With the many restaurants and fast food joints popping up everywhere, it can be a challenge to maintain a healthy lifestyle. According to an article from Harvard, a lot of people know that they need to eat more healthfully but do not know where to start.

Some say it requires discipline and motivation to start a healthy lifestyle. While there are various ways to jumpstart a healthier life such as exercise, we can also start with the food we cook at home.

Choosing the Right Kitchen Appliance

Home cooking is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Why don’t people cook more meals at home? Chances are, they either lack time to prepare meals or are not confident in their cooking skills. In the past few decades, people have been preparing food at home less often and are now relying on fast food. While it may be more efficient and speedy, the disadvantage of eating fast food is not knowing how it is cooked and the ingredients used. If more meals are prepared at home, there is a greater chance of controlling the portion size, cooking method and ingredients used.

Choosing the Right Kitchen Appliance

How do we get started and switch to a healthier lifestyle? It’s more than just searching healthier recipes online. We have to be willing to make changes at home. We have a few tips to get you started.

  1. Shop for fruits and vegetables at organic and farmers’ markets. Buying canned and frozen is alright but go for the fresher option if you can. 
  2. Make sure you have kitchen appliances that can help you make that switch. For example, instead of frying chicken on the stove, you can roast chicken in the oven. In this way, you can control the amount of oil used when cooking. 
  3. Cook food in large batches. You can prepare meals for the week beforehand. You can do this the weekend before the busy week starts when you don’t have any more time to prepare food.
  4. Start with something easy like soup, sliced fruits and steamed vegetables.
  5. You can get creative and substitute some of the ingredients. Learn and experiment with different alternatives. Instead of frying potatoes, you can switch to sweet potatoes and roast them in the oven.
  6. Use non stick pans and trays so you don’t have to rely on adding too much oil.

Do you have other tips you’d like to share? Our Craftbuilt Kitchens professionals can help you get started on planning a kitchen that can fit your lifestyle. We also have kitchen recipes that can help you get started. Visit our Updated Modern Kitchen Showroom at Stones Corner today and avail of our special offers!

Organized Kitchen DIY

Organized Kitchen DIY

An organized fridge is essential to a functional kitchen. You don’t want to be sifting through a cluttered fridge when it is time to prepare, cook and eat.

By using a few techniques, you can make sure your fridge is tidy, items are easy to find and food is fresh.

Here are a few hacks on how to organize your fridge:

Organized Kitchen DIY

  • Bins help keep things in place. Clear plastic or glass bins can show you what’s inside and if it is still fresh or almost going bad. You can separate vegetables from fruits; and dairy from meat.
  • Labels are your friends. Label bins and trays with the kind of food you want stored. After grocery shopping, you can easily spot the best place to store the item. Labels also work for individual bottles, containers or boxes. You can place the date you’ve opened the beverage or food to keep track of its consumption. You can also label with a deadline date – “Must be eaten before Oct 1.” Labels also work if you live in a home full of grabby eaters – “This milk belongs to Jimmy.”
  • If you hate cleaning, you can line the shelves of your fridge with mats that are easy to clean. You can use placemats (rubber or plastic). They also help keep items in place because of the type of surface the mat has.
  • Those DIY mason jar recipes on Pinterest are practical. Not only does it save you time in cooking and preparation during busy days, it also makes sure food lasts longer. Salads and cereals will stay fresh for up to a week on a tight lid. And it is really a space saver.

Organized Kitchen DIY

  • Some vegetables do not need to be chilled. Potatoes, tomatoes, honey and onions don’t need to be refrigerated. Trail mix, chocolate, grain and seeds don’t need to be kept in the fridge. If your kitchen has a bread storage, you can definitely use that.
  • Lastly, keep your fridge smelling fresh with activated carbon. Activated carbon absorbs and eliminates odor.

When planning your kitchen renovation, storage and kitchen space organisation are important factors. Our professional and experienced kitchen designers can help you achieve these.  Visit us at the Craftbuilt Kitchens Design Studio at Unit 15, 76 Old Cleveland Road, Stones Corner for more kitchen tips!

Last Minute Valentine’s Day Cooking Tips You Need To Remember

It’s Valentine’s day and you might have already made plans to go out on your date, reserved a table for two at a nice restaurant or booked a trip. If you are going to make a home-cooked meal tonight, remember to relax and take note of these Valentine’s Day cooking tips for a smooth-sailing date night! Here are a few last minute Valentine’s Day things to remember:

Valentine’s Day Things To Avoid When Preparing Food:

  1. Keep Calm, Let Go of the Pressure. The best way to impress your Valentine’s date tonight is to show your real self! Which means you need to be relaxed and happy. If you are stressing over the fact that you are going to make a crème brulee or beef wellington, remember that your date is there to get to know you. Having a great meal rakes in bonus points but showing your best and true self is much more impressive. Keep calm, avoid stress! 

Men Cooking In The Kitchen

  1. Sloppy Food Means Messy Food. Food with tons of sauce can be delicious and exciting but it can make one look messy! These meals may be great to eat but if your date is not into messy meals then it is best to avoid powdered donuts, ribs with BBQ sauce, burritos, meatball subs, meatball spaghetti, buffalo wings and hotdogs. It also means you’ll less likely have to clean a messy benchtop.

 Last Minute Valentine’s Day Cooking Tips You Need To Remember

  1. Don’t Slave Away In The Kitchen. It sounds impressive that you have decided to cook a seven course meal but you don’t want to be spending all your time in the kitchen cooking. If you think the meal will need prep time, do it in advance. And here’s a tip – if your date is all for it, you can also have your date help you during the cooking.

