54% of Americans have been cooking at home more this past year, and 73% have said that they’ve been enjoying the experience. More than half the people surveyed said that cooking meals at home helps them to eat healthier and keep track of the amount of calories they are consuming. When you’re not buying processed meals, fast foods, and convenience foods, you can make a conscious choice about the ingredients you’re using. Home cooking takes effort, though, and you may find that you don’t always have time to plan, shop for, and cook every single meal. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that you can eat well without needing to cook from scratch everyday.
Healthy meal kits
Meal kits delivered to your door have become increasingly popular, and are incredibly convenient if you have a busy lifestyle. You can follow easy, chef-inspired recipes and get restaurant-quality results at home – and the best bit is that all the prep is done for you: you don’t have to worry about weighing out ingredients. There are plenty of sustainable and eco-friendly meal kit options for all dietary requirements, such as Green Chef, which has paleo and keto choices, and Sun Basket, which uses organic produce. Such options are a streamlined, convenient way to enjoy a healthy meal without the effort of cooking from scratch.
Batch cooking and freezing your meals in advance is an excellent way of making sure that you don’t have to cook from scratch every day. In a couple of hours on a weekend, you can cook many meals, all with several ingredients in common. For instance, with some vegan or lean beef mince, tomatoes, and herbs, you can prepare healthy burgers, create a Bolognese sauce or ragu to eat with spaghetti, or make a delicious Mexican chili, which will only need reheating. Mixed Mediterranean vegetables can be used to make a tasty summer tart, a quiche, or even just frozen ready-prepped so that you can add them to a healthy omelette. Spending time batch cooking can save you time and money throughout the week.
Swap your snacks
Many convenient snacks are not only high in calories, but also contain additives, refined sugar, and saturated fats. If you want to eat well, swap those snacks out and replace them with plant-based options. Popular choices include pre-made bowls of seeds and grains, such as quinoa, oats, millet, and wild rice, flavored naturally with herbs and spices. High protein snacks include edamame, tofu, tempeh, and Greek yoghurt, all low in fat, with no artificial ingredients. There are also snacks that contain healthy fats, such as avocado, nuts, almond butter, and sunflower seeds. You can snack without having to cook and still make healthy choices.