While for some people cooking is a passion from which they source endless hours of enjoyment, for others, it’s something they dread and avoid at all costs. The reasons for this are many and varied, ranging from a lack of encouragement to cook while growing up to a simple lack of motivation after getting home from a long day of work. It can be even harder to find the motivation to cook at home and stay healthy over the holidays when you’re surrounded by so many quick and easy comfort foods.
No matter what your fitness goals are, home cooking with fresh ingredients is going to be superior to helping you reach them than ordering takeaway or buying microwaveable meals from your supermarket’s freezer section. The following will reveal 4 essential meal and kitchen preparation tips you can leverage to make home cooking less of a chore, and perhaps something that you actually look forward to doing!
Preparing simple ingredients ahead of time
A great time saver when you’re cooking at home is to prepare commonplace ingredients in advance so that you have them ready to go whenever you need them. For example, if you know that you are going to use carrot in a lot of your dishes, then you can chop them in bulk ahead of time and store them in the fridge for use throughout the week. The next time you’re making something like a healthy veggie and beef toss, your carrots will be already ready to throw in, and your meal will cook sooner.
Make large batches of food and store them in containers
If you don’t really care about preparing elaborate dishes every night and want the health benefits of home cooking, then you can try making simple but healthy meals and storing them in containers for access later on. Investing in a crockpot (slow cooker) can help with this, as they allow you to throw in a bunch of ingredients, set it for a slow cook over 6-8 hours, and then leave for work – you’ll come home to delicious smelling, ready-to-eat soup.
Simplify your supermarket trips
A lot of people admit that what turns them away from home cooking is the fact that they are confronted with so many different options when they enter a supermarket. Before most people even step foot inside the grocery store, they have already been confronted with lots of varying advertising for food options which can leave them overwhelmed about what they want to make for dinner.
Next time you go to the supermarket, go with a shopping list of ingredients you know you will actually use rather than browsing the aisles and making decisions with your gut. When you have a list and stick to it, you are less likely to end up feeling overwhelmed by your dinner options and will end up spending less money on items you don’t need.
Keep your kitchen clean and tidy
Of course, you won’t feel very motivated to cook when your cooking space looks like a disaster zone. Not only is a messy kitchen harder to work in – it’s also a health hazard in the form of loose objects people can trip on and bacteria-carrying insects that are attracted to food particles scattered around your floors and countertops.
Put some effort into cleaning up small spills and stains in the downtime while you wait for cooking steps to complete. If you have just made a mess preparing a pizza, then the time it takes to cook in the oven is perfect for wiping down your countertops and sweeping the floor.
Hopefully, you can use one or more of the above tips to make cooking at home that little bit easier for you!