Tips For Healthy And Fun Family Mealtimes!

Having to cook every day can be dull after awhile. Give your food new flavor by using new spices, roasting vegetables you’ve never cooked and new ways for preparing your favorite cut of meat. Cooking is a great way to make sure your family eats a healthy meal, but can also be an enjoyable experience. To get you started, try these cooking tips below and see how cooking changes for you.

The prep work comes first. Before you start making your food, it is a good thing to have everything prepared. Trying to cook a meal that has to be on the table by a certain time can be stressful. You can save yourself a lot of stress by doing as much preparation ahead of time as you can.

Make sure to keep herbs and spices in an area that is cool and dim. Exposure to humidity, light and heat all affect the flavor of your spices. Ground herbs and spices can retain full flavor for about a year. Whole spices are hardier, and will retain their robust flavoring for several years. If they are stored properly, they will stay fresh longer.

Meat can easily be sliced into thin strips if it is partially frozen. This technique is particularly good for meats served in Asian cuisine. If the meat is partially frozen, its texture is maintained nicely, even when sliced into thin strips. However, the meat strips should be thawed to assure even cooking.

Cooking methods like boiling tend to destroy a lot of the nutrients that are in vegetables. Vegetables are healthiest when eaten raw, and by steaming and sauteing them, less nutrients are removed.

Did you ever feel badly for throwing moldy fruit in the garbage? Can you save the rest of the fruit if you cut away the moldy, rotten part? Unfortunately, you cannot rescue a piece of fruit once it has started to grow moldy and decayed. These foods can cause you to become ill, as mold goes much deeper than the eye can see.

Do you feel guilty when you toss rotten, uneaten fruit in the garbage? Is it safe to save a portion of fruit by cutting around the mold? Saving half-rotten fruit in a healthy way is not possible. Get rid of them quickly, as mold can develop and cause health problems.

Soaking raw potatoes for 30 minutes prior to frying will produce the crispiest French fries. When you soak sliced potatoes in cold water, it strengthens their fibers, so that they can stand up to the heat when being deep fried.

For healthier, lower-calorie mashed potatoes, add some cooked cauliflower to your tubers. Their bland flavor blends effortlessly with the potatoes while taking flavor from the other ingredients. Cauliflower also matches the color and texture of the potatoes. This is a great way to add veggies and eliminate calories from a favorite dish.

Make your meal preparation go more quickly by preparing some of the ingredients ahead of time. Look at your recipes before starting and clue in on the steps that can be done ahead of time without having any spoilage issues. It is often possible to prepare your ingredients as much as 24 hours ahead of time. In this manner, even complicated recipes become simple and easy meals.

Fresh Ingredients

The one downside of garlic is that your hands easily absorb the smell of it. A trick for getting rid of the garlic odor on your hands is to rub them on a metal kitchen sink. Doing this will remove the scent from your hands, and keep it from spreading to the next food you touch.

Dried and frozen ingredients should never be used over fresh ingredients if you want to get the most out of your cooking. Use fresh ingredients as much as you can, because they add better flavor to your dish and tend to be a lot cheaper.

Think big if you plan to make chicken stock. Making more than you need in a large pot can allow you to have some left over to store in the freezer for later use. Excellent chicken stock that is homemade is a great base for use in stews, soups, casseroles, and more. Simply cool the stock, and then freeze it into Ziploc, heavyweight freezer bags.

There are many things you can do ahead of time to save time during your meal preparation. Check the recipe you’re using to see if some preparation can be done without the partially prepared dish spoiling. There is a lot you can do the day before to prepare for the next day’s meal. Prepping before you cook can make even advanced recipes fun and accessible.

You should use chicken broth when you are cooking your vegetables. Chicken broth is an excellent base to use when preparing vegetable dishes that helps keep them from sticking and gives them some flavor. Chicken broth is readily available at most grocery stores, and it is very affordably priced.

Try to cut down the amount of oil used when cooing if you are trying to lose weight. Most of the time, the oils you cook with have high amounts of unnecessary and unhealthy fats. This is also true of butter. You can use non-stick cooking spray as an alternative to get the same results without the extra fats.

Decreasing the amount of oils that you are using when cooking is essential if you are interested in losing weight and eating a healthy diet. Many oils and butters have a high concentration of fat. Nonstick cooking spray is a great alternative that will give you the same end result as the oils with less unhealthy ingredients.

If you use skewers for any of your dishes, be sure to soak skewers made of wood in water for a minimum of a half hour before using them. This step will stop the skewer from burning while it is being used. To prevent food from falling from the skewers, use two parallel skewers rather than just one.

If you are looking for ways to include more protein to your daily diet, look no further than beans and tofu. You can buy both items at almost any grocery store, and they will fit into any budget. The tofu can be lightly seasoned and pan fried, which makes for a great alternative to meat. Beans can always be cooked with some spices and herbs for a meal full of flavor and protein.

