Learn To Make Better Meals With These Helpful Tips

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Being able to cook is an important skill that can provide you with many benefits. Eating homemade food is healthy and delicious, and also saves you money.

TIP! If you want to start cooking more, go to the bookstore or library and get a cookbook of simple and basic recipes that appeal to you. Try your hand at several recipes that pique your interest, and forgive yourself for any mistakes you may make along the way.

Do not throw away the product of your hard work. For every tablespoon of water, add half a tablespoon of cornstarch and mix as much as needed to get the right thickness. In order to create a thicker sauce, add the mixture to the sauce, while it is cooking on low heat. Make sure you stir your sauce and stop pouring the mix once your sauce looks better.

Always keep a set of sharp knives in your kitchen. Dull knives can be dangerous and they also make cutting things hard. With a dull knife it is easy to slip and cut yourself because it is harder to slice the food, but a knife that is sharp makes much smoother cuts.

TIP! If your stir fry recipe calls for meat, make sure to slice it very thinly on the bias. Getting the perfect cut can sometimes be a challenge.

Adding cauliflower to your mashed potatoes is a great way to reduce the amount of fat and calories they contain. You should use equal portions of potatoes and cauliflower when making this delicious side. Cauliflower has little taste of its own, so it will blend right into your potatoes and pick up flavors from whatever other ingredients you use. It also mimics the texture and color of the potatoes almost perfectly letting you up your vegetable intake, and drop the calories, all the while giving the same delicious potato experience we all know and love.

Fresh Basil

TIP! If you are cooking meats that need seasoning, season a small piece first before making the entire meal. Foods like meatballs, hamburger and even meatloaf may require careful seasoning.

Do you cook often with fresh basil? Store basil in a glass jar. The stems should be thoroughly covered in water. Keep it on the kitchen counter and it should stay fresh. If the water is changed periodically, the basil may even sprout roots. Trim or cut the basil from time to time for additional growth. Now you can enjoy your fresh basil anytime!

Add chicken broth to vegetables when you cook them. The broth will give the vegetables a delicious, warm flavor as well as extra moisture so they don’t stick to the pan. Chicken broth is readily available at any grocery store, and is very inexpensive.

TIP! A lot of people cook with apples during fall and winter, but they will spoil rather quickly if you don’t store them correctly. Warm, dry air rots apples quickly, so keep them in sealed or tied plastic bags and make sure they are stored in a refrigerator or a chilly basement.

Beans and tofu contain a lot of proteins. They can be bought at pretty much any grocery store. For a meat alternative, try pan frying seasoned tofu. Beans can be used in vegetarian chili, added to baked goods, or just boiled with herbs and vegetables.

You must read the food labels when you’re purchasing ingredients for any given recipe. Many common cooking ingredients include substances that may not be very healthy. Avoid ingredients that have high sugar and sodium content, because they can cause health problems.

TIP! Leave raw potatoes in cold water for at least 30 minutes before frying them to make crispier French fries. The soaking process will reinforce the vegetable fibers, and they will be better able to withstand heat when you fry them.

Pay attention to the cooking oil amounts when preparing meals! If you take the time to measure how much oil you use when cooking, you can better control how much fat is incorporated into your dishes. Use a measuring cup instead of just pouring straight out of the bottle. This is the best way to monitor how much oil you use.

Olive Oil

TIP! To maintain nutrients and color in your vegetables, quickly steam them until just crisp-tender. Vegetables that are cooked slowly lose a lot of their taste and nutrition.

You should try and dry your tomatoes on your own. Slice a large, ripened tomato in half-inch-thick slices. If you are using Roma tomatoes, slice them lengthwise into two pieces. Put the sliced tomatoes onto a cooling rack, and lightly salt the cut-side. Set your oven to 190 degrees, place the rack on a baking sheet and let the tomatoes dry in the oven for approximately 10 hours. You can then freeze your tomatoes in Ziplock bags. For flavored olive oil add some dried tomatoes and fresh herbs in a good quality extra virgin olive oil and store out of direct sunlight. The jars can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

By taking the information in the above article and putting it to use, you will find that learning to cook is much easier and way more fun then you imagine. Your techniques will improve with practice, and you will start to enjoy many health benefits along with substantial money savings. Homemade meals are a great way to be sure that everyone in your family is getting good, healthy nutrition every day. So use these tips to help you make delicious meals.

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