Healthy cooking is essential for your well being, but, when you are just coming back from work, exhausted, this is the last thing on your mind. If you feel like cooking is too time consuming for your busy schedule, you may feel like eating healthy is out of your league.
Another impediment that may prevent you from cooking healthy meals can be the lack of ingredients. If this happens often, you may have to so some planning ahead.
Cooking should not be a chore. There is no need to stress so much over it; if you focus on making good nutritious food for you and your family, you will see that it is not so difficult, after all.
Your health is very important, so you should not overlook healthy cooking altogether. All you need to do is to plan ahead, so you can have delicious and nutritious meals throughout the week.
A little bit of planning will take you a long way. First of all, you will not have to work as hard to cook. Secondly, you will be able to do a great service to your health, since you will have plenty of nutritious food to keep you going. Here are some great tips on how to plan your meals, without too much effort.
Stock your pantry. The first rule to planning ahead for healthy meals is to have plenty of healthy ingredients at your fingertips, foods that can be eaten as they are, or that can be cooked with minimum time and effort. Eggs, plenty of vegetables and fruits, spices and herbs, are all essential ingredients that are good to have around. When you feel the need for a snack, you just grab a fruit and you will be much healthier than if you were to eat fast food or snacks loaded with sugar and salt.
Stock your freezer. Some foods cannot be kept in the pantry, but they are stored well in the freezer. You can put veggies like carrots and broccoli in the freezer and use them as you need them. You can also freeze fruits to use them as desserts. The great thing about frozen foods is that you can store them for months without them getting spoiled.
Freeze large quantities of cooked food. During weekends, when you have more time at hand, cook your food in some larger pots, and what you do not eat, put in the freezer for later use. Stews, soups, and other foods resist well in the freezer, and you can consume them at a later date, when you do not have time to cook. This way, you will ensure plenty of healthy meals throughout the week, without the extra effort.
For instance, you can make a larger quantity of tomato sauce that you can use as base for many dishes. After the sauce is made, lower its temperature by placing the pot in an ice bath, then move it to plastic bags and stash them in the freezer. Another idea is to make fruit sorbet and stock in the freezer in the same manner. Whenever you want to eat something healthy and delicious, you will only need to take a bag out of the freezer and use it. Remember to label all the bags; although frozen foods can last for a long time, they may go through a process called freezer burn, when they are kept there for a lot of time.
Great ideas for quick snacks. Healthy foods do not always require a lot of energy to cook. For instance, you can take some veggies and combine them with a bit of mustard or yogurt, for some tasty snacks. Making more rice at one time is a good idea, too, because rice stores well. Hard boiled eggs can be consumed within one week, if they are kept in the refrigerator. Leftovers from fried chicken can be used for other meals, as well.
Just remember! You do not need to tire yourself over cooking every day of the week. All you need to do is to plan ahead and cook only when the time allows it. This way, you will enjoy plenty of healthy nutritious meals.