Some people love cooking, and others don’t. Some believe food is simply a source of fuel and nourishment while others see it as something more, a chance to enjoy something exquisite with the important people in their lives.
Regardless of which group you belong to, you still have to do it. With that in mind, here are three simple tips to better this experience.
A Clean Environment
In the 2011 end-of-the-world classic Contagion, a bat in a Chinese rainforest infects a banana which is then consumed by a pig in a pig farm. The pig is then slaughtered and prepared by a chef in Macau. Without properly cleaning his hands, the chef shakes the hand of a foreign visitor, therefore initiating a global pandemic.
Before the year 2020, this appeared as anything but realistic. After all, even with SARS and the swine flu, the world hadn’t seen a virus on a global scale since the Spanish Flu of the early 20th century. Of course, we now know differently.
Many diseases can be transmitted in a dirty cooking environment. They will affect not only your well-being but also the well-being of your family and friends. As such, one of the most important things is to maintain your kitchen and the rest of your house clean and pristine. If you notice a few flies here and there, you might have a pest problem. In that case, your best bet is to contact a reputable mosquito or pest control services provider to take a look at your place.
Remember, the money you’ll be spending is a small price to pay for your health and that of your loved ones.
Balance, Variety, and Color
There are four main food groups. One of them is carbohydrates and includes items like bread, pasta, potatoes, and rice. The second one is protein. The most common examples are beef, milk, pork, beans, chicken, and fish. Coming in third is fruits and vegetables. Finally, we have fats, both healthy and unhealthy. An example of healthy fat is a small bowl of almonds or avocado. As for the unhealthy variety, butter and margarine, no pun intended, take the cake.
In all likelihood, most of us have heard about the importance of variety when eating. Still, few actually know what this means or how to put it in place in their cooking. And if they do, they don’t apply it either out of laziness or stemming from misconceptions regarding saving money or using it for things that “really” matter.
In simple terms, balance is a combination of variety, quantity, and color. A plate of rice with tuna contains both protein and carbohydrates, essential parts of your nutrition. But there are only two colors, white and light gray or pink. That alone will tell you that something is missing.
Instead, if you add a bunch of broccoli, a few carrots, and a slice of tomato, you now have white, pink, green, orange, and red. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?
Natural Flavors and Taste
One of the most common consequences of extreme and fad dieting is a popular term known as the rebound. Oftentimes, highly overweight people or people who need to slim down in a short period for a family event such as a wedding or a trip to the beach in the summer embark on unhealthy, unrealistic weight loss programs. For instance, they decide to eat only boiled, plain chicken and a few veggies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
While this will probably make you shed those extra pounds in a shorter time frame, neither the body nor the brain can handle it. Hence, it comes as no surprise that a few weeks later, and for some even a few days later, all the weight will have returned.
But how does one eat healthily and still make the food delicious? Is this even possible? The answer is yes, it is possible. All it takes is a bit of diligence and a few extra minutes. Rather than adding condiments to spice up your food, why not take the time to dice a few garlic cloves or slice a bit of white or red onions? And if you want something sweet, you can replace the sugar in your coffee with a spoonful of agave nectar or some organic maple syrup.
Don’t fall for the misconception that natural food is bland and tasteless. If you know how to cook it, it is quite the opposite.
Three of the most important tips to better, smarter cooking are making sure your surroundings are clean and hygienic, adding balance, variety, and color to your favorite dishes, and replacing condiments with natural ingredients to enhance flavor and taste. These are straightforward ways to make the food you cook not only more delicious but also healthier. Besides, they will add a bit of fun to the entire cooking experience.