So you want to try and make some changes t your health and specifically with what you eat? You’re not the only one. In this day and age, we’re all so much more aware of our health and mortality. It’s safe to say that cooking at home can be a great way to get healthier — particularly if you’re used to takeouts or dining out all the time. However, even when you’re cooking at home it can be easy to fall into unhealthy habits. That’s right, even cooking at home can come with its health warning labels. But that’s where this blog post comes in.
If you’re looking for ways to make your homemade meals a little bit healthier, we’re going to run through seven simple ideas that you can start implementing today.
1. Cook From Scratch
For starters, remember that ready meals and premade foods can be a huge trap when it comes to cooking at home. They’re often full of additives, salt, sugar, and fats that you really don’t need. So, cooking from scratch is an invaluable skill to have in the kitchen. Preparing fresh ingredients, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and quality proteins, is a great way to get more nourishing options into your meals. And it doesn’t have to be boring — you can even make your favorites too. With this bagel recipe from Preppy Kitchen or making your favorite takeout recipe at home, you can make some really delicious meals. Not only will this practice provide richer nutrition and more flavourful foods than packaged or processed items, but it also encourages mindful eating habits.
2. Ditch the Butter and Oil
When it comes to cooking in the kitchen, butter, and oil are often the go-to ingredients for many people. But if you’re looking to make your meals healthier, try swapping out those ingredients for broth or water instead of butter or oil. Not only will this help reduce the amount of fat and calories in your meal, but it will also help bring out more flavor from your other ingredients.
3. Experiment with Veggies
In the summertime especially, there are so many fresh vegetables available at the farmers market that you can use to create delicious dishes. Incorporate different types of vegetables like eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, and onions into your recipes. You can sauté them in broth or steam them over boiling water for a light side dish, whatever suits your tastes.
4. Go Wholegrain
Another way to make healthy substitutions in the kitchen is by swapping out white rice or pasta for wholegrain options like quinoa or brown rice when possible. Less processed carbs like this will be much better for your body and health in general. Just remember that the key is moderation. Making sure not to overdo it on any one type of food since too much of anything isn’t good for you either.
5. Load up on Protein
Protein is essential for any healthy diet and there are plenty of ways to get more protein into your meals. Try adding beans or lentils into soups, stews, and salads for a boost of protein that doesn’t require any extra work on your part. It doesn’t always have to be meat-based for you to get your protein intake. But if you don’t mind meat, lean cuts such as chicken breast are always an option as well.
6. Spice It Up
Spices add flavor without adding fat or calories. So go ahead and experiment with different seasoning combinations until you find something that works best for you. Just remember that some spices can be quite powerful so start small when testing out new flavors before committing to them completely. But they will definitely add a lot more flavor, fun, and excitement to your meals.
7. Use Herbs Instead Of Salt And Pepper
If you want extra flavor without all the added sodium from salt and pepper then consider incorporating fresh herbs such as basil or oregano into your cooking routine instead. Herbs offer a punchy taste without all the sodium content which makes them perfect for those trying to cut back on their salt intake. Also, dried herbs tend to keep longer than fresh ones so they’re great for when time is short but the flavor isn’t sacrificed.
Your Health Starts in the Kitchen
Making small changes in how we cook our meals can significantly improve our health in big ways over time. But just remember that there’s no need to overhaul everything overnight. Just pick one or two ideas from this list and start experimenting with them this week. Soon enough you’ll have mastered healthy cooking and be eating better than ever before. Just make sure that you enjoy it, have fun experimenting with new things, and make healthy taste so much better.