50 Easy Cooking Hacks That Are Simple And Improve Your Health
Whether you love cooking and have been doing it your whole life or if you’re just starting to get into this hobby, you will always have new things to learn when it comes to making the most out of the foods you have in the kitchen.
There are many kitchen hacks that involve food storage, freezing foods, reheating leftovers, and using the right substitutes for unhealthy foods.
Cooking is one thing, but healthy cooking is a whole other challenge. Preparing dishes that include healthy ingredients will help you lose weight, feel better, provide you with more energy throughout the day, and keep you safe from various diseases.
However, if you think that healthy cooking is just too hard, then take a look at these 50 simple hacks that will make it much easier.
Keep It Simple
If you’ve ever tried going on a diet, you probably saw that there are too many of them to count. The discouraging thing about most diets is that they’re filled with a lot of rules. However, there’s a much better way to eat healthier – just keep every meal simple.
Consume foods that are mostly plant-based and try to keep your plate filled with a variety of colors.
Create a balance between high-quality protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Make sure that half of your plate consists of fruits and veggies.
This way you will not only meet you daily fiber needs, but you will also cut down on calories.
Make Breakfast In 90 Seconds
The reason why a lot of people don’t eat breakfast is that they think that it would take them too much time to prepare it.
Waking up early in order to make breakfast sounds like a hassle, especially when you can get a donut at your local coffee shop on the way to work.
However, what if you knew that you could make a breakfast in only 90 seconds? Surely, that would change your mind.
For example, you can make a breakfast burrito by simply placing a whole-grain tortilla in a cereal bowl and cracking an egg onto it.
Your toppings can be leftover roaster veggies, a little bit of cheese, onions, salsa, or whatever else you want to put on it. Microwave that for 90 seconds, and your breakfast will be ready.
Make A Grocery List You Can Stick To
More often than not, you likely head down to the supermarket and buy whatever looks good at the time. In order to live healthier, you will need to put more thought into your grocery lists. Make sure to carefully plan what you’re going to eat during the next week or two.
When you get to the store, buy only things that are on your grocery list. Don’t decide on the spot, as you will probably buy quite a few tempting, unhealthy products.
Make Smaller Meals More Often
Instead of eating three meals a day, try to eat five or six smaller meals.
This will make it easier for you to manage your hunger and to avoid junk food cravings. Additionally, try to pre-prepare all these mini meals that you’ll eat throughout the day, and not eat out. Make use of Tupperware and have them ready to go when you need them.
More Greek Yogurt
Do you love a good chicken salad but hate the fact that it’s completely filled with mayo? Here’s a simple solution, simply replace the mayo with Greek yogurt and you’ll be good to go.
Use Smaller Plates
Place the same meal on two plates of different sizes.
Now observe the serving on the larger plate, as well as the serving on the smaller one. You’ll instantly see why it’s better to use smaller plates from now on.
Making it seem like your plate is full will make you feel full just because you think you’re eating a lot, even though you know you aren’t.
Mashed Avocado Instead Of Butter
The next time you decide to make cookies, try putting ¼ of a cup of mashed avocado in the dough instead of butter.
You won’t even notice the difference in the taste, yet you will be eating healthier!
Alternatively, You Can Try Using Applesauce.
Some people simply don’t like avocado. We have great news for those people as well. Instead of using butter or oil, you can use applesauce when making your favorite treats.
Here’s another great cooking hack for when you want to prepare some baked goods. Instead of using heavy cream and milk when making pancakes, biscuits, and scones, try using low-fat buttermilk.
Drizzle Chocolate Over Fruit
It’s hard to completely forget about chocolate.
Quite frankly, you should never feel guilty for munching on a bit of dark chocolate that is at least 70% cacao. In fact, dark chocolate is known for preventing diabetes, reducing blood pressure, lowering your cholesterol levels, and improving brain function.
However, to make sure you don’t overeat on chocolate, you can melt just a tablespoon of it and drizzle it over some fruit. This will satisfy your chocolate cravings, while also providing you with a delicious dessert.
Marinate With Coffee
When you drink it in moderation, coffee will provide you with a number of health benefits.
Coffee is able to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease. However, you can use it for more than just a morning pick-me-up. Try marinating chicken, salmon, pork, or whatever other meat you prefer with coffee.
It will help you use less oil, and it will give the meat a nice, smoky flavor.
Stop Using Serving Bowls
Okay, when you have guests you will obviously use serving bowls. However, there’s really no point in doing this for everyday dinners.
An interesting fact is that people eat 20% more of any food that’s served off of a table than served off of a stove. Big serving bowls only make us want to eat more, which makes us overeat.
Choose Steel Cut Oats
Instead of using white flour to make cookies, quick breads, and pancakes, you should put steel cut oats in a blender and grind them until they become a fine powder.
Replace half of the white flour you would normally use with that oat powder.
Make Chunky Soups
If you don’t have the time to make a soup from scratch, then you can compromise by simply adding your favorite vegetables to plain low-sodium canned broth in order to consume a lot of diverse nutrients.
