A recent survey by Report Linker found that 36% of Americans cook at home daily and one of the main reasons for this is that home-cooked meals are healthier and can be made with wholesome natural ingredients. 31% also said that it is more affordable.
The number of people cooking more at home in the past two years has also risen to 54%, with 73% saying that they enjoy it far more than they used to. Some great new trends for home cooks have made cooking and baking even easier, meaning more people are getting into the kitchen and creating some delicious meals and tasty treats.
1. The Rise of The Air Fryer
The air fryer has been around for a long time, but it has become increasingly popular as a very economical way of cooking. Air fryers have also evolved enormously and can be easily used to cook a family dinner – even a roast chicken. Models like the Ninja fryer and the Tower Pro have revolutionized air fryer cooking and can deal with various foods at different temperatures. It is also extremely healthy cooking, especially if you are on a low-fat diet. Air fryers use 75% less oil than you would in the normal cooking process and cook 4 times faster than a conventional oven.
1. Healthy Brand Alternatives
According to Healthline, the average American consumes 80 grams of sugar daily and 79 grams of fat. There is particularly a problem with processed food and drinks, which can contain sugars, salt and additives that most consumers don’t realize.
This is why there is a trend for ordering alternative healthy brands online that are delivered straight to your home. From craft beers to free-range meat, products focus on the nutritional content of products. By moving away from store-bought processed foods and being selective with healthy brands, you can be in control of what you eat and cook in the kitchen for yourself and your family.
3. The Bread Machine Revolution
The first bread machine available for the public to buy first came to the market in 1986, manufactured by Panasonic. The machine had special ribs inside it that kneaded the dough. Since then, bread machine technology has improved enormously. The new machines have numerous settings for different loaves, from sweet brioche to dense rye bread.
You can use a bread machine to create a loaf from scratch in only a couple of hours – all you need to do is put the ingredients in the bottom of the machine, choose your setting and press go. You can even use a timing function so that your loaf of bread is baked and ready first thing in the morning, ready for breakfast.
Modern bread machines can also be used to make light and airy dough ready for pizzas and pasta dough, and you can even bake loaves using gluten-free ingredients.
4. Home Pickling
According to the USDA, between 30 and 40% of the food produced in America is wasted, to the value of $218 billion. Never has it been more important to preserve food and reduce our wastage. Pickling is a simple way of preserving food, and you don’t need any specialist equipment.
It is a particularly effective way of keeping vegetables for use in slaws. First, you must sterilize your preservation jars by bringing them to a boil in hot water. Leave them submerged in the water until you are ready to use them. You should then prepare your vegetables and make a pickling brine. Brine is made by boiling equal parts of water and white vinegar, then adding 4 tbsp of pickling salt to every cup of liquid.
It would help if you used pickling salt in most grocery stores rather than ordinary table salt, as it doesn’t turn the water cloudy. Adding spices and herbs to your brine can give your pickled produce a unique and delicious flavor. For instance, pickled cucumber marinated in a dill and fennel brine perfectly accompanies a piece of grilled fish.
5. Teppanyaki Grilling
The teppanyaki grill hails from Japan and is a simple way of cooking meat, fish, fruits and vegetables on skewers over hot coals. In the home kitchen, you can use a small portable grill, similar to a disposable barbecue in size.
A much safer option, however, is an electric teppanyaki grill – these can be placed on the countertop or in the middle of the dining table so you can have a pleasant cooking experience with friends and family. Many electric grills also have removable plates that are easy to wash and can even be put in the dishwasher.
6. Easy Jaffles
The jaffle is an Australian version of a grilled cheese sandwich made in a toasting machine that creates triangular pockets of closed round bread – this is where it differs from an ordinary grilled cheese. You can buy a jaffle machine online for less than $50.
The glory of the jaffle is that it can be turned into a meal that is both sweet and savory. A jaffle filled with sliced turkey, brie and cranberry jam is a seasonal classic to serve for lunch. Or you could try a dessert sandwich filled with Nutella and slices of banana – dusted in confectioners sugar; this is a satisfying sweet treat you will want to make time and again. The trick with all jaffles is to butter the bread on the outside so that it comes out of the machine with a nice, golden crunch.
More Americans are getting into the kitchen and regularly cooking a delicious meals. The new trends and innovations in cooking are making it even easier for home cooks to prepare something wholesome, nutritious and tasty.