How To Be More Creative In The Kitchen
There are many benefits to spending more time in the kitchen. For example:
- Cooking fresh meals from scratch is a great way to adapt to a healthier lifestyle, which can bring around benefits for both your physical and mental health.
- Studies show that the act of cooking is, within itself, therapeutic, linking it to “happiness, relaxation, greater self-awareness, boosted confidence, and more.” As a result, it can be helpful for those trying to manage anxiety.
- Cooking can help you to save money, especially during a time when grocery bills are rising.
However, while it may be tempting to cook the same few tried-and-true recipes on rotation, getting creative is the easiest way to remain inspired. After all, this will enable you to develop new skills and try new dishes that you’re sure to fall in love with.
Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash
With that in mind, here are some tips you can use to be more creative in the kitchen!
You don’t necessarily have to have a fully-stocked pantry to be able to get creative – in fact, you’d be surprised about the many different dishes you can make from leftovers or from the basic items you have stored in your cupboard.
Have the proper utensils to hand.
While your kitchen cupboards don’t have to resemble those in a commercial kitchen, having the proper utensils to hand can make it easier to try new recipes. For example, using a mortar and pestle means you can make your own pesto or similar pastes!
Learn how to make exciting side dishes.
When trying to get back to the love of cooking, many people focus on learning new or complicated recipes. However, learning how to make some exciting side dishes is also essential, as it enables you to spruce up your daily meals without having to spend hours in the kitchen. For example, you could try out this homemade pickled garlic recipe and serve it alongside canapes, stews or curries.
Cook ‘around the world’.
Setting yourself a challenge to cook dishes from around the world is another great way to get creative in the kitchen. After all, not only will this help you to discover new dishes, but you’ll also learn different cooking techniques or creative (yet new) ways to use familiar ingredients.
Recreate ‘take-away’ dishes at home.
If you’re looking to save money, then the chances are you are cutting down on the money you spend on fast-food and takeouts. However, that does not mean you have to miss out on your favorite feel-good foods and meals. Recreating these dishes at home, using fresh ingredients, is also a great way to make cooking healthier as they are then free from preservatives and excessive amounts of salt and sugar.
Allow yourself to make mistakes.
Becoming a good home cook is not about chasing perfection. In fact, it’s about trying new things and giving yourself the chance to make mistakes. Making a mistake, such as adding too much of a certain ingredient, overmixing or burning something – will also help you to become a better chef over time. After all, you’ll be able to learn from these instances.
Buy in-season fruit and vegetables.
As mentioned previously, one way in which you can become more creative in the kitchen is by being resourceful and using whatever resources you have to hand to make something delicious. This mindset can also come in handy when grocery shopping. For example, instead of sticking to your favorite fruit and veg, try to buy those that are fresh and in-season, even if you would not usually eat them. This way, you can then experiment with new recipes!
Cook with a partner.
Cooking with others is another excellent way to get more creative, as you can learn new skills by working together and creating something truly delicious. Furthermore, many studies have found that “cooking with others can improve relationships and build group confidence. It can also boost concentration, reduce stress, and increase overall wellbeing.” It also means you can share the washing up!
In short, there are many ways in which you can begin to be more creative in the kitchen, all of which will enable you to become a more confident, competent chef. Over time, this will also allow you to experiment when cooking, meaning you’re well on your way to being the perfect dinner party host – or even a professional chef if you discover a love of cooking!
Who knows, you may have a recipe book of your own on the shelves in a few years time.
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