With the busy lives that we lead, it can be tempting to grab some ready-made food or grab the takeout menu to order something. But doing this all of the time can really have an impact on your health. Ready-made food can be full of lots of preservatives, as well as sugar, as it has to have a longer shelf-life than something that you might make yourself. So where possible, making food from scratch really is going to be the best way to get meals packed with nutritional goodness, and be in control of what you are eating, which is so much better for health. As well as the health benefits, there are plenty of financial benefits too. You can save money by cooking from scratch; you just need to plan enough to make sure that you have time to do it all.
It can be tricky to know where to start with cooking from scratch, especially if it something that you didn’t grow up doing, or have never really been shown to do (or taken an interest in before). What are the top tips and tricks? Do you need private cooking lessons before you get started, for example? So with that in mind, here are some of the essentials to stock up in your cupboard at home. Then you can just get the fresh or frozen veg to make up some tasty meals.
Having some tinned food in the home means that you’ll always be able to whip up something. And if you look for tinned fruit that is in juice rather than syrup, and tinned corn that is in water without salt or sugar, then you know that there isn’t going to be anything nasty in what you are making. Some of the best things to have in are:
- Tinned tomatoes
- Coconut milk
- Sardines or anchovies
- Beans (mixed beans, kidney beans, butter beans, or even baked beans)
Having some sauces in the cupboard to grab can make a basic meal taste even more amazing. For example, some Worcestershire sauce over eggs or a spaghetti bolognese can give it such an amazing flavour. Balsamic vinegar goes well with passata to make a tasty and good for you pasta sauce. Soy sauce is a great addition for Asian inspired meals, and can make rice and veggies just taste that little bit better. Mustard, Tabasco, honey, ketchup, curry pastes, and chutneys can be a good place to start with your sauces.
There are plenty of dried goods that are going to make a difference with your meals, and as they are dried, will have a fairly long shelf-life. So when you’ve always got some in, it means that you can always have a meal to cook. This could include things like:
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat pasta
- Dried herbs
- Dried fruit like raisins
Having some basics in the house all of the time can make cooking from scratch so much easier. And when you have a play and see what works together, it can help you to cook good food, save money, and increase the health and wellness of your family.