Nutrition & Fitness
7 Tips to Get In the Kitchen More This Fall
The changing seasons are one of life's simplest pleasures. With a chill in the air, colorful leaves surrounding you and a waft of cinnamon spice, it's little wonder why people love fall.
One of the delights of autumn is the cozy recipes. From soups and stews to warm apple crisps, these recipes satisfy your stomach during the chilly months. However, many people have difficulty making time for cooking because of their busy schedules or a lack of inspiration.
If you need encouragement to get into the kitchen more often this fall, allow these seven tips to inspire you. You never know what magical creations you'll whip up.
1. Experiment With Seasonal Produce
Fall presents opportunities to cook with seasonal produce, perhaps some you've never used before. Be open to using new vegetables and fruits in your dishes.
For instance, try a rutabaga if apples, potatoes, pumpkins and carrots are your go-to autumn goods. The best rutabagas have slight bruising and a smooth, round shape.
Peel and cut the rutabaga into quartered pieces and bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit — or make rutabaga fries by slicing them into strips and baking them with olive oil, seasoned salt, black pepper and paprika.
2. Simplify Cooking
Simplifying your recipes can make the prospect of cooking every day less daunting.
Cook what you know, as these recipes will feel like second nature. Also, look for possible substitutions without compromising flavor, texture or nutritional value. You might also discover a more straightforward method to make cooking more enjoyable.
For example, you can use pre-cooked meat to save time and money. Rather than cook a chicken yourself, buy a tender rotisserie chicken at the supermarket for a chicken pot pie. You can also purchase 90-second microwaveable long-grain rice packets to stir into wild rice soup.
3. Collect Your Favorite Recipes
Autumn could spark happy memories of your grandmother's twice-roasted sweet potatoes or warm chili. Maybe you started your own collection of fall favorites throughout the years.
Pull out whatever recipes you want to make this season. Knowing you can whip up some of your favorite dishes again will give you something to look forward to.
Your recipe collection might include classic fall recipes and new ones. Take time to pin new fall dishes to a Pinterest board and plan to make them in the coming months.
4. Make Meal Prepping a Habit
Meal prepping can save you time in the kitchen and ensure you have meals ready to go throughout the week.
Designate a day of the week to prep meals — this habit is especially beneficial if you go to work every day. For breakfast, consider baking spiced yogurt muffins — a tasty fall pastry you can grab as you leave the house. Spiced yogurt muffins have all the protein needed to energize your day and are an excellent option for vegetarians. One batch can feed you and your family for a week.
Salads are an easy and healthy choice for lunch, and you can create different ones with various toppings and proteins for every day of the week.
5. Cook Larger Quantities
You don't need to make enough food for an army. However, large batches give you leftovers that can last throughout the week. Soups and stews are always ideal for batch cooking.
For example, a rosemary garlic white bean soup with fresh cracked pepper is a nourishing meal with a rich, bold flavor to satisfy your taste buds. You can make this soup in 30 minutes using an immersion blender and store the rest in the freezer.
6. Add Some Fall Flair
Sometimes, we need to get ourselves in an autumn mood to want to spend more time in the kitchen. Inspire fall cooking by hanging seasonal decorations.
Swap out hand towels for fun Halloween-themed linens, place an autumn leaves centerpiece on the kitchen island and light a maple-scented candle for warmth. Open shelves are another place to add fall decor, such as mini pumpkins for a pop of bright orange.
You can also turn on your favorite fall music. Create a cooking playlist of your favorite jazz, indie, blues or alternative tunes.
7. Turn Cooking Into a Family Activity
Fall is the perfect time for the whole family to cook together, whether it's Tuesday night's dinner or baking an apple crisp on a rainy weekend.
An apple crisp always requires helpers to stir the oat topping and coat the sliced apples in sugar and cinnamon. This dessert takes less than an hour to make and lasts for days.
The season is also ideal for introducing your household to new tastes. Better yet, pass a traditional fall family recipe down to your kids.
Savor the Flavors of Autumn Cooking
You'll want to take advantage of cooking when your favorite fall flavors make their grand return. Enjoy spending more time in the kitchen this fall and experimenting with new recipes and techniques.
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