Learning how to cook gives you the skills to play with flavours, take care of your health and get pleasure from your food!
Today, the kitchen is becoming more and more a centerpiece of the house, a space where social life, well-being and relaxation go hand in hand with the pleasure of food and cooking.
We all know that cooking is key to aging in good health. Want to learn how to cook well? Want to learn how to cook without oil, without sugar, or without salt? Want to make healthier food choices?
Cooking is a fundamental skill that needs to practiced and perfected every day and Superprof has even more good reasons for you to get cooking and start living well on a daily basis.
Benefits of Healthy Eating for Children
Cooking goes hand in hand with good health: a healthy diet maintains good physical and mental health, especially in children. It is during early childhood that food habits and education are built and that tastes are made.
Families and schools, therefore, play a crucial role in feeding children, as this is where they learn their food habits. Teaching them to eat healthy early on will serve them well in the future.
In her book 'Small Feet in Large Dishes', published in 2014, Pauline de Voghel pleads for a food education based on the pleasure of cooking:
"Too often, the child confuses 'I love' with 'I know' and suddenly 'I do not know' becomes 'I do not like'. Letting the child make their own choices, in terms of food, in a game-like way, can expand and diversify their taste buds."
Taking cooking lessons or playing chef at home by making your own meals a real culinary workshop, will let you take charge of your children’s health, teach you more about nutrition and will help their:
- Immune system
- Future aging processes (cognitive dispositions, maintenance of muscle mass, fight against diseases)
Nutritional studies conducted by French National Institute of Health and Medical Research prove the benefits of a good diet on health:
According to the National Health Nutrition Program, many nutricious foods can prevent the risk of developing common diseases (cardiovascular diseases, cancer, obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes, intestinal diseases). Following these simple rules can have a great effect and leave you feeling healthier:
- Eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day (a tomato, a handful of green beans, a bowl of soup, an apple, two apricots, four or five strawberries)
- Have 3 dairy products a day
- Have a carbohydrate at every meal (pasta, rice, wheat, barley, oats, rye, legumes such as lentils, peas, beans, cereals)
- Eat fish, meat or eggs once or twice a day
- Limit fat and products high in sugar or salt
- Drink plenty of water and do a lot of physical activity (one hour a day for children)
You’ll know when your child’s culinary training is working when they choose to avoid fast-food all by themselves!
Knowing how to cook isn’t just fundamental for physical health it can also help create and maintain social relations. "How?" I hear you ask.
The Social Side of Eating and Cooking
Learning to cook and becoming a Chef at home is good for those around you and for yourself.
Using the kitchen as a personal development tool
You're not really a Michelin star chef, but as a budding cook, maybe you’ll amaze yourself with your hidden talents, and your ability to turn a shopping bag into a tasty dish!
Often, we are too hard on ourselves in the kitchen and criticize everything we make...
We find our dish too bland, too dry, underdone, overdone…this criticism reflects a lack of self-confidence.
So, here are some tips to get comfortable and take charge in your kitchen:
- don't put pressure on yourself: that's for the pressure cooker!
- aim for simple, fast and easy recipes, that are flavorful
- taste, test, innovate and unravel are THE words that will increase your confidence in cooking
- perfect your knife skills so you can play at being a real chef!
- ditch the microwave and experiment with different cooking methods like: steaming, baking, searing, grilling or frying
- learn from your mistakes, it will make the next dish even better
- learn the properties of each ingredient so you can play around with different combinations
The more dishes you make, the more you will progress and build up your confidence in the kitchen.
The Kitchen is a Social Space
As well as saving you money and giving you a chance to get your hands dirty, cooking is also a way to relax and to share moments with friends and family.
Organizing an evening with friends at home and want to make them a nice dish?
Cooking meat, fish and vegetables, emits a lovely smell through the house, which is sure to get your guests’ mouths watering. Try doing a dish of rosted chicken with delicious carrots and cauliflower covered in chopped herbs with some crispy roasted potatoes, perfect! The smell will be so inviting (and the leftovers will make for the perfect lunchbox the next day!)
