We all cook each and every day. And as it becomes more of a habit, it is incredibly easy to end up in a rut when it comes to cooking. Many families end up cooking the same handful of meals again and again. When this happens, we sometimes don’t use our kitchen to its fullest potential. So how do you get the most out of cooking and your kitchen? Here are some of my favorite ingenious tips that can really change your ways in the kitchen!
Make It Easier On Your Feet
When we are working in the kitchen, there is usually a lot of standing. Sure, you could take a seat at the dining table while you peel and chop vegetables. But once things start cooking, you will have to be up at the hob to keep an eye on everything. Once you get to a certain age, you might find that all this standing can be quite hard on your back. There is a simple way to ensure that all this standing up doesn’t cause you aches and pains. One thing you can do to reduce the discomfort is to take regular breaks and sit down as often as you can. However, if you are cooking a dish that you need to give all your attention to, you might not be able to take a quick break. In this instance, you could always use an anti-fatigue kitchen mat. You can find out more information about them at websites such as www.amazon.com/Sky-Fatigue-Kitchen-Standing-Black/dp/B00M8O122G
Making The Most Out Of A Small Kitchen
If you have a small kitchen and don’t have much space, you could be put off from spending too much time cooking. If you are clever with your storage, you will find that you become a much more efficient cook while cooking. This can also help you cut down on clutter and mess in the kitchen. Once you have a neater kitchen, it will appear a lot more spacious. Movable islands are a great addition to diminutive kitchens. You can bring it out when you need it during cooking. Then, once it has been wiped down and cleaned, you can simply store it away again. Another super useful idea for smaller kitchens is to store all your infrequently used equipment out of the kitchen. You could store smart serving bowls and dishes in a display cabinet in your living room.
Get A Slow Cooker
Does cooking dinner after a long day at work get you down? It’s understandable that cooking will be the last thing on your mind after a busy day in the office. But it is still important to try and make a home cooked meal for your family. After all, this is the best way to be sure they are following a healthy diet. Thankfully, there is one way you can make a delicious meal with minimal effort. And that is by investing in a slow cooker. You can cook a variety of recipes using this amazing appliance. All you need to do is put in all the required ingredients in the morning before you leave for work. Turn it on just before you head out the door. Then, when you get in in the evening, you will have a hearty meal waiting for you and your family to tuck into! Many people think that slow cookers are only good for winter meals such as stews and casseroles. However, that isn’t the case. You can even use your slow cooker to cook light curries and soups!
Steam Your Veggies
Are your kids getting sick of you serving vegetables that have been over boiled and have turned to a wet mush? There is a very easy way to get around this problem. Steam your veggies rather than boil them! The vegetables will cook slowly so you don’t have to worry about them cooking for too long and turning too soft. Instead, you can serve crispy vegetables that also retain their taste. That isn’t the only advantage of steaming your greens. Cooking them this way also helps to retain all their nutrients that our bodies need. When you boil vegetables, have you ever noticed the cooking water turn green? Some vitamins and minerals also leak out of them when their color does. Meaning their nutritional value is significantly reduced. If you do need to cook your veggies by boiling, be sure just to blanch them very quickly. This will make sure they stay nice and crisp, and they will also hold on to most of their important nutrients.
Use Local Produce
When it comes to cooking, it is a good idea to stick to the idea of quality over quantity. Using quality ingredients in your cooking will make your food taste so much better than if you just stick to the cheapest options. It is also important to try and stick to locally grown produce. Fruit and vegetables that were grown close to you won’t have had to be transported for exceedingly long ways. This way, all the local produce you use will be very fresh and bursting with flavor. If you want to get the kids involved more in the kitchen and with cooking, why not take them foraging? You could spend the afternoon looking for berries in the surrounding countryside. Not only is this a great way for them to see exactly where their food comes from, but they will also get to spend a few hours running around outside. If you need some tips on foraging, check out websites like www.homesteading.about.com/od/Homestead-Garden-Orchard/fl/10-Wild-Food-Foraging-Tips.htm
Learn To Make Do With What You Have
If you forget to go shopping one day, you may get home to find that you don’t have obvious ingredients for a meal. But as long as you always have the basics in your kitchen and store cupboard, you should always have something you can use to whip up a quick meal. So it is very important that you learn to make do with what you have in the kitchen. Once you know how to make a meal out of the basics, you will be less likely to rely on takeouts quite so often. And this can save you a lot of money. It also means you won’t be eating fatty and sugary meals with excessive calories. So how can you cook a meal from just storecupboard basics? Make sure you have plenty of tinned food in the house. Tinned soups are quick meals, and you can always have beans on toast if you always have baked beans and bread in your kitchen. Try to always keep well stocked up with eggs, flour, and milk. These are important for a variety of quick meals. If you have these in your kitchen, you will find that you can quickly make dishes such as pancakes and scrambled eggs.
Always Season Food
Salt has got a bit of a bad reputation at the minute. There are many reports and articles that say if we eat too much salt in our diet, then we are putting our health at risk. While this is true, it is also true that our bodies require some salt. Especially if it is hot and we have been sweating a lot. But there are many people who are now worried about their salt intake and try to cut it out of their food altogether. And this means that many people now cook without seasoning their food. This can be bad for the flavor of meals and dishes. It is important that you season food while you cook it as it will help to bring out all the flavors of each ingredient in the dish. Just a sprinkle of salt and pepper should do it. If you are worried about the effects of salt on your health, be sure to use a high-quality sea salt. This is much more healthier than regular table salt.
Get Creative In The Kitchen
Way too many of us stick religiously to recipes we find on the Internet or in cookbooks. However, you shouldn’t feel that you need to stick so rigidly to each point you read. One of the main things that you shouldn’t feel you have to stick to is the oven temperature. After all, each oven and appliance will heat up slightly differently. And the temperature readers on each appliance might not be totally trustworthy. So feel free to change the temperatures slightly. Once you start playing a bit with the recipes, you might like to add your own extras. Eventually, you could even start to use these recipes for inspiration so that you can create your own meals and dishes. Once you get extremely confident in the kitchen, you might feel like you don’t need recipes at all. And you can create your own dishes totally spontaneously!
Once you start to follow these ingenious tips and methods, you will find that your cookery gets even better!