With a little bit of planning and flexibility cooking from scratch can be easier than you think.
By Rosie Bailey, Co-founder of the Teaspoon Club
From our experience, people tell us that time and money are the biggest obstacles to overcome when cooking from scratch.
It can be difficult to cook healthy balanced meals when you’re on taxi duty half the night and trying to prepare for the next day the other half.
But it’s worth putting in the effort to cook from scratch as these meals tend to be healthier than ones bought in store. So we’ve written some tips below on how to cook from scratch.
Be flexible, shop smart
Saving money is really difficult when you want to cook from scratch.
One of the things I’ve found really useful, especially as a student, is being flexible with the ingredients I’d use when I’m following a recipe.
Often the vegetables in the discounted section of supermarkets, or those on sale, are a great way to keep costs down and even try vegetables you’d normally avoid. It’s also great to know you’re reducing the waste that supermarkets produce!
Loose vegetables are also often cheaper than the packaged versions – and you can save on plastic.
A lot of the recipes that we offer at The Teaspoon Club, along with recipes in books and online, may call for specific vegetables, but often you can use any in your fridge that you could do with using up.
Getting prepared is one of the best, and yet most difficult, ways to help reduce the time that cooking can take.
If you make curry pastes, freezing them can really help you make sure there’s a homecooked meal minutes away when you’re in a real rush. Some people like to make curry pastes in bulk, and freeze portions so that all they have to do is add fresh veg and chopped tomatoes to whip up a delicious curry. There are so many hidden salts and preservatives in things like curry jars and pasta sauces that they really are worth avoiding when you can.
Make cooking fun
Trying to make cooking fun, especially if you have children, is a brilliant way to make it less of a challenge and more of an activity.
We often get parents emailing in to let us know that their children cooked dinner, asking what spices and ingredients were being used and enjoying the whole experience.
It may seem like a lot of effort to instigate, but depending on your children’s ages it could be a great way to sit back and let them do the hard work!
Splitting tasks like chopping ingredients and stirring the pan is definitely a case of many hands making light work.
The Teaspoon Club
The business I created alongside my sister, The Teaspoon Club a local business in Telford, aims to remove the obstacles of time and money when cooking from scratch.
We sell spice recipe kits, in the exact proportions ready to add to fresh ingredients to cook recipes with.
They all come with a printed recipe card, and are far healthier than store bought alternatives (and more affordable) because they are pure spices alone.
You won’t have to worry about thinking what to cook, or getting the flavours right. If you’d like to give us a try, visit The Teaspoon Club today and use the code FIRSTTIME at the checkout to try our lucky dip 7 main meal box for £3.50.