Cooking at home, fresh, and from scratch is always going to be an option that is better for your health in general. Grabbing takeout and eating ready meals can be good if you are busy or too exhausted to cook. But… These are not healthy for you.
Cooking at home, even if you cook the same thing you would have as a ready meal, boosts the quality of your diet and helps you stay a healthy weight. Sadly, research shows that most of us do not put the effort in to do this.
If you have no idea how to make a roast dinner, spaghetti bolognese, or a chicken Caesar salad from scratch you are in trouble and need to learn, but don’t worry, fanaticallyfood.com will tell you that it might look tedious, but cooking can be great fun and so rewarding.
In fact, there is little better than cooking up a tasty meal, it goes well, and that feeling of pride.
So, let’s get you started on your journey to learning how to cook with some tip-top 5 cooking tips!
#1. You Are Only As Good As Your Knife
Having a good knife is the first thing you need to think about. Your chicken slices are not going to look great, and the whole preparation process is going to be frustrating if you are working with a low-quality blade.
With a quality knife, some basic knife skills are a good way to enhance your cooking, but let’s start small. You want to learn a little bit first, get an idea, just hold it, know how to hold it, and know what each knife is for.
A good knife paired with knife skills can save you prep time and your fingers! Also, if you can cut up your veg evenly your veg will cook even as well, and your dish will be all the better for it.
Do not forget to sharpen your knife too. Knife sharpeners are not hard to come by, nor do they cost much either, just make sure you practice. Practice makes better after all, and the sooner you get comfortable with your knife the better!
#2. Your Cookware Is Just As Important
Your cookware is important as well. It can be easier and cheaper to just pop down to the local store and grab whatever is there but if they are poorly made, and thin, they won’t heat evenly, your meal quality will be compromised and chances are your food will stick to them as well!
Save up, get some reliable, heavy pans with non-stick. You want a big and a small sauté pan, a sauce pan or two, a stock pot, maybe a wok if that is your kind of thing. Get what you need, and you can save money!
It might be more expensive at first, but you’ll save a ton in buying replacements! Cast iron is a good shout, especially for non-stick, ease, and good seasoned food. Just make sure you know what you are doing at least a little before you delve into cast iron cookware.
#3. Learn To Poach
If you want to learn to cook for your own health reasons then poaching is a must! It is one of the best ways to create tasty food that is also healthy!
You cook the food, such as egg, veg or dish, in a flavor filled liquid at a temperature from 140 to 180 Fahrenheit. We recommend doing shrimp in a vegetable stock with thyme, or if you want to make eggs, do them in water with some pepper and vinegar.
As poaching is a method of cooking that says ‘goodbye’ to oils, it can save you tonnes in fat and calories.
If your reasoning is healthy you should also learn to bake, broil, stew, roast, and stir-fry too!
#4. Your Ingredients Matter
When you cook with high quality whole food you actually increase your nutritional intake massively.
You want to seek out fruit and veg that is in season, pay the slightly higher price for quality meat from an ethically raised animal.
Say ‘ no, thanks’ to the processed shortcuts such as instant pasta, instant ice, and sugar filled bottled sauces.
You can create a low calorie, low in fat and low in salt meal even with the least amount of effort if you just decide to start off with high quality ingredients.
You can bring veg into your morning meals by making an omelet, or sautéing some sweet potato with some egg. It can be totally delicious and well worth it.
If the cost of quality meat and veg is too high for you at the superstore, no worries, have you tried farmers markets? Or even better? Some farms will sell their produce themselves and deliver! Yes, that is a real thing these days.
Coming straight from the farmer will be cheaper in some instances, as they do not have the middle man of the superstore in between bumping up the prices.
Some can be expensive, but shop around and see what you can find. Once you go straight to the source, you’ll never look back!
#5. Experiment With Herbs & Spices!
Finally, do not be afraid to create something gross. Half of learning to cook is experimentation, we have all done it.
Fresh herbs do not live long, but they can bring a bit of life to your dinner. Add fresh herbs, or try out dried spices, see what tickles your fancy.
Spices and herbs can really change an entire meal. Add in some garlic, try a bit of paprika on that, what about oregano, or some fresh thyme.
Get creative, you might make some truly disguising dishes, but you may also birth some masterpieces by simply messing around with flavors.
Herbs and spices are half of what gives food excitement, don’t rely on KFC’s secret mix of herbs and spices to get immense flavor, create your own. It can be a bit scary to let loose, but go crazy, and start experimenting!