Interested in saving money? In today’s economy, who among us isn’t? What about losing weight and improving your overall health? If your answer is a resounding YES, then making one change in your life can help you accomplish all three of those goals! The solution is as close as your kitchen.
When cooking, the smaller the item the higher the cooking temperature can be. For instance, if you are cooking mini muffins they can be baked at 400, where as if the muffins are regular size the temperature should be no higher than 325. Cooking at the right temperature will optimize your cooking time and keep items from becoming dried out.
A good piece of advice you can observe when cooking with oil is to pour it down the sides of the hot pan. When the oil reaches the food in the middle, it will already be hot. This will optimize the flavors in your food in your final dish.
You can save a lot of money by buying potatoes for your favorite dishes in larger quantities. Make sure you store them in a cool dark place (preferably in a root cellar). Place them in a crate loosely and keep the storage temperature between 45 and 50 degrees F. Avoid storing them in the refrigerator as they become sweet.
Always use the freshest ingredients you can find for your cooking. Fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood all taste better when they are fresh. Besides better taste, fresh ingredients are usually healthier than pre-packaged, canned or frozen ones. Fresh foods have superior nutritional content and lack the unhealthy additives found in packaged foods.
If you are looking to reduce the sodium content of the meals you cook, take a careful look at your spice shelf. Many prepared spices are surprisingly high in sodium, whether or not they have a salty taste. And of course, avoid adding regular salt. Look to natural herbs and simpler spices to add flavor without sodium.
When you broil a steak, heat your broiler to the appropriate temperature before putting the steak in. The result will be a seared steak on the outside, with a very juicy inside. The broiling process should also be quick, but will vary depending on how well done you want your steak to be. Over cooking can lead to a dried out end result.
Store your cheese in the fridge, wrapped tightly in plastic, and away from air. This will help to keep mold away. While a little mold is not harmful to cheese, excessive mold is dangerous to consume. It will certainly affect the quality of your cheese as well.
You should try juicing if you do not like the taste of vegetables. It is very easy to mask the taste of the vegetables by juicing them with fruits that are full of flavor. Spinach, zucchini and carrots can easily be juiced with apples, strawberries and pears to make a delicious drink that is full of vitamins and nutrients.
If you are stuck trying to figure out what to cook for dinner during the week, consider building your meals around themes. “Mexican Monday” could mean burritos or a nice taco salad. How about “Tuscan Tuesday” featuring spaghetti and meatballs or maybe meatball subs? And “Fish Friday” offers lots of options for shrimp, salmon or even tuna. Bring the whole family into the fun by letting the kids pick a theme and help plan the meal that day.
Preparing more of your own meals has numerous financial and health-related benefits, and regardless of your motivations for cooking, you’ll see the benefits in various aspects of your life. You’ll also take a great deal of pride and satisfaction in preparing a delicious, home-cooked meal. So what are you waiting for? Go get to it!