My Top 8 Healthy Cooking Hacks
I’ll admit that when it comes to cooking I could spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I love food and I love creating for client recipes and social media inspiration. But that doesn’t always mean I want to spend all of my time there. After long and intense days instructing, supporting clients and training, sometimes I want an easy route without compromising on healthiness, quality and taste.
So what can we do to make things a little easier?
A few pieces of well thought out equipment can make a huge difference to your cooking experience.
1. Good Quality Knives
It is perhaps a bit of a cliché, but there is a reason why every chef highlights the importance of good knives. Well, I’m no chef; but I can testify that getting a fab set of knives as a present has been a complete game changer! I’ll be honest here, good knives are not cheap, but if it’s the thought of chopping vegetables that keeps you out of the kitchen, then invest in at least one decent vegetable knife. And think about the cost in the same way you might with an expensive outfit in terms of cost per wear. You’ll be using the knife every day, and with decent care (don’t let it soak, and keep it sharpened every few months) it will last you for years.
For quick chopping (without the need for an extra board to wash) of meat, fish, poultry for stir fries etc, just use kitchen scissors to cut it into small pieces.
It never ceases to amaze me just how many kitchen gadgets there are for everything! If I only had the kitchen space…. In reality a few gadgets can make a real difference. Top of the list would be a decent blender and processor.
4. Mandolin Slicer
For finely slicing foods like cabbage to make coleslaw and stir fries, a mandolin slicer can make this a lot easier (even with a decent knife I find this to be much quicker). Thankfully these only cost a few pounds and can be stored in a cutlery drawer.
I’ll admit I am totally reliant on my freezer for cooking shortcuts, whether it’s pre-bought frozen ingredients, or my own recipes that I’ve frozen as a time saver for another day.
Unless you need some fresh looking herbs for garnish, frozen herbs, ginger, garlic and chilli can not only be a time saver (they are pre-chopped in packs); but also an economical choice. How often do you really use the whole pack of herbs that you buy, before you find it wilting and turning bad in the back of the fridge?
6. Frozen fruit
Unless you are making a freshly prepared fruit salad, or other dish, frozen fruit can be an ideal option for making smoothies, and other healthy treats. Usually frozen straight after picking, these often retain their nutrients better than their fresh counterparts, making them a healthier option too.
7. Ice cube trays
My ice cube trays rarely see water! I find them so useful to store those ingredients of which you only need a tiny amount in an actual recipe – things like coconut milk, fresh lime or lemon juice. The cubes themselves can help with measuring too. For example, I know that each cube holds 1 tbsp of liquid, so once I freeze them I don’t have to measure again.
Filling your trays also saves wastage once you have cooked a batch of homemade sauces, stocks, bone broth, pates or dips.
8. Frozen vegetables
Freezing your own vegetables to reheat is never going to work out well! However, things like onions can generally be frozen well once chopped. For example, if I need to chop ½ onion for a recipe, I’ll chop the rest, and save it to use in a salsa or sauce later.
Grated vegetables can also be frozen to add to soups, sauces and smoothies too.
Maybe some of these tips are things you are already doing, but hopefully this gives you a few ideas to try to help to take some of the hassle out of your healthy eating efforts. Happy cooking!