I love hacks! I am constantly on the lookout for quick tips to save time, money, or make something healthier. These are some of my favorite healthy hacks to use daily.
I am confident you are going to love these 15 easy healthy hacks you can use right now to eat better and prepare healthier food for your family.
1. Think food fast not fast food
The next time you need dinner in a hurry, skip the drive through and head to the grocery store. For less than a bag of burgers and fries, you can pick up a whole roasted chicken, frozen veggies, and ready to heat sides such as frozen brown rice or quinoa. Heat the vegetables and frozen sides in the time it takes to set the table. You’ll be enjoying a healthy meal in minutes. Use any leftovers to make quick lunches later in the week.
2. Speaking of frozen vegetables – put them in everything!
Frozen mixed vegetables should be a staple in any healthy cooks pantry. Frozen vegetables retain their nutrients making it easy to add a nutritional boost to almost anything. Just be careful not to over cook them. Frozen vegetables only need a few minutes in warm water or steam before they are ready to serve. My favorite trick is stirring a few cups of frozen veggies into pasta right before it is done cooking then mixing it all with the sauce.
3. Yogurt is the only condiment you need (sort of)
Replace all your creamy condiments with yogurt (except mustard – keep the mustard). Now you only have one thing to store, run out of, and remember while you are shopping. Not only is it a healthy option, yogurt is extremely versatile. From breakfast to tacos to dips you’ll find a use for yogurt in every meal and soon forget there was ever any other choice.
4. Swap oil for applesauce and regular chocolate chips for minis
This super moist and chocolaty zucchini bread is made using two super easy healthy baking hacks. 1. Swap most of the oil in the recipe for applesauce. 2. Use mini chocolate chips for maximum chocolate dispersal from a smaller amount of chips. I’ll let Two Healthy Kitchens will fill you in on the sweet details.
5. Keep citrus zest in the freezer
When preparing a recipe that calls for fresh lemon or lime juice take a minute or two to zest the fruit before juicing. Save the zest in a small freezer safe container – like a freezer jam jar. The next time a recipe calls for zest simply measure what you need from your stash in the freezer. If you don’t already own a microplane this is an excellent reason to add one to your selection of kitchen tools.
6. Keep ginger root in the freezer
Fresh ginger adds pizzazz to savory and sweet recipes but, since a little can go a long way, you generally wind up buying more than you need. Next time you buy fresh ginger wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, drop it into a freezer baggie, and store it in the freezer. Frozen ginger is easy to grate (another reason to own a microplane) and maintains that pop of flavor. You can quickly shave off as much as you need then re-wrap the rest to another use.
7. Freeze soup twice for better storage
Cooking double then saving half in the freezer is a great way to make sure there are always healthy meals ready to go. A vacuum sealer lets you to store these ready made meals in the freezer for longer. When it comes to soup you’ll get the best results by freezing it twice! Learn why this is a must do step and how to use a vacuum sealer on Cutefetti
8. Buy pre-cut vegetables
If the time or hassle of cutting vegetables is the biggest reason you aren’t using them in recipes or simply eating them for snacks – buy them already cut. It may sound like a no-brainer but it is so common to think we shouldn’t have something done for us that we are capable of doing ourselves – like buying pre-cut vegetables. Give yourself permission to have this little luxury and use it to feed yourself and your family more healthy home-cooked food.
9. Stop boiling eggs – simmer instead
Hard boiled eggs are a quick and easy way to add protein to your meals or snacks BUT if you are boiling your eggs you are doing it wrong. Visit The Heritage Cook to learn the science and proper technique for hard cooking eggs in water and some fun natural egg dyes to try for Easter.
10. Bake eggs to hard cook them
OR skip the water all together. Bake eggs instead of boiling them. Baking is a super simple way to hard cook eggs. You can do a large batch all at once and never worry about the shells cracking. Alton Brown has the details on how to hard cook eggs in the oven.
11. Treat fresh herbs like flowers
Store fresh herbs like flowers. Trim the stems, place them in a glass half filled with water, then place the glass in the refrigerator.
12. Use a paper towel to keep lettuce fresh
Keep salad greens fresh longer by keeping a paper towel in the bag or container.
13. Roast garlic for a flavor boost
Roasted garlic is a slightly nutty, slightly sweet, not so over powering way to serve super healthy garlic in almost any meal. You can add it to almost any savory dish from salads, to sandwiches, to soups, and more. Once you learn this easy technique for roasting garlic you’ll be hooked (and vampire free!). Get the details on Joyful Healthy Eats.
14. Turn vegetables into rice
Cauliflower rice is a great way to cut calories while continuing to enjoy many of your favorite rice dishes. Namely Marly has an excellent tutorial to turn you into a cauliflower rice making pro in no time.
15. Make creamy soup without the cream
Make soups super creamy without any cream. Add potato to your soups to achieve a luscious creamy texture without the fat or calories of cream – also dairy allergy friendly. Erren’s Kitchen has the full scoop on how to make this magic happen.
As a busy mom I frequently feel like there is not enough time in the day, I’m sure you can relate. Making healthy eating a priority didn’t mean I magically had more time for shopping or preparing healthy food for myself and my family.
Hopefully you found some simple ideas to maximize your time and eat healthier starting today. Keep these quick healthy hacks handy to make healthy eating quicker and easier – I do! Thanks to these healthy hacks I can always come up with a flavorful, nourishing meal.
This list should be more than enough to get your started. What healthy hacks do you already use to save yourself time and money?