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.