One of the biggest lifestyle changes I experienced upon beginning the Paleo diet was having to cook my own food. For many, the benefits of eating Paleo are attractive, but the notion of having to labor over the stove for every meal is less than desirable. Even though preparing your own meals is the heart and soul of Paleo cooking, it doesn’t mean having to spend hours of tedious work.
Choosing to embark on the Paleo diet is an exciting and life-altering experience. If you were like me and are dreading Paleo meal preparation, you shouldn’t let this deter you from this effective diet plan. Through countless hours of research and fine-tuning my kitchen techniques, I’ve created a dynamic list of Paleo kitchen tricks designed to simplify this often overwhelming duty.
Regardless of how excited you are about starting the Paleo diet, without proper planning, you’ll soon find yourself discouraged. When I spoke with thought leaders who specialize in the Paleolithic lifestyle, there was one overlapping tip: Planning is paramount for success.
Planning is a unique and individualized process that allows you to clearly see what needs to be accomplished, when these action steps need to be carried out and how to do so in an efficient manner. When it comes to the Paleo diet, your success is determined by how well you plan.
Because the basis of Paleolithic eating is to mimic the culinary habits of our ancestors, cooking in batches is one of the greatest kitchen tricks I’ve learned. When you cook in batches, you effectively shave off hours of meal prep and actual cooking. This is a life-saver if you have an ultra-busy lifestyle. Of course, there are several tips you can follow to help expedite this Paleo cooking trick.
As with many tasks in life, the right tools can streamline even the most complicated duty. When it comes to Paleo cooking, your kitchen tools mean the difference between easy meal creation and a kitchen disaster. There’s no “secret formula” when it comes to selecting specific tools. The key element to purchasing Paleo kitchen tools is understanding how you like to cook and what you want to ultimately cook.
The following list of essential Paleo cooking tools was created after spending far too much time wasting money on items I didn’t need, and not spending enough money on items I truly did need.
There’s one cooking pan I use more than anything else, and it’s my trusty cast iron pans. When you purchase a new cast iron pan, you won’t truly understand its value. However, after several months of consistent use, the iron cures and ultimately results in a built-in seasoning rack. You really haven’t had chicken until it’s been cooked in a seasoned cast iron skillet.
Don’t want to wait for the skillet to be seasoned? Purchase a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet set. I personally recommend the Universal Housewares 3 Piece Skillet Set. Keep your skillets perfectly seasoned by cleaning with a plastic scraper. Once debris is removed, spread a thin layer of coconut oil on its surface. Remember: NEVER use soap to clean a cast iron skillet.
There’s no way around it, the Paleo diet requires a ton of chopping, dicing and cutting. When I first began my journey into the Paleo lifestyle, I used a small and thin cutting board. Let’s just say, it made meal prep a pain! After doing some research, I made one of my most helpful discoveries – bamboo cutting boards.
I personally recommend Heim Concept Organic Cutting Board. This premium, and sturdy, set of cutting boards comes in three sizes, which is ideal for Paleo cooking as you’ll be dealing with fruits, vegetables and meats of all different sizes.
One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was purchasing low-quality knives. At the time, I didn’t truly understand the difference a premium knife set would make. After struggling with knives that belonged in the trash and not in my kitchen, I finally upgraded and haven’t looked back since. The quality of your knives truly makes a world of difference when it comes to preparing meats and vegetables.
Although premium knives can be hundreds of dollars, I found this Cuisinart 15-Piece Stainless Steel Premium Knife Set outperformed knives that are triple its cost. Do yourself a favor, and spend a little extra on your knives – your hands and food will thank you.
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to peel fruit or vegetables with a standard knife. I almost sliced my finger off trying to save money and use a knife instead of a peeler. After this experience, I realized it was time to bite the bullet and invest in a premium veggie peeler. To my surprise, the top rated peeler is only $10.
The Kuhn Rikon Julienne Peeler not only peels almost any fruit or vegetable, but the peels are restaurant-quality shaped. Just because you aren’t a professionally trained chef, doesn’t mean your food presentation can’t be gorgeous!
Food processors have truly transformed my Paleo cooking. You’ll be surprised how often this handy kitchen tool will be used once you have it. They come in a wide variety of costs and sizes, which means even if you’re on a tight budget you can still enjoy this ingenious kitchen tool.
My personal favorite food processor is the Hamilton Beach 70730 Processor. For just a little over $40, this 10-cup processor perfectly chops, slices and shreds your ingredients.
Even before I began the Paleo diet, I’ve always been a fan of using slow cookers. These handy tools are truly a lifesaver for those of us who live busy lives. Simply put in your ingredients, set the temperature and timer then walk away. Over the past several years, slow cookers have become extremely affordable.
I personally use the Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Slow Cooker. With a 6-quart capacity, I can make huge meals and the included temperature probe is a handy accessory that ensures my meats are cooked to perfection.
The Paleo diet can seem like a dramatic life-alteration. For those who aren’t thrilled about cooking, the idea of turning to your grocery store instead of your local eatery may seem like an overwhelming task. However, thanks to my tried-and-true kitchen tricks, even the most inexperienced cook can prepare delicious Paleo meals with ease.
What are some of your Paleo cooking tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family!
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