There are many people who view cooking as a chore, rather than a fun and exciting experience. But cooking can be something to be enjoyed. Good cooking can also improve health. A good chef constantly learns new things; hopefully, this article will deepen your knowledge of cooking and help you to enjoy your time in the kitchen.

A cool area is the best place for you to keep your spices for maximum freshness and taste. They will not taste as fresh if they are exposed to light or warmth. As a general rule, most of your ground herbs and spices will stay fresh for about a year if stored correctly. Spices in their whole form can be stored for between 3 to 5 years. Store your spices correctly to make them last.

There are ways to fix your work and make it so you are able to instantly use it. In a bowl, combine a tablespoon of cornstarch with two tablespoons of water. Add the mixture into sauce and set to simmer in order to thicken it. However, it is important that the sauce is stirred often while the mixture is being added so as to stop it becoming too thick.

If you are just beginning to cook more of your meals, go straight to the nearest bookstore or library to find a cookbook that has simple, fun recipes. Pick a few simple, interesting recipes and work up to more elaborate dishes as your skills increase.

If you do any lengthy cooking process like boiling, many of the nutrients will be cooked out. To retain these nutrients, rely on cooking methods that don’t take a lot of time, including steaming or sauteing. You can even eat them raw if you have the taste for it.

If you are cooking a dish in oil and need to add more to the pan, drizzle it around the sides. This way, the oil heats up before it reaches the food. This ensures your food’s flavor is maximized when finished.

A lot of people usually use apples for cooking things in the winter and fall months, yet a lot of people store them incorrectly and they spoil quickly. Apples will rot if they are stored in warm, dry air, so make sure to keep them in plastic bags in a cool place. One rotten apple will spoil the whole bunch, so check each one occasionally to see if you should throw any away.

Try this quick trick to salvage your efforts. In a medium sized bowl, mix together 1 tblsp water and 2 tblsp corn starch. You can then add the solution to the sauce and it will become thicker. Remember to stir your sauce constantly while adding the cornstarch mixture, to avoid it getting too thick.

Replacing some of your mashed potatoes with equal amounts of cauliflower is a healthy alternative, reducing fat and calories. Cauliflower’s subtle flavors blend in with the potatoes and other ingredients easily. Your mashed potato dish will also look the same if you add cauliflower, allowing it to retain its color and texture while taking the calories out of your potatoes.

Partially freeze meat to make slicing into thin strips easier. This is ideal for Asian meals like Chinese or Thai dishes. Uncooked meat is easier to cut when it is partially frozen. Once you have cut your meat to preference, place them to the side to finish thawing. This allows your meat strips to cook evenly.

You can use this on a variety of foods, not just meat. For example, sprinkle it over roasted nuts or seeds, or use a dash when cooking eggs for breakfast. You’ll even surprise yourself with just how delicious your food tastes.

Replacing some of your mashed potatoes with equal amounts of cauliflower is a healthy alternative, reducing fat and calories. Cauliflower tends to have a bland taste, so this will blend nicely with the potatoes, and will pick up other ingredients, as well. In addition, cauliflowers can blend into the same texture and color as potatoes, which makes cauliflower an excellent method of adding vegetables and decreasing calories from a mashed potato dish.

Airtight Containers

Cook your vegetables quickly to retain quality and nutrients. If you slow cook vegetables they will lose nutritional value and taste. These cooking techniques are much healthier. So in summary, cook your vegetables for the shortest amount of time possible.

Airtight containers should be used when you are storing sugar, flour or baking mixes in your kitchen. Airtight containers allow your food to remain safe from the elements and also prolongs their freshness. Airtight containers are a good investment, inexpensive, and readily available.

You can even put it on things besides meat. Add these types of seasonings to roasted pumpkin seeds when you need a pick-me-up, or spice up your breakfast by putting it on scrambled eggs. Everyone will beg you to let them in on the secret ingredient.

Think big if you plan to make chicken stock. Plan on preparing a large pot of stock in order to freeze it for storing. You can use that delicious chicken stock in stews, casseroles, and soups. To preserve your stock for future use, just simply make sure that it is stored in heavy duty freezer bags and frozen solid. This way the stock should keep for several months or so.

If you’ve made a big pot of sauce, freeze the leftovers by pouring the extra sauce into ice cube trays. When you feel the need to create another meal, you will have them handy to heat up. Not to worry, it freezes well and is perfectly edible when stored this way.

When you do this, you can enjoy your favorite fresh fruits all year. Additionally, you may be able to keep some fruits frozen and enjoy them during months when they are not available in stores.

Add some chicken broth to your pan when cooking vegetables. Try cooking your veggies in chicken broth. It adds a nice flavor, and the veggies will not stick to the pan. Chicken broth is dirt cheap, and can be bought at any supermarket.

If your recipe calls for a liquid, try using something other than water or milk. This will add a spark to that tired old dish. Try adding some stock instead of water, or even the water your cooked veggies in. Try to use buttermilk, yogurt, or sour cream in place of milk. Varying the liquids that are in your recipes is an excellent method of adding nutrition and variety to a dish.

If you’re serious about losing weight, then you need to cut back on the fat by eliminating some of the cooking oils you use. Many unnecessary fats are found in butters and oils, so decreasing them is a healthy way to lose weight. You can use a low-fat non-stick cooking spray instead to keep your foods from sticking but still tasting great.

If you are making a meal that requires garlic, buy fresh garlic or grow your own. Freshness heightens the possibility that the garlic will be sweeter tasting. You can tell that garlic is fresh when it isn’t bruised, mushy or shriveled. The skin should be firm.

When you do this, you can enjoy your favorite fresh fruits all year. You will also be able to enjoy fruits that are out of season.

If you’re feeling stressed at the idea of making dinner for the family, try to do most or all of your prep work the evening before cooking. Try chopping all your onions and veggies, making up a sauce or putting the meat in a marinade before going to bed at night. This way, you will be completely ready to cook and less stressed when you have to complete the meal.

Cater to your guests by serving salads with dressing on the side. This will allow your guests to control how much dressing they want to put on their salad. Get different kinds of dressings to leave them more choices.

Stay healthy by making sure your utensils do not have leftover scraps or any sort of dirt before you use them. If your utensils are not completely clean, you run the risk of introducing old food residue into whatever you are cooking. This can be costly because it might allow for bacteria to spread.

Put any of the unripened fruits you buy in a plastic bag with small holes on the bag. Fruit produces ethylene gas as it ripens. When you keep these fruits in aerated bags, the gas that might normally build up and be trapped is released and allows the fruit to maintain freshness longer.

To have especially flavor rich foods, produce your own stock. Make as much of it as you want and keep the excess in your freezer. This ensures you will have tasty, homemade stock available when you need it for soups, stews and many other dishes. By making your own stock, you can be sure that it is not full of preservatives.

If you enjoy using fresh herbs, consider bunching them together and cutting them with scissors while preparing your next meal. When cut in this way, these herbs will have a lighter, fresher appearance.

The introduction talked about how cooking enthusiasts are always looking to learn something new. The best part of cooking is learning about new techniques and methods to use. It is also important to pass off your knowledge to others. Cooking is not just a skill to learn, but a gift that is meant to be shared with others.

Allow your cooked food to sit a bit before it is served. Most people are unaware that it’s a good idea to have a meal sit out for a few minutes before eating. If you are hungry or in a hurry, you will be tempted to eat the very moment your meal is ready. Eating it so quickly after cooking doesn’t give the juices or flavors enough time to sink down into the meats, or whatever you may be preparing. Let your food rest for a while, and you will enjoy tastier meals.

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