Cooking at home isn’t always easy. You may not be confident about your kitchen skills, or see cooking as a chore rather than a hobby, or you may simply not have the time to prepare your own food.
That said, we all know that cooking at home is an easy way to change your eating habits for the better. Those who cook from scratch are more likely to use healthier ingredients, consume fewer calories and generally eat less. And last but by no means least, making your own food is cheaper than buying ready meals, getting takeway or eating out.
If you’re keen to cook more at home but are struggling to make this part of your daily routine, here are a few ideas that might help:
1 – Clean and organise your kitchen
It’s much easier to hit the ground running, as it were, if your kitchen is spotlessly clean, meticulously organised and everything is ready for use. If yours in no such state, why not make it a weekend project to transform your unloved kitchen into a practical, warm and welcoming space that you would love to spend time in.
2 – Update utensils and appliances
Check your kitchen utensils and small appliances to see whether they’re still fit for purpose. A new set of kitchen knives, bakeware or kitchen scales don’t have to cost a fortune if you shop smart. But the motivation to use a few shiny new kitchen gadgets may well be the impulse you need to spend more time in the kitchen.
3 – Review your pantry staples
Take a look at what foods and ingredients you have in the cupboard, fridge and freezer. Throw out anything that’s out of date and donate anything you never use. Now start afresh by filling your kitchen cupboards with basic ingredients – here’s what Jamie Oliver recommends – and favourite foods that you know you’ll use.
4 – Start with simple recipes
If you’ve never cooked properly before, start with two or three simple, fail-safe recipes and make them until you feel confident. That way, you’ll build on your successes and not be put off by failure. Spaghetti Bolognese, Roast Chicken Pieces, Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers, Baked Potato or Fairy Cakes… these are all good, healthy starter recipes that will happily feed a family.
5 – Cook for family and friends
Cooking for one can be a bit of a lonely task but if you prepare a meal for several people, it’s often much easier to make the effort. Why not ask family members to help in the kitchen? Baking with kids is always hugely popular, and trying out new recipes with a friend can be lots of fun. How about making Sunday lunch for a bunch of friends and share your creations?