Efficient Summer Cooking

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DIY Tips: How to Make Your Kitchen More Efficient

As the seasons' change, so does the food that we want to eat. The weather is getting warmer, which typically means lighter meals, more time spent outdoors, and a significant shift in cooking habits. The best way to make your kitchen more efficient during the summer months is by making it work for you. The changes in ingredients will force you to adjust recipes accordingly and make it easier to enjoy what the new season has in store for you and the entire family. Some things to note as the season warms up are:

Ingredients Change

As the weather warms up, cooking ingredients change. You'll quickly find ingredients such as okra, eggplant, tomatoes, and basil in season. Fruits such as mangoes, pineapples, and papayas are also in season.

These changes mean that your favorite recipes might need to be tweaked a bit to work with the available ingredients. However, these ingredients are available at their peak during the summer months. Therefore, take advantage of this and incorporate them into your favorite recipes.

Cooking Habits Change

The days are getting longer, and people naturally want to spend more time outdoors. This means that the traditional dinner hour is shifting, and people prefer to cook later in the evening. Take advantage of this by preparing dishes that can be warmed up or eaten at room temperature.

Most Popular Dishes in Summer

Some dishes are trendy during the summer months because they are lighter, sweeter, easy to prepare, and can be shared with friends and family. The warmer months are a time to hold parties, family reunions, or even casual get-togethers with friends. Here are some of the best dishes to serve at these events:

  • Smoothie Bowls - An excellent dish for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Healthy smoothies with ingredients such as chia seeds, avocado, and granola are also an option.
  • Grilled Meats - Nothing says summer like a barbecue. Grilled meats make for excellent party fare as they can be cooked ahead of time, enjoyed as they are, or chopped up for kebabs or tacos.
  • Salads - Summer is the perfect time to serve light salads that contain a range of fresh vegetables and fruits. It's a great way to incorporate seasonal ingredients into your diet.
  • Popsicles - The best ingredient for popsicles this summer might be watermelon as it's not only delicious but also high in antioxidants, vitamin A, C, potassium, and lycopene.

For main meal ideas, vegan pita tacos are an excellent choice. For keto and paleo, go for beef ribs with caramelized onions, but when you're in the mood for something exotic and out of the ordinary, Jerk braised lamb shoulder is the ideal choice. Finally, for some Mediterranean inspiration, try brassica pie.

Breakfast
As the weather warms up, you'll find your family inclined to move from dishes such as porridge, yogurt, and oatmeal to smoothie bowls. These are full of fruit which is excellent for keeping kids full until lunchtime and easy to make as you blend the ingredients.

Lunch
When it comes to summer lunches, people are moving away from dishes typically considered "comfort food" such as mac and cheese, chicken pie, and beef casserole towards lighter meals such as salads or sushi.

Dinner
As the days get longer and people spend more time outdoors, dinner hours are prolonged. As a result, people cook dinner later in the evening than they would during the winter months. It means that you should adjust your favorite dishes to accommodate this change by preparing dishes that are easy to warm up.

For example, you could prepare a dish such as chicken pie, then immediately after cooking, cut it into portions and freeze it in freezer bags. When you're ready to eat, reheat them in the microwave at your convenience.

Because this is the season for creativity, exploration, and fun, don't be afraid to try new recipes; you never know where inspiration might strike.

Tricks To Make Your Kitchen More Efficient in Summer

Below are proven-to-work strategies to make your kitchen more efficient in summer:

Get Rid of the Clutter
It's a great time to do a big clean-out of your kitchen and get rid of any items that you don't use. Not only will this declutter your space, but it will also make it easier to find what you need when you're cooking.

Install a Pantry
If you don't have a lot of storage space in your kitchen, installing a pantry can be a great way to make use of all that extra room. It will give you a place to store all those flavored oils, vinegar, and spices that you might not need daily.

Create an Herb Garden
Having a lot of fresh herbs on hand can help cook summer dishes. If you don't have room for an outdoor herb garden, try planting some by your windowsill. You'll have a constant source of fresh herbs right at your fingertips.

Try Outdoor Cooking 
Barbeques are a great way to entertain and save on time spent in the kitchen. Most meats, vegetables, and fruit pair well with barbeque flavors, so there is a wide variety to choose from.

Utilize Your Grill
Not only is outdoor cooking the best way not to heat the kitchen, but it also makes for a memorable meal. Grilling fish and steak is something the entire family will look forward to.

By following these tips, you can make your kitchen more efficient and work better for you this summer. With a little bit of organization and adjustments to your cooking habits, you'll be able to enjoy delicious, light meals all season long.

Also, as you will realize, the summer months are when people tend to relax, explore new foods, and become more creative in the kitchen. Take advantage of this by trying out new recipes with fresh and readily available ingredients.

By changing your cooking habits and using seasonal ingredients, you can make your kitchen more efficient and better suited to the warmer months. 

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