The 4 Times it Could Be Better to Cook from a Box

IQS: healthy packaged foods

While we generally encourage cooking from scratch, there are times (or should that be lack thereof!) when resorting to a packet may not actually be as bad as you think.

Yep, you heard right! Whether you’re short on cooking skills, time or cash, as long as you choose wisely, sometimes eating from a box can be okay.

It could be better to cook from a box when…

1. You’re new to this cooking thing.

I Quit Sugar recipes are made so they’re easy to follow. But if you’re still not confident enough to tackle one alone, store-bought packaged mixes can ease you into the cooking process. Especially baking.

A pie pastry mix that requires you to add liquid to powders can simplify steps and provide an easy introduction to understanding measurements and procedures such as ingredient combination.

Just be careful to check the list of ingredients. Many packaged goods are packed with sugar, vegetable fats and artificial additives. Look for varieties made with minimal sugar, natural ingredients (avoid numbers!) and whole grain flours.

2. You’re really time poor.

A healthy meal doesn’t have to take long to prepare. But if you genuinely feel like your only option is a takeaway, some packaged foods can offer a shortcut to a quick homemade meal.

One of Sarah’s cheats includes using bottled paste in her Vietnamese Chicken Curry.

As with all packaged foods, especially sauces, it’s important to look at the listed ingredients and avoid those with a high sugar content, unrecognisable preservatives and unhealthy fats. Aim for foods with less than three grams of sugar per 100 grams, and no hydrogenated oils.

3. You hate food waste.

Packaged foods can help prevent you wasting money on loads of ingredients that you only use once. So instead of stocking up on a packet of expensive chia seeds for a power ball recipe you’ll use just once, for example, some good mixes will have these included in the exact amounts you need.

Packaged mixes can also encourage you to use your food scraps. Whether it’s adding the last few squares of a block of dark chocolate to a boxed muesli bar base, or customising your muffin mix with leftover zucchini, when used wisely, packaged mixes can be an efficient and economical way to cook.

4. Your superfoods are hard to find.

No health store nearby? No problem. The beauty of some packaged foods is their accessibility. So even if you have trouble tracking down Paleo bread, or the ingredients like natural almond meal and tapioca starch to make it, supermarkets stocking the right packaged mixes can simplify your search for (and reduce the cost of) certain superfoods.

What Sarah says about packaged food.

With her own I Quit Sugar range of healthy packaged foods about to hit Australian Woolworths stores (the 15 products include everything from Cashews, Almonds & Coconut Cereal to Flax and Polenta Savoury Muffin Mix), Sarah gets that some packaged foods can have their place in a sugar-free diet. The trick is to pick the right ones.

“My range come in a box. But they’re far from processed packaged foods,” she says. “Take a look at the ingredients list. They’re packed with whole ingredients, they’re fructose-free and have no artificial colours or flavours. It’s just real food.”

 

Read Related Article → It’s Dinner in a Box. But Are Meal Delivery Kits Cooking?

Read Full Article → The 4 Times it Could Be Better to Cook from a Box

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