When life gets busy, eating healthy gets difficult! Between kids, career, extracurricular activities, date night with the spouse, etc., there’s little time left to cook a healthy dinner that everyone likes and also tastes good. There are a lot of tools out there to help save you time and money when cooking healthy. Here are a few of the best that you can quickly and easily incorporate into your normal cooking routine.
Steam Rather Than Boil
Get the most out of those vegetables! Eating the recommended amount of vegetables per day can lower your risk of many types of diseases, cancer, and even diabetes. However, if you’re boiling those vegetables rather than steaming them, you’re losing out on up to 50% of the vitamins and 15% of the minerals. A steamer basket is one of the easiest ways to switch from boiling to steaming with little to no effort from you. This small change in how you prepare your meals will have a big impact on the nutritional value of your meal.
Be Aware of Portion Control
An easy and impactful way to quickly reduce the calories of any meal is to control how much of it you eat. This can be difficult if you’re sitting with a large plate full of food in front of you. Utilizing measuring cups or bowls to separate a specific amount of food will make you more conscious about how much you are actually eating. Getting up from the table to get another ¼ cup of cheese to sprinkle on your pasta is more difficult than having a never-ending supply available at the table.
A food scale is another great way to become painfully aware of just how much you’re actually eating. Flat scales are best for meat and cheeses, whereas scale cups are best for cooked pasta and rice. One serving size of meat is usually about 3 oz, which is pretty small when you weigh it on a scale! By paying more attention to the amount of foods you are actually eating, you can make better decisions on how to reduce these extra calories and create healthier meals.
Cut Calories on Comfort Foods by Air Frying
Oil-less frying is a great way to cook healthier meals that taste great and still satisfy those comfort food cravings without feeling guilty about it later. Air fryers can make a range of food, like French fries, mozzarella sticks, fried chicken, and onion rings, but without the extra calories you get from deep-frying. The Power AirFryer also has a bunch of accessories and tools available to further help you in your quest for creating healthier meals:
- Basket Divider
Most air fryers on the market feature a single fry basket in which food cooks. Depending on the size of your air fryer, this basket can let you cook a lot of food, but you can usually only cook one type of food. A basket divider addresses this issue by splitting the basket (usually in half) so you can cook more than one food at once. For example, you can cook both the fish and French fries that make up fish and chips simultaneously. You can also utilize the basket divider to help with portion control. Rather than making a full basket of fries, you can use the divider to cut the quantity in half. Not only are you being healthier by already using an air fryer, but you’re giving yourself an extra bonus by controlling how much you eat.
- Baking Inserts and Pans
Pizzas and baked goods can be delicious when air fried, but these kinds of meals often need to be cooked in a specific shape. Certain accessories, like baking inserts or pizza pans specifically designed for air fryers, can help you achieve this shape—with delicious results.
- Oil Sprayer
While air frying uses much less oil than traditional deep frying, you may want to use a small amount of oil for some meals, but you also don’t want to go overboard by adding too much oil and reducing the steps you’ve already taken to making a healthier dish. To apply this oil, nothing is easier and more efficient than using an oil sprayer. Control how much oil you are adding by measuring a specific amount into the sprayer and then evenly disperse it over the food you’re cooking.
- Air Fryer Ovens
If you’re feeling even more ambitious, you might think about buying an air fryer oven – complete with multiple shelves that allow frying a lot of food at once. In addition to the extra space gained from the shelves, some of these air frying ovens can use rotating rotisserie skewers. This feature opens up a whole new world of new recipes that you can cook in your air fryer—all with a minimal amount of oil.