A Nutritionist Shares 8 Ways To Speed Up Healthy Cooking
Nov 26, 2015 @ 7:35 EDT
By Christina Najjar
As a nutritionist, I hear a lot of people complain about how difficult eating healthy is. The first complaint is that it’s too expensive. However, it doesn’t have to be, if you choose to cook instead of buying packaged “healthy” foods. The second complaint is that it’s too time consuming. The following tips will help reduce the amount of time you need to spend in the kitchen.
Soak grains and beans overnight
Soaking grains and beans significantly reduces cooking times. Soaking has the added benefit of removing the protective coating on the seed that prevents nutrient absorption, and makes these foods easier to digest. Allow about 12 hours of soaking and make sure to add plenty of extra water, since grains and legumes will expand as they absorb water.
Make freezer bags
When you have a half day to spare, chop the ingredients for many meals and freeze in large freezer bags. When you’re strapped for time, the prep is done for you; all you need to do is cook the food. If additional ingredients need to be added, write the recipe in permanent marker on the bag to avoid having to look for it when you don’t have time. The added advantage: you only have to clean the cutting boards and knives once.
Embrace your slowcooker
After a long day, cooking can be the last thing you want to do. Set your slowcooker in the morning to come home to a healthy cooked meal at night. Those freezer bags really come in handy, here.
Scoop up a second batch
Taking out and measuring the ingredients is half the work, when it comes to baking. When baking, scoop up extras of the dry ingredients to throw into a plastic bag. That way, next time you make the recipe, you only need to mix in the wet ingredients.
Make one-pot meals
Sometimes, the prospect of dishes can be a deterrent to cooking. One pot meals reduce the amount of dishes. In addition, you can avoid having to multi-task in the kitchen by only watching one pot.
Use bagged coleslaw
In a pinch, the variety of coleslaw mixes available makes great stir fries or can be added to soups and stews without having to chop a ton of veggies.
Aim for leftovers
Whenever you cook a meal, double your recipe to have leftovers. Do you get tired of eating the same meal two days in a row? Freeze your extra portions to enjoy at a later time.
Write a grocery list
Making a grocery list for the week helps you avoid having to walk around the grocery store every night trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Skip the drive and the wait at the cash by only doing it once a week.
Cooking healthy meals doesn’t have to be a chore. Using even one or two of these tips can save you enough time to allow you to feel more excited about healthy eating. Add a bit of extra excitement in the kitchen by including all kinds of colourful vegetables in your meals!
About the Author
Christina Najjar, RHN, NNCP, BA, is a recent graduate from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. She now works out of the Hampton Wellness Centre. After taking a personal journey through the world of food allergies, she started a food blog in 2013 to post recipes, articles, and tips and tricks for others who were struggling with dietary restrictions. She enjoys the challenge of modifying any meal to accommodate any dietary need. Christina’s mission is to educate and empower others to make healthy and natural choices. She revels in all fitness activities but especially loves doing yoga and playing dodgeball.
For recipes, check out her website thatglutenfreegirl.com!