Cooking and eating healthy food seems to be the goal for a lot of families, but our work and other daily commitments often prevent us from cooking proper nutritional meals, resorting to fast food or readymade food. Healthy eating can benefit the whole family, and it can be simply fun to make a healthy dinner when you know how to make the process faster and more efficient. Even if you only have half an hour every day for cooking, you can still treat your family and yourself to delicious and nutritional meals. Want to know how? Then take a look!
Master meal planning
A lot of shoppers have a really chaotic approach to buying groceries: we go into a supermarket or grocery store and throw everything we see into our shopping carts without really thinking even one step ahead and planning our menu. However, meal planning is the key factor that helps you save time and money on healthy eating. Before you go grocery shopping, sit down with your family and make a list of meals for the whole week – meaning, breakfast, lunch and dinner from Monday to Sunday. Then create a shopping list based on your plan. That way you won’t buy any useless food items and will never run out of cooking ideas in the middle of the week.
Cook several meals at once
Cooking each meal separately takes a lot of time and effort that you could spend on fun and useful activities. The secret here is to cook one product and have it last you for several meals. For example, you can roast a whole chicken. Eat your favourite parts for dinner. Use the leftovers for next day’s lunch or dinner by making a chicken salad, sandwich, pie, or casserole. The same can be done with most meat dishes. For instance, you can prepare a beef roast and make a delicious pizza. Not only does this trick help you save time, but it also adds diversity to your cooking, which will definitely be appreciated by your family.
Freeze your meals
If you think your freezer can only be used for storing raw meat and other produce, you will greatly benefit from learning to freeze readymade meals. Whether you’ve cooked too much of one dish, or you simply want to save the leftovers to save time on making lunch sometime next week, freezing food is a great time-saving cooking method. This technique can be used especially effectively if you live alone and want to make effortless lunches that you can easily take to work. Food can be stored in the freezer for at least a month, but make sure to use special containers suitable for freezing.
Have smoothies for breakfast
Smoothies may seem like a food fad, especially if you’re not following too many food trends, but the truth is that smoothies are an ideal way to start your day. Healthy, nutritional and simply delicious, the right kind of smoothie will give you enough energy to last until lunch and be productive throughout the day. There are hundreds of smoothie recipes you can choose. We recommend using a banana as the base for your smoothie. Then add your favourite fruits and berries, yoghurt or milk, and extra ingredients like oatmeal or chia seeds. Blitz in a blender and enjoy!
Pack your lunches
If you’re a particularly busy person, cooking and packing lunch for work may seem like a time-consuming or even useless idea. However, taking lunch to work has a lot of benefits compared to eating fast food or lunching at a restaurant. Home cooked lunches are tasty, healthy, and save you money. If you do it the right way, cooking and packing your work lunches won’t take you too much time and effort. Use the same techniques we’ve explained above. You can either use the leftovers from yesterday’s dinner as tomorrow’s lunch, or freeze the leftovers a week or two before and defrost the necessary container the night before you plan to take it with you. You should also remember to take healthy snacks like fruits, berries and nuts, avoiding buying junk food like potato chips and candy.