Cooking Healthy for Beginners
Meta description: Are you looking for a change in your diet and want to incorporate healthier meals and snacks? Carry on reading to learn how you can enjoy cooking healthy for beginners with these simple tips.
Cooking healthy for beginners can be daunting if you’re used to eating fast food or simply cooking quickly with ready-made sachets of pre-mixes and powdered potato mash. Sure, sometimes the quick stuff saves time, but they don’t always have our health’s best interest in mind. For instance, many instant mixes and pre-made food contain lots of sodium and sometimes ingredients that are best left out of the pot and off the plate.
Healthy foods are nutritious, affordable and a long-term investment in the wellness of your mind and body.
Today we’re talking about food that is nutritious and delicious.
No need to Own Restaurants
So, you don’t need to be a chef or own a restaurant with interior signage to work on cooking healthier meals. Cooking healthy for beginners is not supposed to be challenging as that would only discourage you from your goal. Working on easy-cooked meals and nutritious snacks all work in your favor. Once you start incorporating these tips, you can cook restaurant-style meals in the comfort of your home.
What are your Diet Requirements?
Check in on your diet because some ingredients may not work for you. If you’re lactose or gluten intolorant then you want to avoid ingredients that could compromise your allergies. You may also be on a specific plant-based diet and can only source your protein from plants, cooking healthy for beginners bears all this into account. Even if you are a pescatarian or eat meat twice a month, you can still enjoy tasty wholesome food.
Drinking water straight from the tap isn’t a good idea in all parts of the world. You want to make sure that you incorporate water filtration and water pump systems to your home. Not only can you enjoy clean water, but you can also benefit when brushing your teeth or taking a shower. If the home water filtration is setup on all taps, your hair, skin and bathtub or shower will thank you in the long run since you don’t have to deal with hard water residue.
Use Whole Foods Instead of Processed
Whole foods are healthy because they provide proper nutrients, vitamins and minerals. They are not processed and thus are more beneficial for you. Whole foods include fish, olive oil, beans and basically all non-processed ingredients.
Check the reverse side of a container and see what ingredients are inside. That is a process-rich item if there are lots of long-tailed names and hard-to-pronounce scientific words. Opt for food with whole natural ingredients.
The grain marketing services allow farmers to produce more grain in less time than naturally waiting it out. While not everyone likes this process, it is probably better. Thankfully, you don’t need to own a farm or be versed in farming, because you can purchase grains at the store. Legumes are very healthy, and if that is what it takes to boost your healthy diet then eat those too.
Roast Instead of Fry
You can decide how you want to prepare your meals, but for the better part, roasting is the best, and your vegetables will cook in their fat where possible. When roasting your vegetables, just add olive oil and seasoning and pop them into the oven. You can pick if you want them crispy or just medium and still great. You can even use wood stoves for that chargrilled flavor.
Don’t Overcook Vegetables
Vegetables tend to lose their goodness when they are cooked too long. So, when baking, steaming, or frying, just do it enough to keep its color, crunch, and wholesome goodness. Some people opt to eat them raw where possible.
Avoid Deep Frying
Deep-fried and crispy is often a mouth-watering option for many street foods. Not only do deep-fried foods add that pleasant crunch to every bite, but they also get the golden glow of freshness. Tempting as it is, deep-fried food is one of the worst things to have. Plus, if you decide to dunk the used fried oil in the drain, it may cause the drains to smell later. You may need to buy a drain cleaner to mitigate this issue.
Choose Healthy Fats When Cooking
Generic cooking oils are not always the best cooking option, which is also why they tend to be less expensive. Instead, opt for olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, peanut oil, avocado oil and cocoa butter.
Recent articles suggest that vegetable and seed oils used in cooking create instability with the polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), causing them to stress cells and hamper aspects like blood circulation. The heat has an adverse effect when used in cooking and starts the process.
Make Healthy Swaps
When it comes to eating healthy, some things are simply better for us than others. It’s a misconception that healthy food doesn’t taste good. You can make food tasty without all the nasty ingredients.
Try some of these food swaps to help you get going on your cooking healthy for beginner’s journey:
- Instead of sugar-coated chocolate cereal – swap – for wheat-based biscuit cereal
- Frosted flake cereal – swap – for whole grain shredded cereal
- Croissants – swap – for porridge like oatmeal
- Cereal bars – swap – for whole wheat toast or yogurt and muesli with chopped nuts or seeds
Snack and lunch swap
- Cereal and cake bars – swap – for low-sugar jelly
- Muffins and chocolates – swap – for fruit loaf or malt loaf
- Fizzy drinks and fruit juice – swap – for water with berries or other fruit
- Potato crisps – swap – for plain rice cakes, popped corn
- Canned soup – swap – for – freshly made soup with whole vegetables and natural chicken stock
- Ketchup – swap for mustard
- Salt and soy sauce – swap – for fresh herbs and spices
- Powdered brown sauce – swap – for reduced sugar and salt sauce.
