With the multitude of restaurants, drive-thru’s and pre-packaged foods available these days, cooking from scratch, using fresh, unprocessed ingredients, is quickly becoming a dying art!
People are busier then ever and simply don’t have the time for creating home-cooked meals from scratch. And with convenience foods so readily available, it's easier than ever to forego home-cooking altogether. Yet, as the quality of our food declines so does our health. This is why I am so passionate about getting people back into their kitchens!
Growing up, my mother often enlisted my help with meal preparation, fostering in me an affection for the culinary arts that has lasted well into adulthood. I love the creativity and challenge of creating a dish from is most basic components, and like being in total control of what I put into my body, making it possible to avoid the ingredients that I cannot tolerate or do my body harm.
Still, a lot of people don’t share my zeal for cooking, yet they have a strong desire to eat both healthfully and deliciously. Granted, scratch-cooking takes time and effort, and if you’re wondering if it is realy worth it, here are 10 reasons why making scratch cooking a priority might be for you:
1. Know what you’re eating
When you prepare your meals from scratch, using thoughtfully selected produce, meats and other ingredients, you know exactly what is in the meal on your plate. You have total control what goes into your body! This is especially important when you or a family member has food allergies or intolerances, or when want to cut out specific ingredients, such as sugar or dairy, or simply want to eat more healthfully. Well-planned home cooked meals equals no unhappy dietary surprises!
2. Meals taste better
I’m sure you’ll agree that there’s something simple and satisfying about sitting down to a home-cooked. Sure, you’ll have your share of kitchen disasters, but once you take time to learn the cookery basics, you’ll find your scratch-made sauces and roasts hold up to even beat it’s pre-made or restaurant equivalent!
3. You save money
Unless you buy your groceries exclusively at Whole Foods, you’ll spend far less buying and preparing your own food than eating convenience foods or take out. Even if you eat organic or speciality foods, the ready-made or restaurant versions always cost more… a lot more!
4. Food quality awareness
When you are grocery shopping, the quality of the ingredients you purchase become just as important as the dishes you create. If you are health conscious, sustainability aware or on a health-restricted diet, you will find yourself caring about what has gone into the food you buy, where it comes from, how it was farmed, and how it is packaged. Learning to read ingredients labels, or sourcing local grass-fed meats can help you to be better informed about your grocery choices.
5. More family quality-time
If you’re too busy to eat with your family or friends, you’re too busy! If you can’t find space in your day to gather the tribe together around the dinner table, this might be an indication that it is time to rethink your priorities! The ‘breaking of bread’ at home with your family or friends helps you to relax, rejuvenate and ultimately reconnect!
6. Work/life balance
In today’s frenetic society, we all want to have more professional/personal life balance, and scratch-cooking is an excellent way to put this into action. Setting aside time to shop, cook and eat dinner with your family or friends requires you to put down your smartphone long enough to slow down and give full attention to the present situation. You can’t text if you’re up to your elbows in raw chicken!
7. Learn new skills
A lot of people view cooking as an onerous chore, and others simply never learned how to cook. I’m no Julia Childs, and I won’t be demonstrating how to flambé a crêpe anytime soon, but cooking can be a fun and creative endeavor that is easier that you’d think! Starting out, you’ll go through some trial and error, but before long you’ll know how to julienne a carrot like a professional chef!
When you’re able to prepare a meal from start to finish, you give your friends and family a powerful model of self-sufficiency. By your example, your kids will feel confident in the kitchen to be able to provide for themselves, even if it’s just to make themselves a snack.
9. Ethical awareness
The more you immerse yourself in scratch cooking, the more you are likely to become concerned with the ethics of farming and food manufacturing. Your buying choices will be influenced by such matters as fair trade, locavorism and farm animal ethics.
Making your meals from scratch increases your awareness of what you are feeding yourself, the quality of your food, it’s abundant availability, and the effort that has gone into your creation. You can’t help but to feel grateful as you ponder over these things!
So, are you ready to give scratch-cooking a try? Please share your scratch-cooking experiences in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you!