Trending: Cooking at Home By Sherene Chou, MS, RD
Cooking at home has increased drastically this year as COVID-19 continues to influence consumer habits. Even though consumers are spending more time in the kitchen, they are still looking for healthy and fast-and-simple ways to increase variety.
Based on the ACOSTA report, 55 percent of shoppers, more than half, are eating at home more often with increases across breakfast, lunch and dinner compared to pre-COVID.
- 44% eat breakfast at home every day, compared to 33% pre-COVID
- 31% eat lunch at home every day, compared to 18% pre-COVID
- 33% eat dinner at home every day, compared to 21% pre-COVID
One of the biggest challenges reported by 40 percent of those surveyed was “planning different meals every day.” Even though there are challenges to planning meals each day, the percentage of top three most fatiguing aspects of cooking were prep work (46), cleanup (43), and meal planning (42), according to a study by OnePoll that surveyed 2,000 Americans.
Meal prepping and batch cooking are easy ways to help combat these challenges. Having ready-to-go pantry staples and staple ingredients ready to throw together for a quick meal can remove the excessive prep, cleanup and planning. Here are some pantry staples and recipes that can reduce prep and cleanup.
Fall Pantry Staples
- Protein: Pistachios, beans, and seeds
- These protein powerhouses are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals. Try the Pistachio Hummus, a delicious twist to the classic hummus with an extra boost of protein.
- Fruits: Frozen, fresh, canned, dried - apples, pears, figs
- Add pistachios and fall fruits to oatmeal. Batch cook the Pistachio Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal to save time during the week or take cooking out of the equation by turning this recipe into overnight oats. Simply add ingredients to a jar and stick it in the fridge. It will be ready first thing in the morning. Change fruits for variety.
- Vegetables: Frozen, fresh or canned - potatoes, squash, pumpkin
- Whip up a batch of this creamy Pumpkin Pistachio Soup perfect for fall, which can be stored in the freezer.
- Grains: whole grains, bread, tortillas, pita
- Make a large batch of Pistachio Pesto to serve with pasta, in a grain bowl or as a spread. This versatile recipe can be used with a variety of grains.
- Snacks and sweets
- Make these delicious flavor-packed Pistachio Fruit Bars to grab-and-go for an easy snack.
Batch-cooking these staples once or twice a week will help save time, money and frustration. To increase the variety of meals each week, focus on seasonings and changing flavor profiles with the same base ingredients. Try the Anytime Pistachio Parm to boost up your pantry staples.
For more recipes, visit https://americanpistachios.org/recipes-and-snacking and tag us on social media @americanpistachios!