Useful Kitchen And Cooking Tips Everybody Should Know And Follow
Kitchen Can Be A Fun Place
I am always saying that you don't need to fear the kitchen. You can turn this place into a wonderful part of the house where all the family can be engaged and you can tighten your relationships. It is said that food brings people together, so why wouldn't preparing it do the same?
If you know what things you should and shouldn't do while cooking then you can make the whole process fun and wish to repeat it.
Because I see so many people, even great chefs sometimes, make such big cooking mistakes in their desire to gain time or maybe because they don't know these are wrong, I have decided to write this hub to help everyone know how bad some things can be and what are the best alternatives to replace them with.
Never Ever Do This
One of the most common mistakes I see when someone prepares deserts is using citrus peel. That peel has more chemicals and bacterias on it than you can ever imagine. Just think that it is treated to stay fresh while it is transported for miles until it reaches your shop. It is also deposited in big places where insects or even rats sometimes enter and therefore they are covered with bacterias.
The only way you could ever use that peel is if you took that citrus from your own yard and you know what was sprayed on them and the tree they grew in.
Another solution would be to boil the peel for a few minutes before using it, but let's be honest, what kind of flavor would it still hold after boiling it for so long?
If you want to flavor your desert with orange, lemon, lime or whatever other citrus, just use the pulp of the fruit. It will be ten times more flavored and healthy.
Wash the citrus really well before cutting it, especially if you plan to squeeze it.
Don't use "instant" anything. Instant soup, instant meals, enhancing cubes (made from beef, chicken or vegetables soup) or granules. Even if they might have some dehydrated vegetables in them, they also have so many chemicals and taste enhancements that they are true bombs for your health.
You can make you own soup at home really fast by cutting in cubes a chicken breast of the size of your palm, chopping one carrot, one fist size potato, adding a whole onion (fist size), a celery stick, half of green bell pepper and enough water to cover them three times. Add salt, black pepper, a sprinkle of dry thyme (as much as you can take with three fingers) and later add a handful of noodles when the carrot is soft (when trying to break it with your spoon). Before turning the heat off, just add some chopped parsley and there you have your soup. I usually throw away the onion and bell pepper, but you can eat it if you like it.
If you want your food to cook faster use a lid, but make sure you don't cover the pan completely, but place the lid a little crooked to let steam out, otherwise the water from your food will rise and fall on your stove while pushing the lid away.
Control the taste of your food with the help of condiments and ingredients. Onion will always make the food taste better, so always add an extra whole onion (fist size or smaller) and remove it when the food is cooked. Always taste your food, if it doesn't seem to have any taste then it needs salt, not those enhancements that you can buy from the supermarket.
My boyfriend is always bragging about my food to anyone, but when we first moved in together he thought I was using those supermarket food enhancements. He was so surprised when he saw I wasn't and told his mother to stop using them and make the food taste good by controlling the condiments.
A friend of my father found out a few years ago that he has diabetes. One of the first things the doctor asked him was if he was cooking with these enhancements and when he said he does, the doctor told him to never use them again. A doctor said that to a diabetic, so can you imagine how harmful they are?
Never use food colorants. There are natural replacements for almost any color you want, so why use chemicals in the food that you will serve to your children?
I am always peeling and chopping a big beetroot and boil it in two times the amount of water until the water reduces and use that reduction to color in red my desert, cream or whatever else I might want.
Boiling beetroot peel will give you blue food coloring. Using mashed kiwi you will get green. You can also boil some algae for green, and they are even better because they don't change the taste of the food. Use saffron for yellow and orange, and so on. Depending on how intense you want the color you can use from a few drops to a few tablespoons of the natural coloring.
Don't use store bought salad sauces. They are not only filled with chemicals, but they are also packed with sugar, salt and fats. Lots of fats. Make a dressing at home. The rule is quite simple, if your salad has tomatoes or cheese don't use vinegar in your sauce, choose a dressing based on oil, salt and black pepper. So simple and yet so incredible tasty. You can use olive oil, sun flower oil, canola oil ... whatever you like.
If your salad has eggs in it you can add some mustard to your sauce. If you want garlic sauce mix mayonnaise with fresh crushed garlic. For your Greek salad mix yogurt with salt, black pepper, oil and lemon juice.
Try around, see what you like. You might like vinegar on your tomatoes, you don't have to stay away from it just because I am not mixing these two. See what tingles your taste buds.
Make Smart Decisions
If you are not sure about a product, then just don't use it. Think of it this way, you are not only harming yourself, you are also harming your children and all the people you serve that food to. If you would never give drugs or alcohol to your children, why would you ever give them these chemicals when you know this is what they are?
If the label of the product you buy from the store starts with sugar or salt it means that that is the main ingredient in that product. Ingredients are written from highest concentration to lowest concentration, so pay attention to this.
Also, if the label contains more letters, numbers and ingredients you can't even pronounce then you definitely shouldn't buy it as it is more chemistry there than you have ever learned in whole your school years. If there are more than three ingredients you can't read or they are under the form of letters and numbers, run as fast as you can.
I really hope I won't see TV chefs doing these mistakes anymore because people who watch their shows and don't know how to cook take their advice and risk their health doing so. A chef that uses instant products isn't a chef in my opinion. I think that if you are good you will teach people how to cook with real ingredients not chemicals, and present alternatives to the store bought foods packed with bad stuffs.