10 surprising benefits of cooking at home that you didn't know about.
“I’ve come to think of cooking as being similar to sewing,” Harvard researcher Eddie Yoon declared in a recent study.
It’s a smart analogy. The majority of people made their own clothes as recently as the early twentieth century, but today it’s a very different story, with most people opting to wear outfits that have been created by somebody else.
Home cooking seems to be heading in the same direction, with research showing that just 36% of Americans cook daily and only 50% cook between three and six times a week.
From an overflow of restaurants to an abundance of fast food chains, food is more accessible than ever. The profusion and ready availability of unwholesome food is negating the need to cook, and curtails the opportunity to create healthy nutritious meals at home.
Dining out is no longer a treat that’s planned and budgeted for. For many, it’s a Monday pick me up. A Tuesday treat. A hump day celebration. And so on.
Not only does this habit account for 43% of the annual food expenses for an average American family, it also adds to the growing obesity crisis in the States, where millions of people prioritize convenience over nutrition and healthy eating.
An estimated 160 million Americans are either obese or overweight, with nearly three quarters of American men and over 60% of women falling into this category. Another shocker: the US is home to 13% of the planet’s overweight and obese people, despite the country accounting for just 5% of the world’s population.
Bizarrely, these statistics are at odds with America’s top New Year’s Resolutions for 2018, with 53% of people hoping to save more money and 45% resolving to lose weight or get in shape with the help of a healthy eating diet plan.
As ardent advocates of cooking at home, we don’t want to see pots, pans and wooden spoons surrender to the same fate as sewing machines! With that in mind, we’ve rounded up ten lesser known benefits of cooking at home to steer you away from the drive-thru and into the kitchen!
1. You WILL save time (trust us!)
So you don’t have time to make your own clothes. Neither do we! But when home cooking can take as little as fifteen minutes, you almost definitely have time to make your own food. In fact, cooking is not only quick and convenient but can actually save you time – a godsend in the era of hustle, bustle and non-stop schedules.
How can cooking save you time when you could just pick up the phone and place a pizza delivery order? While pizza feeds you and your family for one night, batch cooking can fuel you for several days (and it’s healthier too!). For example, you could make an insane amount of homemade mince and use our essential vegetable spiralizer to make zucchini noodles with bolognese one night, top the mince with mashed potato the next evening for a cottage pie and so on. You could even store the rest in the freezer for the following week if you know you’ll be short on time. If you’re worried about chopping all those extra veggies, check out our 5-in-1 kitchen shredder and deluxe grater and peeler.
Easy healthy meal prep can also be much quicker than dining at a fast food chain on the way home from work or picking the kids up from after school clubs. In the time you’ve driven to a fast food outlet, placed your order, waited in the queue, sat down to eat and driven home, you could have thrown some seasoned fish or chicken in a pan with some veggies and be sitting down to a healthy, guilt-free meal in as little as ten minutes. Who hasn’t got time for that?
2. You'll have more energy
Pizza, takeaways and ready meals have a habit of making you feel guilty, full to the brim and I-think-I’ll-set-up-camp-on-the-sofa-all-night sluggish. Weighing yourself down with greasy, heavy foods isn’t exactly a motivator when it comes to getting things done – it’s much more likely to send you into a food coma!
It’s amazing how much you can achieve when you fuel your body with the healthy nutritious meals, so stick with something quick, easy and wholesome if you want to tick things off your to-do list. Use our handy meal portion control tool to make sure you’re not overeating and end your meals feeling satisfied but still able to move! Pack your plate with energy boosting foods like beans, spinach and complex carbs and finish up with an apple or a few almonds if you’re still feeling snackish.
3. You can easily navigate allergies and intolerances
Food allergies and intolerances are on the rise in the States. In fact, nearly 4% of Americans have a food allergy, with shellfish, fruit, eggs, peanuts and soy being the most common. Causing a variety of nasty symptoms from hives to anaphylaxis, cooking at home is the single best way to avoid any issues stemming from intolerances.
Home cooking puts you in control of food prep and the ingredients that go into your food. If a partner or family member is severely allergic to a particularly substance, you can even ban it from the house altogether, eliminating the risk of an allergic reaction.
