Health and Wellness

Saving Time In The Kitchen

Saving Time In The Kitchen

As per our recent post, we have compiled some handy ideas in order to save time in the kitchen and still get all the nutrients you need by incorporating 5 serves of vegetables per day into your diet!

  1. Chop up fruit and vegetables as soon as you get them home from the shops – pack in Tupperware and snap-lock bags in the fridge and freezer so that they are ready to use for lunches and dinners, and extras for snacks.
  2. Buy pre-cut vegetables such as mushrooms or stir-fry or soup mixes from the supermarket.
  3. Frozen foods such as peas, broccoli, carrots, spinach can be kept in the freezer and easily added to meals for added nutrition. Frozen berries are a handy addition to smoothies and breakfast meals, or for snacking on during the day.
  4. Choose convenience foods to help speed up preparation time such as canned or bottled tomato-based pasta sauces, frozen or canned vegetables, canned tuna or salmon, and canned beans or lentils. Just make sure you watch out for hidden nasty additives like preservatives and sugar!
  5. Cook in bulk on the weekend and freeze meals for the upcoming week like soups, stews, casseroles, pasta and rice dishes. These will come in handy on busy week nights.
  6. Cook twice the amount you need – extra bolognese mince, or roast meats, or any meal that will keep for a few days can be adapted with different variables the next day to keep life interesting.
  7. Ask the kids to help - depending upon age, kids can wash and peel vegetables, tear up lettuce, mash potatoes, wash and cut fruit, drain and rinse canned beans or lentils, and stir a pot – saving you time and teaching some important life skills!
  8. Invest in time-saving appliances like a slow cooker, which are great for warm meals especially during these cold winter nights. Food processors chop vegetables in seconds, and hand blenders can help to make quick and easy soups, sauces, and smoothies.
  9. Sharpen your kitchen knives – this will save time and sore hands when chopping up vegetables and fruits – just take care not to slip.
  10. Plan, plan, plan – this sounds obvious and is usually the step that is the biggest drag. But it is also the tip that will probably save the most time as well as money. In addition, you are more likely to stick to a healthy routine if you plan 4 or 5 days in advance what you will be eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner and shop/prepare accordingly.
  11. Order online – further to step 10, if you find getting to the shops too hard, buy online. Many supermarkets and fruit and vegetable stores now do online deliveries and are comparable with pricing. This way you can plan your weekly meals, and receive all the food items conveniently to your door.

Par-cooked frozen vegetables

The best way to store vegetables in bulk is to partly cook them first – the reason being that freezing vegetables can destroy the cell walls, causing them to be mushy upon defrosting. If purchasing food in bulk, sometimes there are leftover items at the end of the week, such as pumpkin, cabbage, beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower etc. Rather than letting them rot at the back of the fridge, par-cooking and freezing them will save you money and time when you do decide to use them.

Directions: Blanch or steam any leftover vegetables until they are 60% cooked. Rinse in cold water to halt the cooking process. Drain and freeze in portions and keep in the freezer in snap-lock bags. If you are wanting to freeze potatoes or beetroot, wash and peel, then cook in the oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes or until just tender. Leave to cool and then place in freezer in snaplock bags.

Save time in the kitchen with these healthy eating tips

We hope some of these tips save you time!! Is there a technique that works for you that we haven’t mentioned? If so, let us know! We’d love to hear from you.

Need some help keeping your diet healthy and on track? Speak to our experienced naturopaths about the best healthy eating plan for you.

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