Cooking healthy meals can be a challenge, especially when you’re short on time. It’s easy to resort to fast food or processed meals when you’re busy, but these options are often high in calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats. However, it is possible to cook healthy meals even when you’re short on time. Here are some tips to help you get started.
One of the biggest time-savers when it comes to healthy cooking is planning ahead. Take some time on the weekend to plan out your meals for the week, make a shopping list, and prep ingredients in advance. This can save you a lot of time during the week, as you won’t have to spend as much time chopping vegetables, cooking grains, or portioning out protein sources. Planning ahead can also help you stay organized and ensure that you have all the ingredients you need to make healthy meals.
Keep a well-stocked pantry
Having a well-stocked pantry can be a lifesaver when you’re short on time. Keep a variety of healthy staples on hand, such as whole grains (such as quinoa and brown rice), canned beans, canned tomatoes, frozen vegetables, and nuts and seeds. These ingredients can be used to create a variety of healthy meals in a pinch. For example, you can make a quick grain bowl by combining cooked grains with canned beans, frozen vegetables, and a homemade dressing. Or, you can create a healthy soup by simmering canned tomatoes and beans with frozen vegetables and spices.
Use your slow cooker
Slow cookers are a great way to cook healthy meals when you’re short on time. Simply add ingredients to the slow cooker in the morning, and you’ll have a healthy and delicious meal ready for dinner. Slow cookers are great for making soups, stews, and braises, which are all perfect for busy weeknights. Slow cookers are also a great way to cook tough, inexpensive cuts of meat, as the long cooking time helps to tenderize the meat and make it more flavorful. This guide on how to cook white chicken chili in an instant pot is a good example of what you can do with a slow cooker.
Use convenience items
While it’s always best to cook from scratch, there are some convenience items that can help you save time without sacrificing nutrition. For example, pre-cut vegetables and fruit, rotisserie chicken, and canned tuna can all be used to create quick and healthy meals. Just be sure to read the labels and choose options that are lower in sodium and added sugars. Pre-cut vegetables, for instance, can be added to stir-fries, omelets, or grain bowls to add nutrition and flavour without requiring any prep time.
Try one-pot meals
One-pot meals are a great option when you’re short on time, as they require minimal prep and clean-up. Some examples include chili, soup, and pasta dishes. These meals can be made in advance and easily reheated for a quick and healthy dinner. One-pot meals are also a great way to use up any leftover ingredients you have in the fridge, as you can throw them all into the pot and create a delicious and nutritious meal.