Delving into the realm of cooking can often seem like a scary task, especially when trying to balance health with convenience. Constantly juggling between delivering nutritious meals and not spending hours in the kitchen can be challenging.
However, combining a bit of strategic planning with some smart choices can create an ideal mix of healthful, quick, and, above all, delicious meals! Read on to learn useful tips on creating healthier meals without spending endless hours in your kitchen.
Six Ways to Create Healthier Meals Faster
Regardless of the amount of time you have in the day, it’s still possible to cut out a chunk of it for meal prep and cooking. Here are six great ways to create healthier meals in less time.
1. Use a Meal Delivery Service
Sometimes, cooking seems near impossible due to a busy schedule. If this sounds familiar, consider subscribing to a meal delivery service. These services deliver nutritious and balanced meals to your doorstep, taking the guesswork out of what to cook and saving you time.
And it’s not just about convenience. Many meal delivery services, like HelloFresh, now focus on providing fresh, organic, low-carb meal kits for almost any diet or food preferences.
2. Have Ingredients on Hand and Ready to Use
Having staples like whole grains, pasta, canned beans, spices, and sauces ready makes meal preparation quick and easy. Similarly, keep your fridge filled with fresh fruits, veggies, and proteins. When you keep ingredients on hand, you will be tempted to order out.
Another thing keeping ingredients on hand can prevent? Waste. You’ll feel less of a pull to waste food if you already bought what you need, especially if your ingredients are prepped.
3. Prepare Your Ingredients in Advance
Maximizing your efficiency in the kitchen often requires some strategic prep work. Set aside a portion of your time during the weekend to prepare for weekday meals. This could involve washing, chopping, and storing fruits and vegetables, marinating proteins, or pre-cooking grains.
These prepped ingredients can then be quickly assembled into wholesome meals throughout the week. This method ensures you have nutritious ingredients ready to go, saving you time.
4. Use Your Freezer to Prepare Multiple Portions
Your freezer can be a valuable tool when aiming to cook healthier meals. With double or triple portions of your meals stored in the freezer, you’ll always have homemade options available.
For example, soups and stews freeze well and can be reheated quickly for a nutritious meal on short notice. You might also consider freezing components like cooked grains. This method reduces overall cooking time and minimizes food waste by providing portion-controlled meals.
5. Choose Raw Recipes and One Pot Meals
Opting for raw recipes or one-pot meals can be a real time saver in the kitchen without compromising on nutrition. Raw dishes like salads or veggie noodle spiralizers require zero cooking time and retain maximum nutrients since they’re completely uncooked.
One-pot or one-pan dishes help reduce cleaning up and still result in tasty, healthy meals. Think stir-fries or curries loaded with veggies and lean proteins that you can prepare in a single pot.
6. Use Ready-Made and Prewashed Ingredients
In the quest for healthier meals, ready-made and prewashed ingredients can be a game-changer. These time-savers could include pre-cut vegetables, canned beans, or pre-cooked grains. They cut down on time spent chopping, washing, and cooking.
For example, picking up pre-washed salad greens can make putting together a healthy meal as simple as adding your preferred protein and dressing. These meals only take a few minutes.
Stepping up your game in the kitchen doesn’t necessarily involve hours of labor with complex recipes that only a chef could master. With some strategic planning and a few simple hacks, you can prepare delicious, healthy meals while saving time and, likely, some money also.