5 Cooking Habits to Break

5 Cooking Habits to Break

            It can be daunting when you don’t know how, but let’s be honest: cooking is awesome. Not only is it more budget-friendly than eating out for every meal, but you maintain more control over your diet so you can ensure you are eating foods that fuel your body, not clog your system. But even cooking at home can have its pitfalls if you’re not careful. Check out these less than desirable kitchen habits and see if there are any you can break to up your cooking game!

  1. Following the recipe too closely. It’s important to follow the recipe in regards to certain aspects, such as cooking times and proper temperatures (no one wants to get sick from undercooked meat). But sometimes a recipe we love can be modified for healthier alternatives. For example, if a recipe calls for heavy cream, perhaps you can swap that out for half-and-half. Or, if a recipe calls for two tablespoons of oil, maybe you can cut that in half and get away with only using one? And speaking of oil…

  2. Using too much oil. Many recipes call for a thin coating of oil for a pan, but without an exact measurement, consider what that actually means. Do you need enough to glaze the pan or just enough to your food won’t turn into a blackened mess superglued to the pan? Additionally, rather than eyeballing the oil, use an exact measurement. Start with one tablespoon and if you need more, add accordingly. More than likely, you’re using way more than you actually need.

  3. Making too much food. We’ve all been guilty of this at one time or another and ended up cooking enough food for an army instead of only two. There are tons of great websites and apps that will help you scale down a recipe so you can ensure you’re only making the amount of food you need. Add in an extra serving or two if you plan to eat the leftovers the following day, but you generally don’t need to make a recipe that serves eight when you’re cooking for one.

  4. Tasting too much. Yes, you often need to taste as you’re cooking to ensure you’re adding in the correct amount of spices. However, there’s always that line between a quick taste and just plain eating as you go before then eating a regular-sized portion on top of that. Be conscious of what you’re doing in the kitchen! If you can’t seem to keep yourself from snacking as you go, create a plan for yourself. Maybe you want to eat an apple or a handful of nuts before you start cooking so you’re less likely to give into cravings; find what works for you.

  5. Saying, “I can’t cook!” If you need a reminder, watch Pixar’s Ratatouille and remember “Anyone can cook!” Sure, it’s a cartoon, but that doesn’t make the sentiment any less true. Cooking, like most things in life, are skills you can cultivate. Taking control of your diet in a healthy way can be a form of self care, so why not learn how to cook? You don’t need to start with anything overly complicated--remember, you walk before you can run--but learning to cook can be a huge benefit to your overall health. Don’t allow yourself to be stuck in a negative mindset and instead, give yourself the opportunity to learn how to cook. Ask a friend or family member for a lesson, attend a local cooking class, watch videos online for easy recipes, or just find a cookbook that features cuisine you love and try it out!

 

            Take control of your kitchen and break these bad habits for a chance to improve your health and diet. Did we forget any other bad cooking habits you’ve dropped? Let us know in the comments!

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