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Making your own meals is an excellent way to stay healthy, lose weight and save money. Whether you are a seasoned cook or can barely follow a recipe, we think you will find the tips in this article useful and informative. So read on for some excellent cooking suggestions!

When you are making stock, make a lot of it. Then save it in a plastic zip bag, date it and freeze it. That way you can pull it when you would like to make a soup. You can use it to boil some veggies in. Having some in the freezer will make preparing healthy meals very much easier.

Perfect pasta every time. Never add oil to the water when you are boiling pasta. It prevents the sauce from coating the pasta properly. Just before you drain the pasta, set aside about 1/3 cup of the cooked pasta water. When you mix the sauce with the pasta, add a little of the cooking liquid. The starch in the water adds body and flavor to the sauce.

Get the most juice out of lemons. Fresh lemon juice is much more tasty than the kind that comes out of a bottle, but it is sometimes surprising how little juice you can get out of a lemon. Heat the lemon in a microwave for 20 seconds on high power. Then, roll the lemon on your cutting board using as much pressure as possible. This way, you will get about twice the amount of juice out of the lemon, and your dish will be much more flavorful!

It is extremely embarrassing to have lumps in your gravy. It happens to everybody from the beginner cook to the master chef. There is a simple trick you can use to eliminate them. Drain the gravy through a fine strainer and discard the lumps. This technique can be used for other sauces or soups too.

After removing corn from the cob, scrap the cob with the back of your knife. Doing this will extract the “milk” from it. Drizzle the “milk” over the corn to add extra flavor.

Cook your rice in vegetable or chicken stock instead of using water. Choosing a stock will add both extra taste and valuable nutrients. The cooking process and time are the same as with water, so you won’t be adding any extra work by trying this method.

Take care when storing chocolate for use in cooking. As a rule, only buy as much chocolate as you can use within a few months. Chocolate contains fat, and under the wrong conditions it can turn rancid. Store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. A kitchen cupboard away from any heat sources is ideal. Keep the chocolate wrapped in foil or plastic and store it away from anything with a strong smell, as it absorbs odors easily.

Basil is one of the best things that you can add to a dish and looks great as a decoration to any type of meal. Simply add a few pieces of basil to give your meal spice and improve the overall aesthetic beauty to the dish you put on the table.

A salad spinner can be a great addition to your kitchen. It will help to spin the water out of your lettuce so your salads aren’t soggy and droopy. Salad spinners are inexpensive and can be found at most discount stores. They’re also small so they store easy.

Take the stress out of a major cooking endeavor by completing as much prep work in advance as possible. Recipes should be examined and items that won’t spoil that can be prepared a day or two ahead should be done first. You can simplify the cooking process by doing your prep work well in advance. This takes a lot of the stress out of even the most complicated recipes and dishes.

When cooking, many people forget about proper care for the spices that they use to season their food. All spices should be stored in a cool dark place and never above a stove. The reason for this is because storing spices in areas where there is a lot of heat, light, or humidity will cause them to lose their flavor.

When storing items in your kitchen, you will want to make sure that they are stored in containers that are airtight and closed tightly for two reasons. While most foods will go stale having constant exposure to air, another big fear is that the product will be taken over by bugs.

Keep dental floss handy in the kitchen to cut or slice soft foods or ingredients. Unflavored dental floss works better than a knife when it comes to cutting soft cheeses, cake, pie or other soft foods or ingredients. Just unwind a length long enough to allow you to stretch it across the item to be cut and apply even, downward pressure for clean, neat cuts.

You can make a quick and inexpensive meal out of some leftovers by adding pasta and rice to vegetables, meat or salad fixings. They cook quickly and are cheap, so use them to stretch the contents of your refrigerator. Toss in a few sauteed peppers or onions to make an even, fuller meal.

To save money and improve your health, cook the recommended portion sizes and plan your meals ahead of time. Meat is one of the most expensive ingredients on your plate. By eating the appropriate portion sizes you can be sure that your family is getting plenty of vegetables and whole grains.

Choose local seasonal ingredients as a showpiece for your dish when you are cooking on a budget. Ingredients that are in the peak of their season are also at the height of their flavor and affordability. The flavors from these peak ingredients will allow you to take an inexpensive item and turn it into a star.

The tips and suggestions mentioned in this article will be useful to a variety of readers with a variety of schedules. Although many people think that cooking their own meals is simply too difficult, you can now see how easy it is! Making your own meals is healthy and economical – your wallet, waistline and stomach will all thank you!

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