Mindfulness has come to the forefront of people’s minds over the past few years. As something that usually begins at home, there are ways in which you can bring in elements of mindfulness to your cooking. As we’re spending much more time at home, our introductory guide has been designed to inspire you to cherish the time spent in your kitchen, and become more mindful about what and how you’re cooking. Whether it’s creating your favourite dishes or baking for loved ones, here are some ways you can practise mindful cooking.
When you’re preparing a meal, when was the last time you took a moment just to appreciate the ingredients in front of you, or the preparation process? Whether it’s a simple task such as chopping an onion or potato, tasting a soup or sauce, or bringing rice or pasta to the boil, there are a number of times in creating any dish that you can bring mindfulness into play.
It’s important to stay present with the process. By taking each step at a time you’re creating a greater awareness about what you’re doing, and therefore discovering the three C’s while in the kitchen: calm, clarity and contentment – all of which are important when practising mindfulness of any kind. The next time you’re preparing dinner or creating new and exciting dishes, take stock of all the sights, sounds, smells and textures around you.
If you’re cooking each and every day of the week, it can begin to feel like a chore and inconvenience, but it should actually be an act of self-care. Just as much as taking an afternoon for yourself to have a bath, go on a walk or treating yourself to a good book, cooking in a more mindful way can become part of your self-care routine.
By becoming more mindful in the kitchen, you can gain a greater appreciation of the process and results. It can also help you to feel a lot more connected with your home, something which some of us may have lost while spending so much time there in recent months. By introducing mindful cooking into your life, it can help to increase happiness and improve focus and satisfaction, all while helping to reduce stress and irritability. In time, cooking and baking will become a more enjoyable and less tedious experience.
If you’re wondering where on earth to start with mindful cooking, here are some of the top techniques to help you bring a higher level of calm, clarity and contentment to your cooking.
There are so many more distractions in the kitchen than you might think. If cooking has become a chore, you’ll find that your distractions becoming more prevalent, making you lose focus and a connection with what you’re doing. Your smartphone, TV and radio all reduce your ability to focus on individual cooking activities such as chopping, tasting and smelling your food. Before you begin and get your ingredients out of the fridge and cupboard, turn everything off.
Have you ever stopped to notice how many times your mind wanders to other thoughts while you’re cooking? If you’re thinking about how your day has been or future plans to come, then gently return the focus to what’s going on in the kitchen. By doing this you’ll gain a greater appreciation of the overall process, the tastes of each individual ingredient and watching your creation come together. Try introducing more mindful thoughts for cooks and channel your inner chef while you’re stood over the stove or chopping board.
When was the last time you took a moment to take stock of the smell, texture, taste and function of each ingredient being added to your dish? When we appreciate what’s going into our cooking, as well as where each ingredient has come from and how it was produced, we can build up a better rapport with our food and treat it with extra care and consideration.
You’ll find that some recipes require your constant attention, such as risotto, whereas others, such as tray bakes, require a lot less. With those that require more of your time, focus on each of the senses involved in the whole journey, tasting along the way and using sight and sound senses to guide you. For those dishes that take up a lot less headspace, use your senses to judge when your dish is done, for example when it’s browned and bubbling. The more you act off your own intuition, the more you’ll enjoy your mindful cooking experience.
Whether you’re looking to revamp your whole kitchen or simply need some additional storage to keep your space tidy, then come to the experts at Hammonds. We can help you to develop a kitchen design and layout that works for your needs and your space. Our team will take you through all the bespoke options we have available and discuss finishes like handles, worktops and innovative storage solutions.
Turn your kitchen dreams into a reality today! Get in touch with our expert team to book your design visit or ask any questions that you may have.