Cooking healthy is a resolution for many in the New Year. Learn 30 simple ways to cook healthier for you and your family.
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:
Originally Published On: January 11, 2018
Last Updated On: April 21, 2020
Cook Healthier Tipes #1-10
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.
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 best.
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 overfished.
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.
Tips #11-20 for Cooking Healthy
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 love my cast-iron skillet! It can add os much flavor to a meal and is much easier to cook with.
13. Eat more flora, less fauna (less meat)
If you can grow it in the garden, try to add it to your dishes.
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 practice.
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 dish.
Cooking Healthier Tips #21-30
21. Be gentle with
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 flavor.
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 practice.
30 thoughts on “30 Ways to Cook Healthier in the New Year”
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.
I love seafood too! I just have to be careful because it can sometimes trigger my iodine allergy. I’m glad you found this helpful!
As a former executive chef, this is one of the best posts i have read recently. the information is spot on! cook more! use quality ingredients and equipment! and use a timer!
Thank you so much! It’s encouraging to hear from someone who was in the business! Cooking from home made a huge impact on my family’s health and budget!
I definitely need to try cooking seasonally. Also, I need to stop eating so much cereal and make myself a veggie omelet and breakfast salad. It sounds so delicious and healthy.
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!!
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!
I’m so jealous you have a weekly farmer’s market! My neighborhood just got one and it’s only once per month.
I very much need an instant read thermometer! These are great tips. I struggle with using a timer, I just tend to forget.
My husband is bad about the timer sometimes too. I’ve burned a few too many meals that I remember (most of the time)!
Loved your tips. I agree salt should be used wisely. i sometimes add too much salt or too little salt in my food and regret later :/
I figure it’s better to under-salt because you can always add a bit later but you can’t take it back out.
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.
It’s a work in progress. My boys aren’t the best at eating the veggies just yet, and I have forced myself. It’s an acquired taste, just keep offering when you can.
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.
Good to know! I am adding them to my wishlist to get soon so I can try them out and see the difference!
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!
Christmas is always the exception! 😊
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!
Glad they are helpful! Salt is already in so much of our food, it should be added only sparingly.
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!
I’ve heard so much about them, I really need to try one soon!
great tips! so true that better quality ingredients make a way better meal! eating wholesome and sustainable produce is our goal as well!
I never really understood until I started being more conscious of the ingredients we buy.
This is such a motivating post for the new year! Quality ingredients really go a long way.
Thank you! I never knew how much the ingredients matter until I started being more careful about the foods I choose.
Now that my chronic illness has improved, I’m looking for healthy ways to eat. Diet is so important when it comes to weight loss. Thank you for this.
I’m glad to hear you are doing better! The food we put in our bodies makes such a difference!
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!
Awesome, I’m so glad you found all of this so useful! Not all of my recipes are the healthiest, but we try most of the time!