30 Ways to Cook Healthier in the New Year

At the start of the New Year, many people make a resolution to better their health and eat better foods. Of course, everyone’s definition of “healthy foods” is different, so there is no right or wrong.

But if you cook from home, there are many things that you can do to be a healthier cook:

  1. Cook more often
    It seems simple, but it’s not always easy. Cook from home and you will usually be eating healthier than if you were to go out to eat.
  2. Use salt wisely
    A bit of salt is ok, just don’t overdo it. Most of the foods we eat already have enough salt in it anyway.30 Ways to Cook Healthier in the New Year
  3. Use quality ingredients
    Spending just a little more for a better ingredient makes for a better meal
  4. Buy an instant-read thermometer
    Some meats need to be cooked to a specific temperature before it is considered safe to eat
  5. Cook seasonally
    The fruits and vegetables that are in season are always going to be better priced and taste the best30 Ways to Cook Healthier in the New Year
  6. Go savory at breakfast (veggie omelet, breakfast salad, etc)
    Sweet foods don’t keep you full as long, so you are left looking for a snack an hour or two later
  7. Weigh Meat, Pasta, Cheese
    Do you know how much is considered a serving?
  8. Pair bold flavors with whole-grain pasta
    Make a savory pasta sauce or bold wine sauce to go with your pasta
  9. Embrace affordable aquaculture
    Purchase sustainable seafood that is not being overfished30 Ways to Cook Healthier in the New Year
  10. Stock up on healthy convenience items (canned beans and tomatoes, brown rice, etc.)
    When you need a quick recipe, have healthy items on hand to make something good rather than reaching for junk
  11. Wield flavor bombs from a global pantry (not necessarily only in ethnic dishes)
    Add a splash of hot sauce or a dash of cumin to a meal to pop in some flavor
  12. Get a cast-iron skillet
    I personally haven’t used a cast-iron skillet yet, but I’ve heard that they can add a lot of flavor to a dish
  13. Eat more flora, less fauna (less meat)
    If you can grow it in the garden, try to add it to your dishes30 Ways to Cook Healthier in the New Year
  14. Use a timer
    Don’t let things burn and end up going for fast food, and undercooked food isn’t too great either
  15. Drink up!
    One serving of juice or alcohol per day is ok, but otherwise, drink water
  16. Learn how to balance textures and flavors
    There’s more to a balanced meal than just balancing the nutrients
  17. Master the technique of charring
    Enormous flavor impact without extra calories, but it takes some practice30 Ways to Cook Healthier in the New Year
  18. Use fat where it will have the biggest impact
    Whether that’s fatty meats or cooking in fat, use it sparingly, but where it makes the biggest bang of flavor
  19. Make snacks count
    Keep fresh fruit or other healthy snacks in the pantry and refrigerator so you make good choices
  20. Toast for flavor (nuts, butter, etc.)
    When you toast something, it helps bring out the flavors and can change the taste of a dish30 Ways to Cook Healthier in the New Year
  21. Be gentle with lower-fat dough
    It can toughen easily when overworked
  22. Be patient
    It takes some time to learn to cook and you will have mistakes, but it’s ok
  23. Eat Mindfully
    Don’t rush through your meals, but enjoy what you are eating
  24. Get a sturdy dutch oven
    So many savory, healthy soups can be made in a dutch oven, along with other meals
  25. Deploy Herbs and Citrus
    Adding just a bit of lemon juice or parsley or cilantro to a dish can really add to the flavor30 Ways to Cook Healthier in the New Year
  26. Add, don’t subtract
    Don’t try taking things out of a dish, but add the delicious and healthy foods that we should be eating
  27. Eat more whole foods
    A great rule of thumb: does it grow or did it have eyes? Then it’s probably not processed
  28. Be good to your gut
    Eat gut-healthy foods and get enough probiotics and fiber to keep things moving
  29. Don’t stress too much about dietary cholesterol
    The link between what you eat and what’s in your blood is not as direct as once believed
  30. Bake with precision
    It’s ok to experiment with measurements when cooking, but baking is a much more precise practice30 Ways to Cook Healthier in the New Year

30 Ways to Cook Healthier in the New Year 30 Ways to Cook Healthier in the New Year

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30 thoughts on “30 Ways to Cook Healthier in the New Year

  1. I love seafood and if I could, that’s all I would consume. I will incorporate all your 30 tips in my cooking experience. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I know, I eat cereal a lot because it’s just so convenient. Especially on school morning when I’m trying to get breakfast for both kids and lunches made and dressed and teeth and backpacks and out the door on time!!

  2. These are really good tips! We cook seasonal as often as possible! We have this great farmers market, weekly, so its nice to have what is in season to work with! Plus its fun to look up new recipes based on that!

  3. I very much need an instant read thermometer! These are great tips. I struggle with using a timer, I just tend to forget.

  4. I wish I could get my husband and son to eat a variety of veggies and seafood! Both are a little picky, and it gets hard to change it up and eat healthy.

  5. You need to use a Cast Iron Skillet ASAP. I have both a skillet and a dutch oven. Soups and stews have not tasted as good as they have in those pots. I am not sure what it is, but it is magic.

  6. Been eating a lot healthier since last year (with a break for Christmas of course) and all of these are great tips! I’ve got a Pinterest board for delicious recipes, too. Can’t wait to get cooking!

  7. I will certainly be taking in these tips because I want to eat healthier this year! I definitely need to work on using salt more wisely!

  8. That’s a great list! I’ve used an iron skillet and really liked it. When we did 100% plant based, it was a good way to get additional iron in our diet. no kidding!

  9. I love your website! One of my 2018 goals is eat healthy and release weight, but am not a fan of spending hours in the kitchen. So tips and recipes ike your sweet potatoe one are just what I need. Will be visiting your site regularly to check out recipes and healthy eating posts. Thank you!

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