Healthy eating is an important part of everyone’s lifestyle. Not only is it important to maintain a healthy weight, but getting the proper nutrients into your diet can have a very positive effect on overall health.
But, if you live in a smaller apartment, with limited kitchen space, it may seem like a daunting task to cook healthy meals.
However, there are options available to keep your diet healthy and vibrant, without resorting to unhealthy and expensive takeout food.
Eating Healthy When Kitchen Space is Limited
Here are some ideas for eating healthy and delicious food, despite limited kitchen space:
1. Menu Plan
Plan your menu ahead of time, so that you can make the best use of your space.
So, rather than cooking an entire turkey, for example, you could prepare roast turkey breast — essentially, you are using the same food, but in more manageable portions.
2. Conserve Counter Space
For most people with smaller kitchens, counter space is at a premium.
This means, it is important to put away anything you are not using to save space — hang towels, cutting boards, utensils, and oven mitts on the wall, and wash and tidy away any dishes when you are finished using them.
If cupboard space is also limited, find ways to use as much height as possible. Get some shelves put up. Pots and pans can look really great hung from the ceiling.
Also, clear your workspace of electrical appliances, for example your microwave. Instead of taking up valuable counter space, attach it to the wall, or place it on top of your fridge.
Give everything a place, then keep putting things back into their “home,” when you finish using them.
3. Use Appliances Well
If you only have access to two rings on your cooker, for example, it can be difficult to get the timing of a whole meal to come together, so that everything stays warm, until you are ready to eat.
So, use whatever electrical appliances you have access to.
A microwave can be really useful to cook vegetables, or to reheat food, when it comes to cooking with limited space.
There are lots of appliance combos out there, too, such as toaster/microwave dual units, which can be really worthwhile looking into to save yourself a bit of space.
If you can, try to cook several dishes at the same time using your conventional oven.
For example, make a casserole, curry, and a baked dessert, then place in the oven at the same time as a way of saving time and space.
You should also try using a slow cooker for some of your main course meals, as it makes cooking very easy.
All you need to do is put the ingredients into the crock-pot in the morning, turn it on, and your meal will be ready by dinner time with very minimal effort from you.
4. Try a Community Kitchen Program
Many cities have Community Kitchen programs, where members of the community get together on a regular basis, to cook food and enjoy a meal together.
The programs vary depending on the group, but often people meet one week to decide on the food they will prepare, and then get together the following week to cook and enjoy it.
This is a great option for several reasons, including:
- Food takes less time to prepare, since everyone helps out.
- It costs less because ingredients can be bought in bulk.
- Leftover food can be frozen for later.
- You get to meet other people in your community, helping to establish friendships, and social connections.
Some community kitchens offer cooking lessons, which in addition to being lots of fun in their own right, can help you expand your repertoire of dishes, and provide greater variety in your diet.
5. Make Eating Enjoyable
One of the best ways to make sure you consistently eat healthy meals, is to prepare food you enjoy eating.
And, even if space is limited, you can improve your eating experience by turning off the TV, listening to relaxing music, lighting some candles, or whatever helps you to relax.
Relaxing at the end of the day is important, as it can significantly reduce stress levels. And, by eating in pleasant surroundings, you naturally become more aware of what and how much you eat, helping you avoid overeating.
So, can you see that limited kitchen space need not keep you from maintaining a healthy diet?
The key is planning and preparation, no matter what size your kitchen is.
What tips would you share for healthy eating when you have limited space?