When I decided to stop buying processed foods I realized that meant I would have to BAKE most of the things I loved to eat. It’s true, you don’t have to bake or cook most vegetables and fruits, but if you want toast, grilled cheese, and most definitely desire to continue eating pizza…
Baking was the solution. And that was a SCARY thing to think about doing! I have NEVER enjoyed or wanted to even try to enjoy cooking or baking. Fear of changes I would have to make, fear of things I would have to endure…
the fear was real
For me, this fear is related to time spent standing.
Let’s just take a closer look at this one. My fear had to do with the time required to stand in the kitchen preparing meals from scratch.
I have chronic pain that becomes pretty intense the longer I am standing and or walking. The longer I stand the longer it takes me to recover from the pain. So I actually fear the STANDING TIME.
For most people the fear of time required to prepare, cook and bake is probably different.
Parents and guardians don’t have a lot of ALONE TIME to spare when they are monitoring and caring for children; even teens. So parents fear they won’t have enough alone time to complete the tasks required or they prefer to spend their alone time relaxing in chair… or in some cases in “that” room where supposedly no one (children, in-laws) will bother you. 😉
Working peeps don’t have a lot of SPARE TIME and the last thing they want to do is stand around cooking and baking in the kitchen.
Lastly, just about everyone who is asked why they don’t cook will at some point say, “Who has the energy to even try baking at home?”
If there’s a secret to overcoming these fears… I’m sure you’d LOVE to know what it is, right?
secret time discovered
WAITING TIME or you might want to refer to it as your excuse to RELAX WHILE YOU WAIT TIME.
You see, working time and waiting time are two different things. You want to focus your brain on what you’re actually going to be required to DO.
Most of the work is done by your stove, oven, grill or microwave.
The best way I can describe how to overcome your fears of not having enough time or energy for cooking from scratch is to share how it works for me.
Consider this… if you could put together a healthy, nutritious, meal in 5 minutes or less for your entire family anytime you wanted wouldn’t you want to?
And if that’s not enough to motivate you, how about saving as much as 50% of your grocery bill?
Imagine if you spent $500 a month on your groceries and with a little tweaking of your current lifestyle (learning to cook and bake at home) you could shave $200 off that bill every month. That’s $2400 a year!
Would it be worth it? Yah? Fantastic! Check out how much time I spend in the kitchen NOW that I know how to plan, prepare, and manage my time.
my favorite food – from frig to plate – 5 minutes tops
There are about 3 billion pizzas sold in the US alone every year. That’s pretty amazing when you consider there are only 319 million people living in the US!
WORKING TIME TO CREATE PIZZA DOUGH AND SAUCE
I just learned how to make pizza dough and sauce from scratch. The actual working time to create pizza dough is just about 20 minutes. 10 minutes to mix and knead the dough. Then after it’s rested (proved or risen), it takes another 10 minutes to knead it into a pie shape.
Here’s where you can stop if you want to. You can freeze your dough for up to 3 months.
The next thing you need to prepare is the sauce. It really takes just a few minutes to get the ingredients ready and simmering in a pot. Turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes. Once it’s done, let it cool. After it’s cool you can separate it into portions to be frozen.
When you plan ahead you can mix up and prepare enough dough and sauce for a month to 3 months of pizza dough and sauce. The actual working time you’ll need to prepare your pizza’s and bake them is minutes. Not only that but home baked pizza’s cook up within 10 to 13 minutes!
Worth it? You bet it is! Oh, by the way, a home baked pizza will cost you about $1.00 to $2.00 per 10 inch pie, depending on what you put on it.
The working time is just a little longer for baking 4 loaves of bread so why not bake more than 1 loaf at a time?
Remember, most of the time is waiting for the bread dough to raise or the time it’s baking in the oven. That’s time you can be doing anything else you like around the house. In fact, when it comes to letting the dough rise you can leave your house, go to work all day, then when you get home knead it for about 5 to 10 minutes, let it rise one more time, then bake it.
Bread is so easy it’s crazy not to bake it at home. Once you do, you’ll never turn back! You’ll save tons of money too. So the reality here is that when it comes to making home made bread, you’re actual working time is about 20 to 30 minutes tops. And that can be broken up into 10 minutes of working time in the morning and the next 10 to 15 minutes of your time at night.
If you cook up your rice and beans ahead of time, separate into portions and then freeze them, you can reheat and serve within minutes on nights where you have very little time to spare.
the secret is in
preparation and planning
The key to cooking and baking from scratch in the planning ahead. When you plan ahead you can cook up enough sauce, rice, beans and meats and vegetables to freeze into portions. Once you do this you can quickly take food out of the freezer and serve up your meals within minutes.
Preparation is another thing that will cut down the time you spend in the kitchen. I love salads but I don’t like to make them. What I do is I chop enough spinach, cilantro, tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, and zucchini to last 5 days or so. This does require about 20 minutes of standing time so I will get a chair and place the cutting board on my lap and chop away. 🙂
Now when I want a salad I can put it together in minutes. It’s just a matter of removing the containers out of the frig and tossing them on a plate. Sometimes I’ll add in the rice and a bit of chopped chicken breast then finish it off with a wedge of lime juiced over it.
Minutes… it takes minutes to put together healthy, delicious meals when you plan and prepare ahead.
Today I’m at a cabin in the woods enjoying a cup of coffee and peanut button on toast. The peanut butter was ground from peanuts and turned into peanut butter at the store so even the peanut butter is just peanuts, no sugar or other additives.
Even when you plan things out it doesn’t require that much of your FOCUS TIME or WORKING TIME. You see, it’s all in your point of view. Consider my day yesterday and how that day will affect the rest of my month.
By planning and preparing in advance, you are eliminating a lot of TIME wasted in the kitchen when you have yet to plan or prepare your meals, snacks, and foods for the weeks and months ahead of time.
