17 Jan Summer Cooking Tips for Your Stylish Kitchen
The hottest time of year is fast approaching, and we know just how hot and horrid it can get in a bustling South African kitchen. We want to help you avoid the heat this Summer with a couple Summer Cooking Tips for your stylish kitchen. Our tips not only look at changes you can make in your cooking habits, but also some general kitchen tips that can help you keep cool (and keep your cool) this season!
1. Forget the Stove
During the Summer months, you want to avoid as many sources of heat as humanly possible to make your living space ultra-comfortable. The same applies in the kitchen: wherever possible, try to prepare meals without using the oven or stove, which leads to a heated kitchen and irritable cook. Gear your grocery shopping towards seasonal produce, fresh vegetables, and raw meals such as salads. Chilled soups make a fresh alternative during summer, and raw dishes are packed with nutrients and succulent flavours.
2. Create Lighter Dishes
Many South Africans will know the saying: “Maagies vol, oogies toe.” This Afrikaans saying speaks to the exhaustion one often experiences after a heavy meal. In Summer, we are already weighed down by the heat in the air, so should take care when preparing meals. You want to be snacking on things that energise you, rather than overfill you.
Prepare lighter dishes with more vegetables and fresh ingredients, and less starches. Carbohydrates are the main culprits when it comes to overeating and also feeling sluggish after meals. Opting for lighter variants or foregoing them altogether can help you to create delicious and invigorating meals.
3. On the Double
On the odd occasion that you do decide to turn on the oven or stove, make the hassle worth the heat by preparing double or even triple portions that you can put in the fridge or freezer for future meals. When you decide to enjoy them, these portions need only be defrosted and cooked, preparation-free!
4. Maximise Other Appliances
Summer is the perfect time to break out all the smaller appliances that you typically neglect throughout the year. Countertop appliances generate less heat and often use less energy to cook your meals through. Pressure cookers, slow cookers, steamers, air fryers and blenders are ideal for making interesting Summer meals that don’t get you hot and sweaty in the making.
5. Braai, Braai, Braai
Of course, with the sun out longer and a cool breeze coming through, you would have to be mad not to consider a braai in the Summer evenings. The barbeque is ideal for cooking meat and vegetables with less fats and oils, whilst rendering an incredible and incomparable taste. Get social around the braai with your family and enjoy a lovely outdoor meal.
6. Keep it Cool
There are some additions you can make to your kitchen which will help to keep you cool throughout the Summer months. First on that list is the humble ceiling fan! Ceiling fans are functional devices which add style to a space as well, complimenting your existing design. A ceiling fan uses about the same amount of energy per hour as a simple lightbulb, making them highly energy efficient, too!
7. Time is of the Essence
Picking the best time to cook is also an important tip when it comes to avoiding additional heat and discomfort in the kitchen. We find that cooking in the early morning and evening is most effective, as the sun is not at its fullest capacity and you can enjoy a pleasant breeze by opening the windows and doors. The last thing you want to be doing is cooking up a steamy storm when the sun is baking at midday.
8. Get Rid of Steam
When you do opt for the stovetop, it is highly useful to have an extractor fan installed to collect the excess steam generated by your pots and pans. Not only does this help to suck up the heated air, but it prevents moisture from damaging your cabinetry when it condenses on the cooler surface.
All in all, you don’t have to feel helpless against the blazing Summer heat this year. These Summer cooking tips can certainly help you keep your cool and make the most of the season. For more tips and tricks, take a look at the Home Concept blog! Remember to contact us should you have any queries regarding our comprehensive kitchen design services.