Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your healthy kitchen. This list is periodically updated so please check back often!
** Prepare your favorite group of dried and fresh seasonings/herbs in advance. For instance, if you find that you use a lot of a certain combination of herbs or spices, prepare them in advance to have ready for use.
** Have frozen vegetables and fruits on hand to quickly blend up a fruit or vegetable dish when you don’t have fresh produce around. While fresh is always best, frozen produce is a handy back-up source. For best results freeze your own produce.
** Group recipes together to avoid excessive cleaning and minimize food preparation. For instance make several recipes using similar ingredients or kitchen equipment at the same time. This makes your time in the kitchen more productive and fun and less messy.
** Buy items that you frequently use in bulk. It can save you in shipping charges and trips to the store, plus you usually get a better price.
** Make extra batches of recipes and freeze the leftovers in sealed containers. While fresh is best, storing meals in the freezer can be both practical and help you stay on course. Keep in mind that the texture of any dish may change when frozen.
** Getting fully ripe or overripe produce that has been discounted can save you money and increase your nutrient intake. Research conducted at the University of Innsbruck in Austria and a recent Belgium study found that as fruits fully ripen, almost to the point of spoilage, their antioxidant levels actually increase and they contain healthful compounds not found in picture perfect produce. So get your produce at a savings and give your body an extra boost.
** Shop before you run out of food. Don’t wait until you have depleted your food supply before replenishing it. This can minimize bad food decisions, cheating, lack of nourishment, and food-related stress. Keep the food flowing in a reasonable manner so that you will feel comfortable and confident in your lifestyle.
** Don’t shop when you are famished. This can lead to overspending, and purchasing food items you would normally not use. Hunger makes everything look good and shifts your focus away from healthier choices.
** Use storage containers and methods that will help preserve your food. There are products specifically designed to minimize spoilage, waste, and loss of flavor and nutrients such as produce bags and moisture-proof containers. There are also methods to make your produce last longer like rinsing them in diluted natural vinegar before drying and storing. If storing in standard containers, do not completely seal them. This will allow some of the moisture that builds up to escape. Make sure your produce is completely dry before storing and/or use towels to absorb moisture while storing.
** Purchase extra containers for your kitchen appliances such as extra blender jars and food processor containers so that you can make several items at a time without needing multiple similar appliance units. You can often get containers in different sizes such as the VitaMix blender jars which can make your unit even more versatile and user-friendly. Extra containers can also be stored in cabinets, freeing up your counter space, and are economical since they cost less than an entire appliance. With extra containers you can maximize your space, reduce counter clutter, and save money.
**Try using stackable containers, magnetic jars, extra shelving, racks and/or any number of space saving storage systems for your food supplies. Whether in the refrigerator or in your pantry, accessibility and visibility ease food preparation and help you stay organized.
**Use kitchen tool organizers and shelving such as hanging pot racks and cooking utensil holders to save space and give you easier access to your kitchen tools.