Katie’s Healthy Bites: 6 Energy-Saving Kitchen Tips

by in Uncategorized, April 18, 2010

reusable container

It’s almost Earth Day! We all know how important it is to use as many locally-sourced ingredients as possible, but have you thought about using energy-saving cooking techniques? Here are 6 easy ways to use less energy  in the kitchen.

Rethink food storage containers. Instead of plastic baggies, foil and plastic wrap, use reusable containers to store and wrap food.

Cover up those pots! Want an easy way to cut your mealtime energy use in half? Cover pots of water as you bring them to a boil. Bonus: You won’t have to wait as long for that rolling boil.

Buy a pressure cooker. Pressure cookers can decrease energy use by up to 70 percent, because they speed up the process of slow-cooking (and budget-friendly) ingredients like bean and tough meats.

Make fewer slow-cooked meals. Cut back a bit on slow-cooked meals, like stews and braises. Simmering a pot on the stove for hours uses lots of energy!

Reuse your cooking water. Bring a pot of water to a boil (covered of course), cook your veggies, then remove them using a strainer. Toss pasta in the same hot water, or use the cooking liquid to make rice, grains or even soup. You’ll use less agua, and get all the veggie nutrients that would have gone down the drain.

Make one pot meals. One -pot meals (like this stir fry) use less energy to whip up and less water to clean up.

TELL US: What ways do you reduce energy waste in the kitchen?

Katie Cavuto Boyle, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, personal chef and owner of HealthyBites, LLC. See Katie’s full bio »

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Comments (10)

  1. Okay… this does it. I'm officially putting a pressure cooker on my wish list. I've wanted one for time saving… now energy savings, too. Great tips!

  2. lulie says:

    Save LOTS of water by using a small bucket or watering can to catch any water you normally run down the drain when waiting for the water to warm up. Water your house plants or even garden with this water.

    I do this in the shower as well, then use the bucket to water plants and flush the toilet.

    • Jay Fox says:

      Julie-I do all of this too! People always seem surprised but I don't get too dirty and I certainly don't think the plants in my garden mind!


  3. Bud R says:

    I like to buy hamburger on sale. I buy about 12 pounds at a time and cook it in 2 large kettles with onion and spices. I drain the grease then fill freezer bags with the cooked meat. I make sure that I do not over fill the bags because I need them to lay flat in the freezer. If I want to make anything with hamburger I just take out a bag, smack it on my counter till it breaks up, take out what I need and put the rest back in the freezer. This saves cooking time and messing with the grease each and every time I cook. If I am adding hamburger to a pasta meal I put the frozen meat right into the boiling pasta just before it is eldente. This then makes it a one pot pan each time too.
    Last month I found large chicken legs for 37cents a pound. I bought 20 pounds and boiled them with celery, onion, and spices. chicken differs from hamburger in that you need to set a timer and keep going back to the freezer and break up the deboned meat every 30 to 40 minutes to guarantee it is not freezing into solid block. Chicken just does not break up like hamburger does when you smack it on hard surfaces so it needs just a little extra care..

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  5. Henry says:

    "Rethink Food storage container" is the best point i would say. Using plastic bags would definitely spoil our environment. As it is mentioned its better to use reusable containers. Great point!!!

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