There are so many reasons to make your own food at home. Most people have a sense that it can be less expensive than eating out or ordering in, but did you know that there are a lot of health benefits to preparing your food at home?
Cooking our own food supports digestion when we enjoy the sights and smells of our food becoming our next meal. In fact, even when we think about our next meal, or smell it or see it, our bodies respond by producing more digestive juices in our stomach.
Food prepared at home can be a lot fresher than frozen meals or take out, and it likely will have fewer additives, especially if we start with whole, unprocessed foods. Of course, cooking can be a source of relaxation and joy (which have their own immense health benefits), especially if you take it on as a team project with your family, friends, housemates or neighbors.
One common barrier to making food at home is a crisis of confidence. What if I don’t enjoy the food that I make? Well, here are a few everyday tips for how to make your food taste great.
- Start with fresh ingredients. This is the most influential way to make your food delicious, especially vegetables.
- Use salt at the end. Salting your food at the end can give a powerful effect while actually keeping your intake low. Kosher, flaked salt is inexpensive, high quality and dissolves quickly on the food, making ideal for using as a finishing salt.
- Sprinkle with fresh lemon or lime. Nothing brightens up a meal like fresh citrus. If you tolerate sour flavor well, consider serving your next meal with a slice and squeezing a sprinkle onto your food.
- Use a few pinches of fresh herbs. Fresh herbs add a whole other realm of flavor to a meal and are much more engaging than dried green herbs. Examples of herbs that are best used fresh include rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, cilantro, dill and mint. If you have any herbs in your yard it can be a nice excuse for a quick jaunt outside. Even potted plants can offer a boost to your meals, as a small amount can pack a lot of flavor.
- Grind your spices yourself. Freshly ground herbs can bring a meal to life! This works best with spices that are seeds like cumin, coriander, mustard, pepper, and nutmeg or with spices that are dry and tough like cinnamon or dried chiles. A spice grinder or a spare coffee grinder work well for grinding spices at home and can often be found at second-hand stores.
Be sure to schedule an appointment if you have questions about the best diet for you. Bon appetit!