If you feel like you spend lots of time in the kitchen, with not much to show for it – despite your best attempts at being healthy – it might be time to change up you routine a little. Try these 4 time-saving kitchen hacks to not only make you more efficient, but also to ensure you are maximizing your healthy lifestyle choices:
- Make your soup in the blender – This trick works, even if you don’t have a fancy blender with a soup making function. For those nights when you need to leave dinner at home all ready for the family, or for when you need to eat in a flash and be out the door, or just for if you want to come home to dinner practically made, you can totally have this trick up your sleeve! Grab whatever veggies you have in your fridge, such as sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and greens, and place them all in a plastic bag. Pop it in the microwave or a steamer basket and cook until fork tender. Once ready, add to the blender with your choice of spices and herbs, such as cumin, coriander, smoked paprika and basil, and a generous amount of salt. Add your choice o liquid, such as coconut milk, water or broth and then blend until smooth. Taste and alter the flavor as desired and then pour from the blender into bowls. Now, when you are ready to eat, just pop it in the microwave, heat up and enjoy!
- Do double duty – Every time I steam veggies, I always double the amount that I make. It doesn’t take much extra time to cut up the extra veggies, and one you have them cooked, you can do lots of things with them! They can become lunch for tomorrow, or you can use them in soup (see above). You can mix them in with pasta and pesto and have dinner the next night, or even throw them in your smoothie for an extra boost of vitamins and antioxidants, and to cut down on the sugar in your morning breakfast. Not a fan of cooked? Simply leave the chopped veggies raw in the fridge and then you’ve helped yourself by prepping them for tomorrow night’s dinner, or providing a ready to eat snack!
- Do batch work – When you make things such as spaghetti sauce, soup, cookies or muffins, make an extra batch. You will get a lot in return for a minimal time investment (as compared to a single batch), and then you can freeze the second batch for the following week, for quick snacks, or leave it in your fridge to turn into something else. If you are freezing, soups or spaghetti sauce, freeze it in individual portions for a quick meal when you (or the kids) need something in a hurry. Or, with spaghetti sauce for example, store it in the fridge for a few days and then turn it into a different meal option such as a pasta bake or sloppy Joes.
- Make your oats in the pot ahead of time – If you are a morning oatmeal person, but hate how long it takes to cook, simply add all your oats ingredients into the pot the night before. Pack in large flake oats, some ground flaxseed, almond butter, pumpkin seeds and a bit of honey and then cover it with water. Put the cover on and set aside. The next morning, the oats will have soaked up sufficient water, such that they are partially cooked and you will only have to heat it up for a minute or two and you’ll be sitting down and enjoying a steaming bowl of oatmeal. Want to have it on the go? You can do the same thing in a jar and just grab it out of the fridge on your way to work. Eat cold, or heat up in the microwave at your office.