With all the research that’s been done on the effect of food on our health, it’s obvious that paying attention to what we eat has never been more important than it is today. Healthy eating starts with healthy cooking. It’s the little decisions that make a big difference in making your homecooked food healthy. When you pull out your ceramic non stick pans, maybe you’ll opt for sautéeing your veggies in extra virgin olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Maybe you’ll season the chicken breast you’re putting into the oven with fresh herbs instead of salt.
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Homecooked meals shouldn’t just be tasty, but they should also be nutritious for your body. We at Caraway are here today to show you how to do both, with the emphasis being on cooking in a way that is good and nutritious for our bodies. We’ve compiled a list of five ideas for healthier cooking, so to learn how to transform your cooking, keep on reading.
Make a Meal Plan
You won’t be able to cook healthy meals throughout the week if you don’t have a plan of what those meals will be. It is absolutely necessary to sit down at the beginning of the week and plan out every meal for the next seven days. Of course, you can allow for some breaks in the meal plan if you intend on going out to dinner or lunch, but you should decide what meals you’d like to cook in advance. This not only keeps you focused on your goal of eating healthy, but it also helps you buy only the groceries you need. If you go into the grocery store without a meal plan, you could very easily find yourself buying unnecessary ingredients and unhealthy snacks. Making a meal plan is good for your health and your wallet.
Keep Your Pantry Stocked With Healthy Ingredients
Keeping some dry essentials on hand can help tremendously on your journey to healthier cooking. Some examples of healthy pantry staples are quinoa, whole grains, lentils, brown rice, chia seeds, and nuts. Having these ingredients already in your pantry will encourage you to incorporate them into your homecooked meals and will also inspire you to use them when you need to whip up a meal without prior planning. Keeping your pantry stocked with healthy foods will undoubtedly help you form healthier cooking habits.
Cook With More Basic Ingredients and Less Processed Foods
If you were to do a bit of research, you might be surprised at just how many chemicals are added and nutrients are lost when foods are processed unnaturally. To protect your body from these harmful ingredients, try to cook with the most basic ingredients possible. This means cooking with a lot of unprocessed vegetables and meats. Instead of bacon, make a recipe with lean pork chops instead. Instead of baking pre-made sweet potato fries, buy your own fresh sweet potatoes and chop them up to make healthier sweet potato fries. These little changes can make a huge difference.
Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Without a doubt, the healthiest type of cooking oil is olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is even better because it is the least processed version of olive oil. When you sautée veggies or meat in your ceramic nonstick pans using extra virgin olive oil, your food will turn out significantly healthier than if you were to use vegetable oil or grapeseed oil, which have higher contents of unhealthy fats. Next time you’re in the cooking oil aisle at the grocery store, don’t be tempted by the cheaper and unhealthier oils, and get some extra virgin olive oil instead.
(Another helpful tip: compared to stainless steel pots and pans, you can use even less oil when cooking with ceramic nonstick pans. This makes your cooking even healthier!)
Season Your Food With Herbs
Salt and sodium are everywhere in the food world. When eating out, it is basically impossible to avoid it altogether, which is why it is so important to avoid it as much as possible when you’re cooking at home. The best alternative to salt is fresh herbs. There is such a wide variety of herbs to choose from: oregano, thyme, basil, curry powder, garlic powder, and the list could go on and on. To protect your body from the dangerous effects of too much sodium, make sure to keep your pantry stocked up with a lot of fresh herbs. Your body will thank you!
To summarize, here are the five ideas we provided for healthier cooking:
- Make a meal plan
- Keep your pantry stocked with healthy ingredients
- Cook with more basic ingredients and less processed foods
- Use extra virgin olive oil
- Season your food with herbs
By following these five ideas, you’d be amazed at how much healthier your cooking could become. Take out your favorite ceramic nonstick pans from Caraway, and experience the joy that comes from healthy cooking.