A kitchen that is set up for fast and efficient healthy cooking makes a big difference, from cooking gadgets to wholesome bulk ingredients. It allows you to multi-task, something that is controversial in nature, but if the result of it is a healthy meal, it’s okay to compromise for this.
A modern Ayurvedic kitchen needs tools that make it possible to sleep or shower while your food is being prepared. And don’t forget that ideally it’s best to cook on a real fire. So when there is time, make sure you do so.
When seeing an Ayurvedic practitioner for a health consultation, it typically is pointed out how desirable it is to prepare your own meals, and ideally fresh every day.
The benefits of cooking your own meals are many.
The reality in the U.S. and the whole developed world is that people are busy and often leave the task of cooking to the cooks in the cafés and restaurants they frequent.
Or they don’t eat well and depend upon packaged, snack food as a meal substitute. Cooking should be a priority, the first way in which you take care of yourself. It means that you need to dedicate a time of day to this task, which really is quite an enjoyable and creative one.
Depending on your work schedule you could cook in the early morning or in the evening when you come home. Be sure to make enough food to last the day, so that the only thing left to do is prepare a complement to what is already prepared.
If you use a crockpot, you can prepare all the ingredients in the evening before you go to sleep, to wake up to a freshly cooked meal the next morning.
Cooking gadgets are very helpful. The following is a list of tools that are very handy to have.
A safe way to boil water while doing other things in the morning.
It’s easy to clean and chop up a variety of root veggies, broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers, fennel, and even green beans, and mix them with some herbs and spices and a good oil or ghee, and cook them in the oven while getting ready for the day in the morning. In between a kitcheree can be cooking in the rice cooker. Also great for cooking a veggie frittata.
A rice cooker for cooking grains, as well as kitcheree. You can add veggies as well.
A slow cooker or crockpot for soups, stews, dals and curries. Prepare everything the night before and cook overnight on the ‘low’ setting. Or prepare in the morning and bring the crockpot to work to cook on the ‘high’ setting while you are at work. This is a great tool for cooking meats, as well as veggies, and for making strong broths.
These last two (pressure cooker and slow cooker) are combined into a new machine, called the Instant Pot. It’s great for making a fast, nutritious meal when you come home from work in the evening, or in the morning to take to work.
A toaster oven for making toast, and baking yams and sweet potatoes. They cook faster
when you stab them a few times with a sharp knife. It’s also delicious to make a slit in the baked yam, put ghee inside and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
A hand blender for blending soups is quite handy. It’s very easy to cook some veggies with some herbs and spices, in water or broth, and blend to make a creamy soup.
A blender for puréeing and making smoothies (of course not the icy kind).
A food processor for grating and chopping veggies, grinding nuts and seeds, and even for making nut and dried fruit treats.
These are the staples to have in the house. We all have our preferences, but this a good basic list. You will leave out or add per your preference.
With all these tools and staples in the house, all that is needed are the seasonal fruits and veggies, fresh dairy, eggs, fowl, meats and fish, per your liking and needs. It is not hard to put together simple, but tasty meals, on an (almost) daily basis.
You will notice that as the seasons change you will use different tools and cooking methods. The only thing left is a commitment to nourish yourself in the best way possible. Remember to eat all six tastes in a meal, or at least throughout the day, and enjoy.
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