Time Saving Tips in the Kitchen

How to save time when you're cooking healthy foods

Let’s face it – when you’re converting to cooking whole foods most of the time, you’re definitely going to spend more time in the kitchen, which can be tiring and overwhelming for some – especially in the beginning. 

 

So, how do you save time in the kitchen?  Ultimately, planning ahead and having ingredients on hand is one of the biggest time savings tips. But, here’s some more ideas to get you out of the "I'm to busy" trap...

Batch cooking

 

Cooking in bulk where you can.  For example – cooking a double batch of mince, onions and garlic, then using for two meals. 

 

Roasting a chicken and using some for a meal and the rest in a soup. 

 

Make a double batch of mashed potatoes or kumara and use one half in dinner, and the second half as a topping for a casserole or Shepards pie etc.

 

Make a big batch of muesli on Sunday that’s going to last you a week.

 

Freezing

 

The freezer is your friend when it comes to batch cooking.  Cook once, eat once, freeze the second half and eat another night.  This is great for dinners.  Also try cooking double quantities of muffins or baking and freezing half for the next week.

 

Double dry ingredients

 

When baking, make up containers of dry ingredients, so when it comes to baking the recipe again, you have the dry all ready to go and just need to add the wet.  So make up 3-4 batches of dry ingredients at once and store.

 

Buying in bulk

 

Heading to Bin Inn or Bulk Bins or other bulk food stores and buy in bulk so you always have ingredients on hand.  Nuts, seeds, flours etc.  Buy bananas on cheap, peel and freeze. 

 

Do a two-week shop at the supermarket of meat and other products.  That means the second week you can just quickly pop in for some fruit and vegetables, and the rest you already have stored at home, ready to go.

Prep ahead

 

Chop, peel, grate etc bulk batches of vegetables that you will use for the week and keep stored in the fridge.  Wash all fruit and vegetables at once before storing, which will save you having to do it every time you want to use something.  For a wash that will remove the majority of sprays etc, click here.

 

Go for frozen

 

Many fruits and vegetables that are frozen are still in peak condition and are chopped and ready to go.  Just make sure to read your ingredients list before buying to make sure they don’t contain any extra nasties.  It is best to avoid canned though, as many of the products are heated etc before canning and much of the goodness is gone, not to mention they are quite high in sugar.

 

Have a meal plan

 

This one is a life saver for me.  Having a dinner meal plan for the week makes things a lot easier, and I have zero standing at the fridge trying to figure out what to eat that night.  It’s also a great idea to do a lunch and lunchbox plan too if that will help.

 

Soup

 

Making a big batch of soup to eat for dinner/lunches is a great time saving option.

 

Don’t peel

 

Much of the good nutrients in many vegetables are in the skin, so instead of peeling, just scrub and wash instead (ie. potatoes, kumara courgette, carrot etc).

 

Eggs

Boil half to a dozen eggs at once and keep in the fridge for a quick snack – bonus points if you peel them in advance too.

Smoothies

 

Make up containers/bags of chopped  individual smoothie ingredients and freeze, so then all you have to do is take a container out in the morning and pop in the blender. All ready to go.

 

Chicken

 

Cook a whole chicken to use for lunches during the week.  Also cooking a bag of drumsticks or wings for lunch boxes.  Remember, use free range or organic chickens.

 

Slow cooker

 

Use your slow cooker to make dinner, soups, rice, breakfasts etc.

 

Cheese

 

Many people avoid dairy, but if you are going to have it now and again try this quick fix - whenever you are grating cheese, grate double and keep the rest in the fridge, or freezer if not using for a while, so it’s ready to go for the next meal.

 

Snack containers

 

Make up snack containers/jars for yourself or the kids and keep in the cupboard,  so they can just grab them whenever they’re hungry (and not bug you with the “I’m huuunnngry” whine).  Try nuts, seeds, 1-2 pieces of dried fruit, 1-2 bliss balls, coconut strips, biltong etc.  Save even more time and get the kids to make it up themselves.

 

Get help

 

Age dependent, but could the kids make dinner one night?  Or your partner?  Or could the kids do some baking etc?

Remember, being sick also takes time, so put the effort into being healthy and you wont have to waste your time being sick!

Want to find out how to improve your health and wellness and start living in the strength of your unique body type?  Then you can check out my Healthy Happy You programme here.

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 Melissa Lowe | Nutrition & Epigenetics Health Coach | melissa@thethriveguide.co.nz

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