits.
Many supermarkets have healthier pre-made entrees, side dishes, salads, soups, rotisserie chicken, nitrate-free deli meats, sustainable seafood. You can also buy pre-cut or frozen produce to save on prep time.
Strike it Hot
An improperly heated cooking surface can mess up cooking times, cause foods to cook unevenly and be a pain to clean. Take the time to preheat your skillet, broiler, oven, grill, etc. before adding food. A skillet requires about 5 minutes over medium heat, the broiler takes 5 minutes and the grill takes 5-15 minutes. The oven will beep when it has reached proper temperature.
Heat Oil Briefly
Prevent overheating oils by choosing heat stable fats and avoid preheating your skillet with oil in it. Discard any oil that has smoked and thoroughly wipe out the skillet before using it again. Oil that has reached its smoking point becomes rancid and loses beneficial nutrients such as vitamin E.
Let Food Lie
Stirring food prevents flavorful browning, making your meal mushy and bland. Refrain from stirring unless instructed and your food will brown nicely.
Give Some Space
Give ingredients space to allow moisture, such as the water naturally occuring in foods, to evaporate. An overcrowded skillet slows down the cooking process by cooling the temperature of the skillet. If you run out of room, cook in batches and consider a different cooking method for next time.
Let Meat Rest
No matter how much you’re drooling, don’t cut into that mouth-watering meat until it’s had a chance to rest for at least 10 minutes. Slicing too soon results in a loss of juices and unevenly cooked pieces. Allow the meat to finish and the juices to redistribute before pulling out the knife.
Use Safe Utensils
Replace metal cooking utensils with wooden or silicone. Metal utensils scratch the cookware, which can flake off into your food.