Puddings and drinks
- Biscuits – swap for malt loaf or fresh fruit cake
- Chocolate – swap – for fresh fruit or canned fruit (in juice)
- Flavored milk swap for regular milk
- Sweetened fruit juice – swap for 100% fruit juice
- Sweetened yoghurt – swap for full-fat or low-fat unsweetened yoghurt (also Greek yoghurt)
Go for Nutritious Pasta
Pasta falls under the umbrella of bad carbohydrates or simple carbs because the body processes faster. The body creates insulin to break up the sugar into glucose to use as energy. However, because the carbohydrates break up so easily, the processes spike the sugar levels in the blood.
You may feel full and energized after a noodle dish, only to feel ravenous and even tired later. Switching regular pasta out for nutritious ones like spinach, chickpea or lentil-based is a better option.
Swap Regular Wraps for Fiber-Rich and Nutritious
Just like your pasta swap, you can do the same with wraps. Instead of regular white wraps, go for a wholewheat or other grain-based or seed wrap. Some wraps, just like pasta can incorporate vegetables before it is cooked and stored.
Tap Into Creativity
It’s easy to get bored of cooking if it isn’t something you truly enjoy but simply do it out of necessity. Why not check out some great healthy cooking for beginners recipes to help you on your journey.
Everything from baking healthier to your starter, main and dessert, all these aspects can be healthier options whether you are a flexitarian or simply want to enjoy more nutritious meals.
Bake, Stove Top, Instant Pot, or Grill
You can enjoy the kitchen’s versatility and cook healthy meals for yourself and your family. There are a variety of stoves that offer many aspects, from fan ovens and gas to older electrical stovetops.
If you’re pressed for time, you would find an instant pot ideal for making nutritious, delicious meals in just one pot. When you’ve used the pot, cleaned it and packed it away, some people store it in their kitchen cabinets.
Add More Dietary Fiber into your Meals
Dietary fibre play an essential role in digestion and wellness. It aids peristalsis, which is the process in which food passes along the digestive tract and to the stomach. Fibre also helps keep you regular which is good news for everyone.
What’s more, unlike carbohydrates that tend to process much faster through your system, fiber is a slower process and so gradually keeps you full. Fibre-rich foods include berries, broccoli, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, whole grain and avocados.
*Bonus Cooking Tips*
Try the following bonus tips in cooking healthy for beginners. We love cooking food, but we don’t like struggling through the process. These meal prep tips will make you cook like a pro.
Study the Recipe Ahead of Time
If you’re planning on cooking a healthy meal, check out the recipe before choosing a particular one. In this way, you can get the ingredients you need and determine whether or not the recipe will be too rich in saturated fats, or artificial ingredients.
Cooking healthy for beginners is one thing, but prep time before you begin your cook is also very important. Everything should be washed, chopped, sliced, diced and ready to go. In this way, you can cook easier. The daunting feeling of having to prepare too many things simultaneously to manning the stove or oven won’t be as bad because you can focus on individual tasks.
Use Sharp Knives
Nothing is more annoying than trying to cut something as soft as a tomato, only to have the knife squish its way along, barely able to pierce the skin. Sharp knives make your work faster and more efficiently, which is a plus if you don’t want to stay in the kitchen all day.
Keep Room in the Baking Dish
Yes, we all cook differently, and even with baking, we have our own signature styles. But one rule to bear in mind when baking or roasting is keeping the tray or dish you’re using free and not overpacked.
A crowded cooking tray can cause food to take longer to cook through. The process leaves you having to keep turning the vegetables or whatever it is you’re cooking in the oven over and over. The constant turning is the secret to a successful meal made in the oven, but it takes time and the more you practice, the better.
Don’t be Tempted to Leave the Stove
You know how when you have your beef bracing with the onions for that goulash you intend to make? Then suddenly, you want to check your email, just a quick glance, because you need to get done in the kitchen, but then the email check turns into a kitchen becoming scented with burnt food and smoke. Now, the food is ruined, and you have double work cleaning the burnt pot.
We hope you’ve learned a few new tricks from this list as it has helped us do even better in the kitchen than before, we hope you will find these great for your kitchen talents too. So, get cooking and not only change your physical well-being by cooking healthily for beginners, but enjoy wholesome meals every day with your family, friends, or yourself.
Eating healthy isn’t enough for a lifestyle change but it is a step in the right direction. Along with your healthy dieting goals, also compile your exercise routine, get your steps up and get enough rest every day because the body not only needs nourishment, but it also needs rest for recovery and well-being. Don’t forget to call the professionals for help with septic tanks, home water filtration and other maintenance where needed.