There’s a really good reason why so many people are becoming interested in cooking at home right now, and it’s not just because it tastes so much better than take-out or restaurant food. When you cook at home you save money, spend time eating with and connecting to your friends and your family, and you eat healthier. You also get the added bonus of being able to customize your meals with the types of food and ingredients you love.
Yes, it’s easy to feel so busy you always fall into the ‘I’ll just order take-out again’ cycle, but cooking at home doesn’t take that much time. There are also great benefits to home cooking that you might not have thought of.
1. Cooking at home is healthier
When you pull out your favourite cookware or small appliances and you cook at home, you’ll soon realize that home-cooked food is so much better for your overall diet than restaurant food or over-processed pre-packaged foods. One of the biggest reasons for that is the control you have when you cook at home.
You can control the quality of ingredients you use to minimize fat, calories, and the amount of sodium (Salt causes the body to retain water, increasing blood volume causing your heart to work harder than it otherwise would need to—season with spices when cooking at home instead of just with salt.). Knowing exactly what’s put into your favourite dishes can help you avoid weight gain and reduce the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) and other heart related issues such as stroke. Knowing your ingredients is even more important if you or someone in your family suffers from allergies. If it’s something like a nut allergy, you’ll be more confident in what you serve when cooking at home because you’re in full control of how hygienic your kitchen is. With full control of your kitchen and the ingredients, you’ll definitely know there are no allergens in the dishes you’ve cooked.
2. Home cooking saves money
Making your favourite recipes at home will give you better control of your diet, and it puts you in full control of your food budget too. Ask anyone who regularly makes home-cooked recipes and they’ll tell you that you can save a lot of money by investing in your own cookware set and cooking at home.
When you cook at home you have the freedom to choose which ingredients you save on and which you splurge on. You can choose fresh, natural ingredients from the grocery store. Even better? You get to use the “Cook Once, Eat Twice” rule. That means you can cook double batches to freeze or for multiple meals. It’s just one trick you can use when cooking at home to save even more money.
3. There are emotional benefits to home cooking
How can home cooking benefit you on an emotional level? Cooking and eating at home, especially home-cooked recipes, is a huge part of many cultures.
If you pull out a recipe that was passed down from your grandparents or great-great-grandparents, you can enjoy the emotional wellbeing you get in knowing you’re passing on a family tradition. Cooking also stimulates your brain, and sharing a traditional or unique meal with other family members or friends is a great way to form social bonds and boost your mood.
There’s also your carbon footprint to consider. There’s no denying that restaurants can be very wasteful with food. They may import ingredients from halfway around the world rather than purchase close to home. When you cook recipes for yourself or your family, you can choose to buy locally. You could even make it a weekly family tradition to visit a local farmer for fresh produce or dairy.
4. Enjoy the freedom to eat what you love
When you cook at home you have the freedom to experiment with ingredients, but it’s OK if you don’t want to. One of the best benefits of home cooking is that you can choose what to cook, what to eat, and what style of cooking works best for you and your lifestyle.
Picky eater? No problem: you can cook the recipes you do like to eat. Whether you’re a vegetarian, don’t like certain ingredients, or you want flexible mealtimes, home cooking gives you the freedom to leave out ingredients, use your slow cooker every night, or just fine-tune how you cook, what you eat, and how you prepare it.
How to get started with home cooking
It might seem intimidating at first, but home cooking is easier than you think. There are tons of easy recipes online, so when you first start out you might choose to only cook what you’re excited about. You can also search out a guide for beginner cooking on YouTube or take a course at your local community center.
As you improve your cooking skills you can experiment with recipes, branch out into different kinds of cooking styles, and experiment by cooking with a friend or having the entire family cook together. All you need to get started is a great cookware set. There are a lot of solid choices, but two of the best for people just learning to cook at home are the Cuisinart Cookware Set or the T-FAL Cookware Set.
The Cuisinart Cookware set is an eye-catching 11-piece non-stick set that will take you from table to oven to dishwasher. The T-Fall Cookware 9-piece set is aluminum, has a non-stick interior, and built-in pour spouts with easy-grip handles for maximum versatility. You can also stock your kitchen with bakeware, utensils, and specialty cookware.
Even if you don’t have a full kitchen, there’s no reason why you can’t cook at home. There are so many great small appliances that make cooking a breeze. Choose from slow cookers to air fryers or pressure cookers, and you’ll find that creating your favourite recipe will be quick and easy. These types of small appliances will also let you prep beforehand so dinner is ready to serve when you walk in the door.
Everyone has busy lives, but home cooking gives you that chance to reconnect after a busy week. You’ll all enjoy your favourite dishes with the freshest ingredients, and you won’t have to blow your weekly food budget on unhealthy restaurant meals.
Check out all of the great small appliances, cookware, and cookware sets available on Best Buy, and make this the season you begin cooking at home.