Always measure your oil when you are cooking. This will help you lower the fat content when you cook as opposed to just pouring directly into the pan without measuring. This should enable you to carefully watch how much oil you are cooking with.

Sauteing vegetables in a small amount of chicken broth is a healthy and delicious way to cook. The broth adds flavor to them, while reducing oil that is usually used for sauteing. This is a healthy and tasty, vegetable cooking technique.

When serving a salad at a social gathering, keep the dressing in a dish to the side. The amount of dressing that people use on their salad will vary, so you should give them the option of adding their own dressing. Offering a variety of dressing for their salad is the best way to make sure that all guests are happy.

Add seasoning gradually instead of putting it all in at the beginning. Your food will taste as flavorful as ever if you season it this way.

All good cooks organize their cooking supplies well for the most efficient experience in the kitchen. Poorly organized supplies cause confusion and mess. Organize your kitchen logically. For instance, parsley and basil are both spices and should be in the exact same cabinet.

Purchase quality cutting utensils for the kitchen. You can save time not having to sharpen or deal with dull knives and sharper knives are safer to use. More accidents occur when utensils are dull, because they have a tendency to slip as you cut.

If your meals include fresh herbs like dill or parsley, clump them together and use kitchen shears to cut them. The leaves will be fuller and more crisp than they would have been if they were wet.

You can improve the flavor of even the most simple dish by using fresh herbs. If you cannot get your hands on fresh herbs, then herbs of a dried variety can still work. For the more simple fare, fresh herbs will impart a more robust flavor. You can plant an herb garden to make sure you always have your favorite fresh herbs available.

Create your own stock for tastier dishes. If you cook large quantities, you could store the leftovers in resealable bags inside your freezer. This ensures you will have tasty, homemade stock available when you need it for soups, stews and many other dishes. Preparing your own stock in advance will reduce your need to use cheap over-salted options instead.

Although you may want to impress them with something fancy, never try a new recipe when cooking for someone important. You don’t want to send your extended family, your new date, or everyone in your department at work running and screaming from your bad cooking. Impress them by cooking a meal you already know you can prepare well.

When you are cooking, wash the dishes as you go along. Make it easy on yourself by filling your sink with water, while reserving a separate section for rinsing. It is much easier to wash out prep dishes that have just been used.

Invest in stackable cooling racks. When baking a large batch of cookies or other baked goods, the cooling baked goods can take over your entire work area. Stackable cooling racks allow you to use your space more efficiently. The cooling racks will take up vertical space and will still accomplish the same end goal. It is a great way to allow baked goods to cool properly while still allowing you to have the counter space you need to accomplish other projects.

Allow your cooked food to sit a bit before it is served. Most people are unaware that it’s a good idea to have a meal sit out for a few minutes before eating. We are inclined to serve meat and other foods as soon as they are cooked. Doing so actually causes you to miss out on some extra flavors. Instead, allow the meal to cool and rest for a few minutes.

You can use the last of your vegetables and meat by making them into a stir-fry or adding them to fried rice. You can use pre-cooked rice that is completely cooled and has been in the fridge for a day or so. If you don’t have any, be sure to use a little less water to make fresh rice for stir frying. First, fry both the meat and vegetables in oil. Next, put the rice in and add condiments and spices of your choice.

Cutting Board

To take the stress out of cooking time, pull out all of your ingredients beforehand. That way you will be sure you have everything you need, as opposed to finding halfway through the preparations that you are missing an important ingredient. It doesn’t take longer to prepare beforehand, but it can certainly save time as you go.

Sprinkle salt on your cutting board before cutting fresh herbs. This keeps your herbs on the cutting board and can add a bit of flavor, as well. Make sure to avoid over-salting by not adding additional salt directly to what you are preparing. That salt on the board adds some flavor since it sticks to the herbs.

To accurately measure and distribute a sticky ingredient, grease your measuring utensils with oil first. Dip the measuring spoon in cooking oil and the food will slide off your spoon more easily. Keep this trick in mind for peanut butter and honey too.

When you are making fresh salsa that will not be consumed within 20 minutes, be sure to wash the diced onions under cold water, followed by blotting to dry completely. A sulferous gas is contained in fresh onions. Salsa will not taste good with the aura of sulfur. Rinsing the onions allows the gas to be removed.

It is important to layer a salad well when it is going to be served a few hours after it is prepared. Your juicy ingredients should be at the bottom while your leafy items should be placed on top.

Cooking can become a hobby that you truly enjoy if you use the tips that were provided in this article. Learning how to cook properly can be an exciting and tasty way to learn about food. Plus, you’ll see new sides to yourself as you see, by trial and error, what you like and what you don’t like. When you have fun and enjoy cooking, your enthusiasm itself will enhance your dishes.

Use colorful foods in your meal preparation. More colorful foods tend to be healthier and are also more interesting visually. Some colorful garnishes you can add to your meals include cherry tomatoes, cilantro, parsley and carrot curls. Get creative with color, and your food will be consumed in no time.

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