Melons At Room Temperature
Even though most people prefer to put cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew in the fridge, you should consider storing them at room temperature.
This way, they offer much more nutritional value. However, if you’ve already sliced them, then you should definitely store them in the refrigerator in order to prevent bacterial growth.
Avoid Prepackaged Seasoning
The main reason why you should avoid prepackaged seasoning is that they are almost always loaded with salt.
It’s much healthier (and more fun) to make your own seasoning blends so you can control the ingredients.
Stop Using So Much Salt
Even though most people are aware that they consume too much salt, they never truly decide to cut down on eat.
Salty snacks and fast food are the most dangerous food options when it comes to their sodium contact. Note that canned and frozen foods also contain way too much sodium.
Eat More Healthy Fat
Fat was once considered to be the unhealthiest macronutrient, but after some extensive research, we now know that isn’t true.
In fact, snacking on foods that contain healthy fats is very good for you because it will prevent you from overeating.
Healthy fats make you feel full for a longer time period. So, the next time you decide to make a salad, make sure to include some almonds in it in order to increase your healthy fats intake.
Put olive oil, avocados, and seeds on your shopping list.
Use plant based fats as much as possible.
Many people avoid eating vegetables because it is such a hassle to chop them.
Not to mention that crying is a negative experience that you will always encounter when you chop onions.
Because of this, you should try buying pre-cut vegetables. This way, all you will have to do is cook and eat them.
If this is too costly, as convenience foods typically are, then simply pre-chop your own once every few days and have them ready and within easy reach in freezer bags in your fridge.
Plan For Leftovers
The next time you’re preparing a dish and think that it’s going to be a little too much for you, make sure you add in a little more of the ingredients you already used.
This will ensure that you already have one delicious meal that you can eat tomorrow. In addition, you can also prepare extra stake or chicken, and use the leftover meat to make some delicious salads.
Surround Yourself With Healthy Snacks
Some people love eating snacks more that they enjoy eating a real meal and honestly, who can blame them?
Watching an interesting TV show while munching on a bag of chips or some ice-cream sounds awesome.
However, if you’re trying to eat healthier, know that deciding not to eat unhealthy snacks and deciding not to have unhealthy snacks in your kitchen are two completely different things.
If you keep unhealthy snacks in your house, you will eat them sooner or later.
However, keeping fresh fruit, nuts, nut, and fruit bars will make sure that even when you snack, you will be eating health.
Having healthy foods will also make it easier for you to make your own snacks. For example, spreading peanut butter on an apple is a great idea!
Make A Big Soup
The next time you decide to prepare a soup, make sure you prepare a big batch.
Soups are great for your overall health, and if you make a big batch, you will have enough of it for a whole weak.
Ideally, you would prepare it during the weekend, and eat it as a meal every day during the workdays.
Blend Veggies – Have A Green Smoothie
Sometimes the best breakfast or snack is a nice smoothie or a glass of fresh juice.
You can really stock up your body on key nutrients if you make a smoothie consisting of veggies, fruits, milk/yogurt, and nuts.
Start Making Mason Jar Salads
This is the perfect lunch you can enjoy at the office.
Stock Your Pantry
Think of it this way – you won’t ever feel the need to snack on something unhealthy if you have all the healthy foods you love in your home.
Stocking your pantry will ensure that you will always have something delicious to prepare. This means investigating and determining which healthy foods you prefer, there are many choices, so do your research.
Cook In Bulk
We’ve previously talked about why preparing a big batch of soup is a good idea, but this goes for almost any foods.
Grilling enough chicken breast for lunch today, a salad the next day, and for tacos the day after is always a great idea.
Frozen Yogurt Pops
Diets get so much harder during the summer, when you crave ice-cream 24/7. Thankfully, there’s a really cool way to satisfy your cravings.
Simply put unsweetened yogurt in ice-cream molds, put some fruit in it, and pop a stick in the bottom. Now, put it in a freezer, and you will have a cold snack that you can enjoy whenever you want.
Always Keep A Jar Of Peanut Or Almond Butter
Nut butters are filled with healthy fats, and nuts are the key ingredient in a number of healthy snacks.
Spreading it on apple slices or making some good old Ants On A Log is all possible thanks to peanut butter, so make sure you have a jar of it at home at all times.
Start Using A Spiralizer To Replace Noodles And The Like.
Say goodbye to those insane amounts of carbs that you consume when eating spaghetti, because you’re using a spiralizer now.
This means that you can make pasta from zucchini whenever you want. A Spiralizer is an incredibly fun kitchen tool that will make cooking both more fun and healthy.
Switch Your Oils
Sure, using olive oil is much healthier than using sunflower oil.
However, what about using coconut oil?
Many experts believe that this is without a doubt the healthiest cooking oil that you can find in almost any supermarket. Not to mention that it also makes every meal taste much better.
Make Dried Fruits
When you decide to start eating healthy, you will notice that healthy snacks can be really expensive.
For example, dried fruits are not cheap at all!
