An essential component to a healthy lifestyle is preparing your own food in your kitchen.
Although, how does time in the kitchen fit into an already overfull day? Adding more things to your endless to-do list can seem overwhelming.
Here are some of my favourite kitchen hacks to save time and add nutrition.
- Prepare in advance
Find one time a week that you can do meal preparation in advance. Boil some eggs, grill some chicken, make a batch of muffins, chop up salad for a couple of days, pre cut vegetable snacks, portion nuts into snack tubs.
- Bake a double recipe & freeze
Healthy muffins and bliss balls are a great snack option. Make a double mixture then glad wrap or put in snap lock bags and freeze. You only have to do your baking half as often and always have great snacks on hand.
This works for other meals too, freeze dinner left overs to have in a couple of days. This keeps variety in your meals instead of getting sick of having the same leftovers for several days in a row.
- Involve your family in the kitchen
Get your kids or partner involved. You can be the key to teaching your family essential skills for healthy living. I am so thankful now that growing up my Mum got me be involved in the kitchen (even if I didn’t see the value at the time in helping with the dishes & meals).
- Write a meal plan
Plan your meals for the week, actually write it down. You wont need to have it on your mind because you know its already taken care of. This will also make shopping simpler because you can easily see what you need to have on hand for the week ahead.
- Have a shopping list
In relation to your meals plan write a shopping list. Have it somewhere handy so during the week as you find other things you need they can easily be added to the list. This will help minimize those extra visits to the super market.
- Ingredient Substitutions
To increase nutrition for minimal increase in time or cost, try substituting regular ingredients for these healthier alternatives;
- Seasonings – Swap bought seasoning mixes for; mixed dried herbs (Italian), dried spices (cumin, paprika, turmeric), cracked pepper, mustard and garlic (powder or fresh). This eliminates the extra salt, sweeteners and other highly processed additives.
- Dressings – make your own vinaigrette with your choice of vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, herbs and lemon juice. This way you can have a dressing the adds nutrition rather than just empty calories.
- Natural Yoghurt – use it on your salad or meals in pace of other dressings, dips and toppings. Add mint or mustard to it for delicious topping varieties. A favourite of mine is natural yoghurt on tomato based Mexican dishes instead of sour cream and cheese.
- Avocado – instead of other butter and margarine spreads. Increasing your good fats (omega 6), fibre and potassium.
- Cinnamon – sprinkled on yoghurt or cereals instead of other sweeteners. Helps to lower blood sugars, LDL (bad) cholesterol & triglycerides.
- Vegetables – increase the vegetables and colour in every meal. These should be the majority on your plate. More vegetables automatically will increase your nutrient and fibre intake.