Tuesday, April 20, 2010

3 Extremely Handy Cooking-From-Scratch Tips

This guest article is written by Teresa Jackson, she writes on the subject of online nurse practitioner school . She invites your questions, comments at her email address :  teresa.jackson19@gmail.com.

In this day and age where we are accustomed to doing things at lightning speed and moving at the speed of light, it’s no wonder that instant or fast food is the one thing that seems to give us instant gratification. But on the downside, this kind of food, that’s easy to put together also causes instant illness and instant weight gain – it’s loaded with calories and not healthy at all because of all the processing that has gone into the ingredients and the artificial preservatives that have been added. So if it’s health you’re looking for, you need to know how to cook from scratch, using ingredients that are healthy and safe for your family in a hygienic and clean environment. And to aid your efforts as you cook up a storm, here are a few tips that will come in handy:

  • Get up to speed: Cooking from scratch need not be a time consuming procedure if you’re well prepared and know what you’re doing. In general, when you know what you want to cook, have all the ingredients ready on the counter in the right proportions, and know the recipe by heart, you’re done in no time at all. It may seem like a dreary chore getting all the ingredients ready before you start to make the dish, but when you’re prepared in advance, you not only save time but also minimize the chances of burning or ruining a meal by leaving the pan untended on the stove or adding an ingredient well after the right time.
  • Your workspace is your haven: I hate a messy countertop when I cook; for me, it’s essential that I clear away each ingredient or utensil as soon as I’m done using it so that I don’t have a cluttered cooking area. It’s also easier to minimize spills and accidents when your countertop is not covered with random odds and ends that make it hard for you to pick out the right ingredients. Clear away what you don’t need and keep breakable jars and pots away from harm’s way (so that you don’t push them to the floor by accident with your elbows or dish towels).
  • Haste makes waste: And finally, every aspiring cook must learn that it’s not good to hurry up the process. When you try to speed things up, you end up ruining the flavor of the dish and you also risk adding more or less of each ingredient than you’re supposed to. So go slowly, take time to experiment with the ingredients (use wholegrain substitutes instead of processed flour and other healthier alternatives) and find ways to make the recipe healthier without compromising on taste (reduce salt and enhance the flavor with herbs and lime). It’s easy to make your own healthier and tastier variations to recipes when you cook from scratch.

When you cook from scratch, you not only save yourself a ton of money, you also know you’re giving your family the best gift possible – good health.


  1. Planning too. I find that if I plan more I end up not stressing.

  2. Good tips. Cooking is so much easier when I have chopped onions, crushed garlic, and other "starters" in the freezer. I also MUST have a clean countertop and sink to start. It's like working with a fresh canvas :) Doubling up batches is also a good way to reduce work.

  3. I'm like you in that when I cook or bake, once I'm done with an item or utensil I put it in the sink or wash it and put it away before I move on.
    There is no excuse not to eat fresher and whole meals made from scratch.

  4. Great post. I find that if I think ahead when I buy my groceries on the weekend, then it is no problem making homemade meals during a busy work week. Plus, I have a few simple meals that I keep ingredients on hand for, that way if I work late or am very tired I can still make a meal from scratch.

  5. @Debbie - I like that idea of keeping chopped onions, etc, in the freezer. I love using chopped onions in my meals but don't always like to take the time to chop them!


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