Yesterday I spent a total of 4 hours in and out of our kitchen. NOT STANDING the entire time. But I was standing at most 10 minutes at a time. I’m not going to lie … it was a pretty painful morning for me. But worth it. In general I can’t escape pain by laying in bed all day. So I have to compromise and put my standing time to good use.
You may need to adjust your thinking as well. We have to compromise to achieve things we need, want and love in life. In the cause of cooking and baking from scratch, it’s a compromise of our WAITING TIME. Because the WORKING TIME it takes to cook and bake is really a matter of minutes, not hours.
Isn’t that compromise worth it when you consider the health as well as financial benefits?
To wrap your head around this take a look at it in ten minute increments.
10 minutes at a time
In general, baking requires about 10 minutes maximum of standing time. Prepping for it requires a minute to collect all ingredients. For sour dough bread that entails 4 ingredients; salt, yeast, sugar to activate the yeast, and flour. You can literally collect these items within seconds.
Next up is the mixing of your ingredients and kneading of the dough. That takes about 10 minutes if you don’t have a mixer; something I want, but don’t have yet. If you have a mixer it will cut your mixing and kneading time down to a few minutes.
After your dough is kneaded, it’s all about the WAITING TIME. You do NOT count time that you are waiting for things to bake, cook, broil, or toast. This is a time you can set your timer and then walk away to do whatever it is you like to do.
For me, it’s time to lay down. I will lay down on my bed and wait for the timer to go off.
Most meals will require you to stand at the stove or counter mixing or monitoring things for about 10 to 20 minutes. It’s up to you what types of recipes you choose, but for me, I look for things I can do that will not require more than 10 minutes of standing time.
The key is picking a day that you can be home monitoring things you’ve got cooking or baking in the kitchen. Yesterday I baked 2 loaves of sour dough bread and 2 loaves of honey wheat bread which will last about a month and cooked up enough rice to last a week at the cabin.
Last week I baked enough chicken breasts which took me only about 3 minutes of standing time to prepare, but now that they are baked, I have enough chicken to last us a month. All these chicken breasts require are a minute of standing time to chop and reheat.
Timing is also important. While you’re monitoring something in the oven, you can keep an eye on something else cooking on the stove top. While you’re waiting for your dough to rise you can prepare other recipes. It’s up to you how long you actually stand in the kitchen.
I spent 4 hours of my time at home yesterday baking and cooking. But most of that time was spent laying in my bed waiting on the dough to rise. I timed it so that while I was waiting for my dough to rise my rice was cooking.
When I came back to the kitchen my dough was ready to be kneaded and placed into the loaf pan and my rice was cooked and ready to be cooled until I could separate it into individual freezer bags and then placed into the freezer.
cooking and baking
If you have a tablet, smart phone, or laptop, you can enjoy some energizing, inspiring, or motivating music while you’re busying yourself with mixing, chopping, monitoring or kneading ingredients.
I like to listen to my audio books while I’m working in the kitchen. I use my smart phone which easily travels back and forth from kitchen to couch, chair, or bed. It’s also great to use your devices to watch cooking videos or any type of entertainment while moving about in the kitchen.
you should – realize
However, it required me to take pain medication. Last year my body began to reject this medication so I could no longer walk those miles.
Because of having to get up and move around while I’m baking and cooking in the kitchen, I’m discovering a new benefit. I am finding my endurance is growing. I can stand a little longer before I want to collapse on my bed or rush to a nearby chair.
This is exciting for me because I would be thrilled if I could work up enough strength and endurance to walk the trails for just 30 minutes at a time. That would mean 30 minutes in where I can take out my back packing chair, sit and relax before I walk back out.
This picture above is just one of the many outstanding pictures I was able to take along the river trail. I can’t wait to get back to it. Baking forces me to get up and move around a lot at home; more than I normally would.
Most of us are far too inactive when we are home. Watching too much TV and sitting in one place too long is a bad thing. Even if it’s just reading a book or talking on the phone. Sitting still for long periods of time is not a good thing.
The more you move the better you’ll feel and the lower your risk for disease will be. The benefits are massive really. So, think about the added calories you’ll burn and the additional exercise your heart, brain, and muscles will enjoy.
quality time – the forgotten benefit of meal time
WHEN something is cooking or baking in your kitchen your family and friends will gravitate into it.
When I visit my friend in the bay area we spend most of the time in her kitchen. I sit and watch her whip up all sorts of delicious meals, snacks and deserts.
It’s a great way to get closer to your kids as well. Most children love to learn how to cook or bake things. And if they don’t seem to care too much about it, try cooking up something they love like pizza!
Did you know that THE MOST favored food of children ages 3 to 11 is pizza? They favor this food over ANYTHING else. And that is a highly motivating reason for them to learn how to cook.
Plus, they can create it with exactly the toppings they want. You can add in some nutritional goodies to make the meal a healthy. Plus the most important benefit of all is the in-home bonding experience.
Children often feel the need to ask questions or share experiences with their parents or guardians but opportunities to do so are lacking. When it comes to opening up, children need time to work up the nerve to start a difficult conversation.
This requires time and the right environment. They need to feel close to you if they are going to expose themselves by asking an embarrassing question or revealing something they feel uncomfortable about.
It can deepen relationships and provides children with a sort of launching pad into requesting time to discus something that’s on their mind meal time.
Typically you ask a kid, “How was your day,” and the response you’ll get it, “Fine.” Meals spent eating home cooked meals, especially those they have helped create, provide those precious moments we need to bond with our children.
So, the benefits of cooking and baking at home are more than of the nutritional sort. They help keep your body in motion, allow you time with friends and family in a fun and entertaining environment, and offer you great rewards by providing your children with quality time they so deserve.