4. You can monitor your salt intake
A quick, flavor-enhancing trick of the trade, added salt is an age-old favorite with chefs and fast food chains. Home cooking not only means you control how much salt goes into your food, but also the type of sodium that flavors your masterpieces. Highly processed and stripped of all its health giving benefits, did you know table salt is comparable to refined (white) flour and sugar?
Unlike table salt, which contains just two or three minerals (along with a bunch of additives and anti-clumping agents), natural sea salt contains a wealth of trace minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium. These are easily assimilated by the body and are essential for a number of bodily functions including enzyme production. Try sprinkling some Himalayan rock salt on half an avocado or a handful of cashews – just two examples of healthy snacks for adults craving a sodium fix!
5. Your relationship will thank you
A takeout in the front of the TV is nowhere near as rewarding as tucking into a healthy home cooked meal around a table. Whether you’re cooking for the family or inviting friends round for dinner, making mealtimes an occasion helps you set aside the time for a proper catch up or an overdue heart-to-heart. So turn off that TV and dive into some good old fashioned conversation. From kindergarten dramas to office gossip, who needs soaps and reality TV shows anyway?
The kitchen is also a great place to bond and make memories with your kids, partner or friends. From dipping a finger in a chocolatey baking bowl to teaching little ones about the foodie flavors and traditions that run in the family using our colorful kitchen utensils, there’s always plenty to talk about in the kitchen. It truly is the heart of the home!
6. It’s a chance to get creative
How often does the creative side of you get a chance to shine? While it can be a mission finding the time to work on your novel or brush up on your language skills, you have to find time to eat – so why not unleash your creativity in the kitchen? With endless, tasty healthy recipes and innovative kitchenware to help you achieve new heights in the taste and flavor stakes, it’s the best room in the house to get those creative juices flowing!
More than half of Americans would prepare dinner at home more often if they felt more inspired. We’ve got inspiration in spades: check out our delicious healthy recipes for some colorful taste bud tinglers such as our fruity paradise breeze dessert and the cool kitchenware that goes with them to make food prep a pleasure!
7. It could become a new hobby
As you play around with new recipes and tinker with your brand new pineapple peeler and other must have kitchen utensils, you might find yourself wanting to learn more about nutrition and healthy eating. Delving into the foodie world is easy as pie: from farmer’s markets and specialist magazines to online stores with quirky kitchen gadgets, there’s plenty of information and equipment at the fingertips of budding foodies.
Getting your kids involved with your newfound passion is a great way to teach them about the benefits of good food. Kids are quick to imitate the eating habits of their parents, so set a great example by taking them to organic food markets or even planting a herb garden together.
8. You’ll be in control
Here’s a scary statistic: sales of junk food in the US leapt by 23% from 2012 to 2017. This marks a huge increase in the number of Americans putting their physical wellbeing in the hands of companies whose priorities align more closely with profit than with your health. Cooking at home gives you full control over your body and what you put into it. You only get one, so make sure you look after it!
Slicing and sautéing will also put you in control of your children’s diet. With one in three American kids and teens overweight or obese, childhood obesity is the number one health concern among parents in the US. Fuel your kids with all the right stuff and get them involved in the process! With our whale shaped pot strainers and crocodile tongs, cooking with unique kitchen accessories can be fun and educational.
9. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint
From plastic in our oceans to clean vehicles, we are becoming increasingly aware of our impact on the planet. In fact, over two thirds of Americans said they would be prioritizing healthy or socially conscious food purchases in 2018, and what better place to start than at home?
While restaurants throw out crazy amounts of uneaten food at the end of each day, home cooking minimizes waste, particularly when teamed with meal planning and scrupulous grocery shopping. Odds are you’ll also be shopping locally, as opposed to restaurants which may order in foods from further away, to the detriment of the environment.
10. You’ll impress even your foodiest of friends
A superb home cooked meal is a sure-fire way to impress, whether you’re entertaining friends and family or hosting a hot date! Whatever you choose to whip up, perhaps a light healthy dinner like mango chicken stir fry or a delicious green bean casserole, make sure there’s enough for seconds!
If you really want to impress, how about inviting your guests round while you prep using your new set of kitchen tools and equipment? Show off using your elegant swan ladles and put on a show with your fancy leaf remover (probably one of the most useful kitchen gadgets ever!). Just remember to capture your cooking gadgets in action and share them with us on social media @mykitchen.love
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