You probably know that preparing your own food is a great way to eat healthier and lose weight. If you love to cook, that’s an added bonus. If you’re uncomfortable in the kitchen, it can be difficult to stop relying on dining out.
That’s especially true if you grew up without many culinary role models, and now you think it’s too late to learn. On the other hand, you might be eager to bake cookies and fry bacon, but you draw a blank about what to do with asparagus and brown rice.
The truth is healthy cooking can be a lot of fun. Try these suggestions for changing the way you eat and enjoying the process.
How to Make Healthy Cooking Easier:
It’s natural to feel frustrated if you have to look up half the words in a recipe or run to the store for missing ingredients. You’ll be happy to hear that there are many quick and simple ways to make healthy cooking faster than takeout.
Try these techniques:
- Organize your kitchen. If you can’t afford expensive renovations, there are still many things you can do to make your space more efficient. Put your essentials within easy reach and install racks to expand your cabinet storage.
- Check your equipment. Some basic tools can speed up meal preparations. Keep your knives sharp. Invest in a slow cooker and a food processor that fits your budget.
- Stock up on staples. Fill your pantry and freezer with ingredients you use frequently. That may include olive oil, tomato paste, and flour.
- Cook in batches. Shorten your cooking time by preparing multiple servings and freezing the leftovers. You can heat them up later for quick dinners.
- Play music. Research shows that music can make any task seem more effortless. Turn on the radio or invent your own playlists.
- Minimize clean up. Does your kitchen look like a disaster area when you’re through? Prevent messes by using parchment paper and spoon rests. Soak dishes as you go along or load them into your dishwasher.
How to Make Healthy Cooking More Social:
Food is even more delicious when you share it with others. Invite your family and friends to join you.
Use these strategies to combine cooking with socializing:
- Take a class. Check the calendar at local cooking schools or browse online for courses at Udemy or BBC Food. Encourage your partner to join you or surprise them with what you learn.
- Teach your kids. Healthy cooking is one of the most important life skills you can nurture in your children. You’ll be teaching them habits that support a longer and more active life.
- Post your creations. Take photos of your prized creations. You deserve to show off a little.
- Write a book. Assemble an album of your personal recipes. Add pictures and stories to make it more personal.
- Send gifts. Homemade food can be a thoughtful and affordable present for any occasion. Bake and decorate low sugar cakes for birthday parties. Hand out bags of chocolate dusted almonds for wedding favors.
- Throw a party. Entertain in style without having to pay a caterer. Depending on your skills, you can arrange a fish taco night or take your turn hosting a formal Thanksgiving dinner.
- Prioritize family meals. Try to sit down with your family for at least one meal a day to share conversation and wholesome food. If dinner is difficult to coordinate, gather for breakfast.
With a little practice and creativity, you can enjoy making your own nutritious meals and snacks. In addition to eating healthier, you’ll save money, and create more opportunities to spend quality time with your loved ones.