Cooking can take a long time. When you take into account preparation time, cooking time and eating time, hours are easily lost. And that’s before you even think about cooking the right type of food, food that is healthy and nutritious for your family. You’re busy, and sometimes cooking can seem like a chore. But you know that eating healthy is good for you and your family, and you’d like to learn how you can change your approach.
We’re here to help. We want to make healthy cooking as painless as possible for you, so here are our top 7 time saving hacks for cooking healthy food without the fuss.
- Buy frozen vegetables. Frozen vegetables are a quick way of upping your family’s vegetable intake with minimal fuss. Many vegetables can be bought pre-prepared and frozen, and it’s easy to pick up vegetables like sliced mushrooms, spinach and mixed peppers in most supermarkets. When you’re ready to cook, take out how much you need and put the rest back in the freezer. No preparation time or mess required! And because it’s frozen, you never need to worry about it going bad. Everyone’s a winner.
- Cook in bulk. Take your family’s favourite healthy meals and cook them in bulk. Examples of these meals include chilli, casseroles and filling soups. These meals can last for several days and can save you lots of time. And if you or your family doesn’t fancy having the same meal for two days in a row, no problem. Just freeze half and take it out on days where you’re short on time (just don’t forget to defrost it beforehand).
- Plan your meals. You could easily write a list with your household’s favourite healthy meals, so embrace meal planning and start cooking these meals in rotation. By rotating your plan every few weeks, you’ll save loads of time by not having to think so hard about what to cook for dinner all the time. The best thing? You know your family will eat well and there will be no waste 🙂
- Keep it simple. Complex dishes take more time in the kitchen. Learn to simplify your meals and cut out unnecessary ingredients that don’t add anything to a dish. The fewer ingredients that go into a meal, the easier and quicker they’ll be to make. Keep it healthy by watching out for unhealthy additions such as butter and cream which should be used sparingly. Alternatively you can find healthier substitutes such as olive oil spread and low fat creme fraiche.
- Find quick healthy recipes online or in recipe books. Here’s a secret: a lot of people want to cook quickly. So there’s plenty of information online and in books on meals that can be cooked in less than 15 minutes. Experiment with different dishes and you’ll definitely find some hits with the family. Some examples of quick and easy meals you could try include stir fries, spaghetti bolognese and fajitas. One pot dishes are even better, saving you washing up time too.
- Save bigger and better meals for the weekend. If there’s a dish your family loves, but it takes a long time to prepare, then save this for the weekend or on days off when you have more time. Weekday meals should be quick and easy. An extra plus – by.having these big meals less often, your family will really appreciate them and the time that you’ve put into making them. If they’re less healthy, having these meals less often is better for your family anyway.
- Involve your family. Don’t exclude your family from your kitchen. They eat the food you make, so why not involve them so you can learn to make healthier food together? Set them a challenge to cook a healthy meal for the family in under 20 minutes. By doing this, they will help you find meals the whole family will enjoy. You may even inspire them to cook meals for the family themselves – even more time saved for you!
Making quick and healthy meals can be a struggle when you’re cooking for your family and you’re short on time. These time saving hacks will help you identify healthy meals and put in place strategies to save you time and effort. Embracing frozen vegetables, planning your meals and cooking in bulk will help to save you time and energy when feeding your family. It also helps to do some research and find quick recipes in books and on the internet. By involving your family through challenges, you can use them to help you find meals that you can cook quickly. Save more time consuming meals for the weekend and your family will appreciate them more too. To get started, just pick the top 2-3 hacks that resonate the most with you and you’ll be able to enjoy more time away from cooking.
About the author of this article
I’m Ravi – a qualified personal trainer and fitness blogger, who teaches people how to transform their bodies and lives through fitness and nutrition. I’m also the CEO of Sports Samurai, an online store selling high quality gym bags and backpacks – you don’t want to miss these, so click the link. Feel free to like us on Facebook here for more articles, tips, and product information.