Bring your friends and family together over a full table of dishes set to the tune of some warm background music. Work as a team, someone can help you in the kitchen, whilst someone else sets the table, cuts the bread, or prepares an aperitif.
Such a nice moment creates a lovely atmosphere for friends and family chatting over some great food. Cooking like a chef isn’t just cooking, it lets you share your love through food and spend a great time with friends and family.
Cooking Merges Food and Culture
Whether you are Asian, African, American, or European, each society has its own language, culture, and of course its own culinary traditions.
The cuisine of the world is exotic and attractive for anyone who wants to advance their cooking skills. Learning another country's cuisine - Japanese cuisine, Italian cuisine, Vietnamese cuisine or Maghreb cuisine –lets you travel round the world through food!
Cooking can also be an instrument to learn more about each other and to teach others about our own culture.
With the world becoming ever more multicultural, there is a sort of culinary blend between one’s own cultural cuisine and new foreign specialties, connecting these new foods to our own roots.
Learning about different cuisines can teach us a lot about the history and gastronomy of different countries and even about the history of our own diets:
Did you know, for example:
- that beans came from the Andes and Central America?
- that the potato was cultivated 8000 years ago on the in the Andes in South America, then cultivated by the Incas of Peru, then imported to Europe to ease the famines of the 17th century?
- that rice was already cultivated in Neolithic China nearly 10,000 years ago?
- that noodles are 4000 years old, imported from China to Italy by Marco Polo in the 13th century?
Learning to cook and opening a cookbook is about much more than a healthy diet, it is a multicultural journey through history.
Become more Eco-Responsible through Cooking
Now, we all know that cooking can allow you to relax on an evening after a long day at work, and can even get your creative juices flowing by creating different dishes and desserts, but it’s even better when your gourmet creations are made with a respect for nature.
Make your commitment to the planet show on your plate!
We now see more and more warnings to make a commitment to look after the planet, to consume responsibly, shop locally and organically and to only eat what’s in season.
Not to mention all of the information available to us on how to start our own vegetable patch, how to cook vegetarian food or to do our own food composting at home.
Learning how to cook now also means advocating for the preservation of the environment.
Because if products are bad for our bodies, why would not they be bad for the ecosystem? We really have no excuse!
Here are some positive actions that you can take at home:
- install a hive in your garden (if you live in a rural habitat) to attract bees
- like organic honey? Grow honey plants (poppy, gorse, borage, laurel, strawberry tree, almond tree, etc.) to attract bees and other pollinators to fight against their extinction – a real danger that would be dramatic for human life.
- create a vegetable patch in your garden: no need to buy tomatoes, make your salad at home and learn the basics of agroecology.
- make your own compost: recycle your food waste to feed your land
- consume local products to avoid transport-related pollution
- eat according to the seasons: a healthy diet also passes through the seasons, no more tomatoes in December!
- buy organic products (loose, without packaging) according to your needs and without excess to reduce waste
By cooking from scratch, you'll often find you save money.
And if you needed any more convincing here’s another way in which learning to cook can improve your life:
Cooking will Stimulate your Creativity and Increase your Cognitive Development.
Through inspiration, intuition and imagination you will tweak your recipes make your own menus.
This exercise stimulates your cognitive development because you are fully concentrated on the ingredients without being disturbed by external distractions (entertainment, stress). Using different cooking methods and techniques will keep you constantly learning. You can learn to make a recipe for a new dish or design different dishes.
Thanks to your self-taught home cookery classes London, you now know how to make tasty dishes for your family that will suit even a picky eater.
Preparation is key;
Make a list before you go to the supermarket, substitute unhealthy oils for Organic coconut oil for example or cut calories by stocking up on veggies and foods that pack in nutricious value. Do your research, see which spices you can use to add flavor, try different grains, swap out animal fats for nuts or vegan alternatives, the possibilities are endless!
Here are some recipes to help you get cooking so you can start reaping the health benefits of your new skills and cooking techniques.
What’s next? You’ve mastered the cooking now let’s try to master those skills to impress your loved one!