Cooking food for your family can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it can also be pretty time-consuming. Whether you’re a busy professional, a student, or a stay-at-home parent, or all of the above, finding ways to spend less time in the kitchen can be a huge relief.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you save time and energy while still enjoying delicious, homemade meals.
Plan your meals in advance
If you have a busy week ahead, plan all of your meals for the week in advance, this way you can make sure to have all the ingredients on hand and you will save time because you won’t need to decide what to cook every day, nor will you end up having to go to the shop to buy garlic or potatoes or whatever, and you’ll always have something healthy to eat.
One of the most effective ways to spend less time cooking is to plan ahead. Take some time on the weekends or during your free time to prepare ingredients and make meals in advance. This way, when you’re short on time during the week, you can simply reheat a pre-made meal instead of starting from scratch.
Use a slow cooker
Slow cookers are a great way to prepare meals with minimal effort. Simply add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker in the morning, set the timer, and come home to a hot, ready-to-eat meal, like these slow cooker pork chops in the evening. Slow cookers are perfect for soups, stews, and even roasts.
When you’re cooking, double the recipe and freeze the extra for another meal. This way, you’ll have leftovers for another day when you don’t feel like cooking or don’t have the time, and you don’t have to resort to junk food.
Invest in a pressure cooker
Pressure cookers are a great way to prepare meals quickly. They use high pressure to cook food faster, which means you can have a delicious meal on the table in a fraction of the time it would take to cook it on the stove or in the oven.
Use a food processor
Food processors are a great way to chop, mince, and puree ingredients quickly. They can save you a lot of time and energy, especially when it comes to preparing vegetables, so if you hate chopping and peeling, you won’t regret buying one.
Prepare bulk grains in advance
Grains like rice, quinoa, and bulgur can be cooked in bulk and stored in the fridge for later use. This will save you a lot of time, and you’ll have a healthy, versatile base for meals that can be easily customized.
Get creative with your kitchen gadgets
There are many kitchen gadgets that can save you time and energy. For example, an immersion blender can be used to puree soups and sauces, while a spiralizer can be used to create healthy, low-carb noodles.
Make use of pre-cut or pre-washed ingredients
Buying pre-cut or pre-washed ingredients can save you a lot of time and energy. For example, you can buy pre-cut vegetables or pre-washed salad greens to save time on chopping and cleaning.
Use a rice cooker
Rice cookers are a great way to prepare rice quickly and easily. Simply add the rice and water, and the rice cooker will take care of the rest. So you can get on with talking to the kids or having a rest while your food cooks perfectly.
Take advantage of an air fryer
Many air fryers can be used to cook multiple dishes at once in far less time than a conventional oven. This can save you bags of time, and because you only need to use a tiny bit of oil to do the cooking, it’s a lot healthier for the family too.
Make use of pre-made sauces and marinades
Store-bought sauces and marinades can save you a lot of time and effort. They can be used to add flavour to meats, vegetables, and more, without the need to make your own from scratch.
Use your microwave
Microwaves can be used to quickly cook or reheat a variety of foods, such as leftovers and frozen meals, but they can also be used to steam veggies, bake potatoes and scramble eggs. Use them if increased efficiency is important to you
By following these simple cooking tips, you can make mealtimes more efficient and spend more time doing the things you love. As you can see, cooking really doesn’t have to be a chore. With a little bit of planning and creativity, you can enjoy delicious, homemade meals without spending hours in the kitchen.