Thursday, July 16, 2009

Part 1: Time-Saving Tips When Cooking From Scratch


Part 1: Time-Saving Tips When Cooking From Scratch:

The biggest obstacle to cooking from scratch that I hear from people is this statement, “But I don’t have time!” When I first started my cooking from scratch journey three years ago, I was overwhelmed from trying to do too much at once. I’ve learned a few things since then. I’m going to break this up into a few posts so it won’t be overwhelming to you!

Today I’m going to discuss some time-saving (and money-saving) methods of cooking from scratch.

1. Take Shortcuts:

a. I don’t peel anything unless I absolutely have to. When you peel a fruit or veggie, you are losing vitamins, minerals and fiber, and time! Leave the skin on potatoes, carrots, etc…

b. Freeze instead of drying or canning: This was a huge time saving tip. Freezing preserves enzymes. Canning damages enzymes and is time consuming. I think drying is time-consuming as well. I also keep my raw nuts, yeast, and wheat germ in the freezer. We buy nearly all our meat farm-direct, so we have plenty of room for large quantities of meat.

c. I don’t blanch my fruits or veggies before I freeze them. Call me crazy, but I haven’t been doing it for years and we’ve never gotten sick. In fact, when you don’t blanch, you are leaving more enzymes intact which aid in your body’s digestion of that food. Best of all, it saves a lot of time!

d. Don’t pasteurize your raw milk, cream before making cheese, butter, etc…Again, you’re losing valuable enzymes. That is the whole point of raw milk.

e. Avoid rolling out dough. Whenever possible, make biscuits in a pan; avoid pies, instead make crisps; use a tortilla press instead of rolling out the tortillas, etc…

2. Double, Triple or even quadruple your recipes:

a. When you are putting out the effort to cook, why not make way more than you would normally make then freeze it in increments you would use? Make a lot! It doesn’t take that much time to make more of something. I do this with my condiments (except mayo) and freeze them. You’d be surprised what you can freeze. You can freeze soups, cheese, ketchup, bbq sauce, homemade mock maple syrup, humus, leftovers and casseroles. Flash freeze your berries, then put them all together in a storage bag. We freshly frozen berries to throw on our granola, pancakes, hot cereal all year round.
b. When cooking beans, rice, mashed potatoes, hamburger, sausage, etc, for any recipe, cook a lot of it! These all freeze so nicely. I freeze these in two cup increments because that is what most recipes call for. It is healthier and cheaper than buying beans in a can, instant rice or potatoes. All you have to do is thaw it out and throw it in whatever you are making. How’s that for instant? Also, gravies, broth, pancakes, waffles, bread, hot cereal and tortillas freeze well. Make a lot and freeze!

*Side note: I find that when I make casseroles to freeze, they taste better if I leave them uncooked. I cook them after they've thawed out completely.

4 comments:

Timmy's Girl @ Luv My Quiver Full Of Arrows said...

Wow, you are a proverbs 31 woman!!!

xoxo, Veronica in CA

Chris said...

Cooking...This is an area I need some help in. I will definitely bookmark your blog....

Wow, you seem like alot of fun. I am a bit fearful for motocycles...being a passenger that is. Maybe if I had my own I would enjoy it. I remember riding with my daddy and being so scared of tipping over.

Your kids are sooo cute. Love the red hair. I also have another blog www.joyfulmother.blogspot.com where I post pics of my family and mommy type stiff.

I agree with you about being of the Word and Spirit. He will show us all things...especially in the area of being QF.

Chris said...

I meant of motorcycles not "for motorcycles" I tend to have typos at times. UGH>

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I got this great question from a friend via email and thought I'd answer it on my blog, too.

Hi Jackie! I enjoyed looking over your Web page. I, too, am trying to cut
out plastic as much as possible and am wondering what you use to freeze your
casseroles, soups, etc? Thanks for sharing! Brenda

Brenda,
I've been investing in the pyrex with lids (BPA free). Once a month I'll go to Wal-mart and buy another set, or one piece (only as I can afford it) and slowly replaced my plastic storage containers. I've gotten quite a good collection that way. I also use various sizes of canning jars for soups, cooked beans, cooked rice, ketchup, freezer jams, etc... They stack pretty well in the freezer, so do the pyrex with lids. When I'm making a lot of something and it would make a good meal for a nursing mom or what have you, I'll put a casserole in tin pan that way they don't have to do dishes and they don't have to worry about getting my dishes back to me. I know it isn't very healthy to eat things cooked in tin, but it sure is convenient when giving food to others.

Hope that answers your question. Let me know if you have anymore!

God Bless,
Jackie

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