Thankfully, making your own dried fruits is quite easy. To prepare this tasty snack, you just need to put the fruit on a sheet pan, cut it into even pieces, and cover it with parchment paper.
Now, you just cook them at a low temperature, and voila!
Olive-Oil Sprayer To Reduce Calories Used
You may be surprised to find out that there are 120 calories in just one tablespoon of olive oil.
That’s a lot of calories. This is why it’s best that you get an olive-oil sprayer, because it helps you control the amount of oil that you’re using.
Keep It Colorful
It’s completely normal to prefer certain fruits and vegetables, but the best way to ensure that you consume all the key nutrients is to make sure you prepare foods of all colors.
Know Your Taste
Even though you’re supposed to follow recipes when preparing foods, you shouldn’t follow them if you don’t like the end result.
For example, if you feel like there would be too much salt or seasoning in the meal, simply reduce the quantity of those ingredients.
Shop In Season
It’s fine to buy fruits and vegetables that aren’t in season every once in a while.
However, know that shopping in season will provide you with both cheap and better-tasting foods.
Get More Juice
If you want to get twice as much juice from oranges, limes, or lemons, then simply roll them in your hands for 15 seconds before squeezing them.
Start Cooking Tomatoes
There’s nothing better than grabbing a fresh tomato and some feta cheese for a light breakfast on a hot summer’s day.
However, in order for you to get more nutritional value out of these delicious vegetables, you should consider starting to cook them more often.
Roasting and cooking them raises the presence of a compound known as lycopene, which is noted for helping lower the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Healthy Frozen Cubes
How many times have you watched a bunch of parsley go bad?
To prevent this from happening, simply chop it put and mix it with a bit of oil, and then freeze it.
This way, you will always have fresh parsley that you can throw into soup whenever you want.
You can also freeze kale this way, in order to have some fresh greens that you can throw into a smoothie. You can even freeze sauces.
The possibilities are endless.
Know Your Avocados
This is quite possibly the easiest kitchen hack ever.
In order to enjoy the perfect avocado, you can simply leave it on the counter to let it ripen at a faster rate.
When they’re about to get ripe, put them in the fridge in order to make them last longer.
By doing this, you will be able to enjoy the perfect avocado.
Freeze Your Blueberries
By freezing your blueberries, you will manipulate the fruit to be healthier.
This is because the antioxidant properties that are found in blueberries are actually concentrated in their skins.
By freezing them, you will make the antioxidants more available to yourself.
Have A Food Prep Day
Preparing healthy food during a workday can sometimes be extremely challenging.
If you have nothing to do on Sunday, don’t spend the whole day surfing the net and watching Netflix. Instead, make it your food prep day.
Spending a day making food for the next week will prevent you from choosing to eat fast food because you don’t have time to prepare a proper meal.
Make A Nutritious Breakfast
Preparing a nutritious breakfast will help you consume all the key nutrients as soon as you wake up.
This will reward you with more energy than usual. Not to mention that you will also be in a better mood throughout the day.
The main reason why you should prepare a big breakfast is because your metabolism is the strongest when you wake up, which means your body will make better use of the nutrients you consume.
Choose Whole Foods
The most important rule when it comes to nutrition and food labels is this – less is always more.
The fewer ingredients on a food label of a product, the healthier it is.
This is why whole foods are the perfect choice when it comes to healthy cooking.
Get Creative With Vegetables
If you prepare them in the same way, veggies will get boring over time.
Thankfully, there are tons of recipes that make you get creative with vegetables.
Zest Your Dough
The next time you’re making a dessert, make sure you put a tablespoon of lemon zest in the dough. It will make your pastry taste much better without the extra sugar or calories.
Cook Rice With A Little Coconut Oil
Before cooking a half a cup of rice, add a teaspoon of coconut oil to the boiling water.
After you’re done cooking, put the rice in the fridge for 12 hours.
During these 12 hours, the fat in the coconut oil will transform the digestible starch in rice into resistant starch. Since our bodies can’t digest resistant starch, you will consume fewer calories.
And don’t worry – you won’t have to eat cold rice. You can simply reheat it after 12 hours have passed.
Instead of eating mashed potatoes, you can start preparing mashed cauliflower. It is also delicious, yet it doesn’t contain so many carbs and calories.
Start Including Beans Into Dessert Recipes
There are tons of recipes for desserts that incorporate beans instead of flour.
For example, you can make brownies with beans. It may not sound appealing as you’re reading it, but you should definitely try it.
You won’t even notice the difference in the taste of your favorite desserts. Although brownies aren’t really healthy, if you include beans into the mix, you will still be consuming a lot of protein, fiber, and iron.
Make Your TV Dinner Healthier
If you’re in the habit of eating TV dinners, the least you can do is add some fresh herbs, fresh vegetables with a drizzle of olive oil, and a squeeze of citrus in order to make it healthier.
Start Poaching Eggs
When you eat eggs with a runny yolk, you will get way more nutrients into your body. When hard-boiling an egg, it will actually lose up to 50% of its nutrients.
Knowledge is power, keep learning and planning to eat healthier.