  Wooden Benchtop Countertop

  1. It’s Not About You. Remember that your Valentine’s date is about the both of you. You can introduce your date to the food you like as well as asking what his or her favourite food is. It is also important to consider if your date has allergies. You don’t need to cook the exact thing. What is important is you get to know the person and what he or she likes.

 Last Minute Valentine’s Day Cooking Tips You Need To Remember

At the end of the day, your kitchen is a hotspot for conversation and romance. Remember that your Valentine’s date is not just about the food, it is about you and your Valentine’s date. So have fun, (remember these last minute Valentine’s Day cooking tips!) and impress your date by being yourself!

Have a happy Valentine’s day! – A message from Craftbuilt Kitchens.

In the quest for answers to the growing obesity problems our society is facing, many weapons have been engaged. From diet and exercise programmes, meal replacement shakes and gym sessions, to visualisation and meditation, everyone is looking for the magic answer. Now evidence is mounting that a messy kitchen can actually influence food choices.

Here at Craftbuilt Kitchens we couldn’t agree more. All our kitchens are designed along sleek and seamless lines with plenty of space for storage and shining benchtops that invite food preparation. We can’t understand why a home owner would clutter such an inviting space, especially if it is making them gain weight.

Takeaway Is Easier Then Clearing The Benchtop

Now that may sound a little silly at first, but there is sound evidence to support a link between cluttered kitchen space and weight gain. Most home owners are busy juggling jobs and social activities. Furthermore, if they have children, squeezing sport and homework into a crowded schedule will add to the stress. When they arrive home, they throw down their gear and the kitchen bench is where it lands. Add in the mail and newspapers, and suddenly there is no space on the benchtop to chop vegetables, crumb cutlets, peel potatoes or shell peas.

What about dinner? A quick phone call to the local takeaway and it arrives at the door. This is not a problem if it only happens occasionally, but if the kitchen is not geared for food preparation, a takeaway becomes a three or four times a week event. Slowly the weight starts creeping on. Our beautiful kitchen designs create spaces that need to be used and where the inner chef can escape and serve up delicious, healthy, low fat meals in no time.

Take Out, Take Away, Fast Food

New Storage Rule – Treats At The Back – Healthy At The Front

A simple trick to fool the taste bud is to use the ample storage space we build into our kitchens. Craftbuilt Kitchens suggests to keep the snacks and treats out of sight. Put them in opaque containers at the back of the shelving so they are hard to see and reach. Consumption drops and so does the weight.

Keep those sparkling benchtops clear of clutter but reserve a space for the humble fruit bowl. Instead of snacking on high fat, processed items, grab some fruit to go. Take all those fussy appliances like hot dog makers, waffle irons, pop corn machines and pie makers off the bench and put them away. No one needs all those gadgets to prepare a meal, and most of these involve lots of high fat ingredients.

Remember, if you have to clean up a messy, cluttered kitchen before you start cooking, chances are you will opt for a quick, high fat and unhealthy substitute. Check out our fabulous kitchens at our showroom located in 2958 Logan Road, Underwood QLD 4119 and find out how you can further improve your kitchen, food and eating lifestyle.

Christmas has come and gone. Most have already cleared away their presents and decorations. The holiday season may be over but there is another occasion coming up. Valentine’s is a day of celebration for lovers and romantics. Those who celebrate the day mark the event with a gift, an evening out to dinner and even a movie.

Almost everyone around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day. However, many of us don’t know the origin of this heart-warming tradition. During your romantic meal or while you are making the final touches to that special home-cooked feast for two, you can regale the story with your special someone. It started with a story about someone who sacrificed in the name of love.

On February 14th, the eve of the feast of Lupercalia, the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and drawn by the Roman boys. They were then partnered for the festival. At times they would fall in love and eventually marry. When Emperor Claudius II was in power, he was having difficulty getting men to join his army and believed it was due to a hesitancy to leave behind loved ones and lovers. As a result, he voided engagements and marriages. A priest named Saint Valentine was sympathetic to those wanting to join in a wedded union and married the couples in secret. When he was found out he was sentenced to death and consequently befriended by the daughter of the jail guard. She offered so much friendship and solstice before his death that when his time came, on February 14th, he left her a note thanking her and signing it “Love from your Valentine.” And so began the tradition.

It was quite a dramatic story. It is a testimony of great sacrifice for something that we can all take for granted at times.

This Valentine’s Day, make sure your loved one feels appreciated. You can purchase your partner any number of beautiful gifts and cook many tasty meals. But the best gift of all is something that lasts a lifetime. Something practical and used daily. How about giving your loved one a new functional kitchen to prepare future meals in? By talking to a qualified kitchen designer you can turn a disorganised and old kitchen into something that is a pleasure to be in. And most of all, functional in every way possible.

By visiting our Craftbuilt Kitchens showroom in Brisbane you can start “shopping” for ideas that will eventually become a fantastic kitchen, your perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

In today’s modern and fast paced lifestyle, we are very busy and often overlook the importance of home cooked meals. But there are those who make time to attend cooking classes to make healthy home cooked meals.

What are the advantages of cooking classes?

When you learn to cook a healthy home cooked meal in your own kitchen, you will have more control over what goes into your meal. As a result, there is the opportunity to consume far less amounts of fat, salt and harmful food additives. Cooking at home not only saves your waistline, it can save your wallet, too.

Being budget conscious is important to people and eating out or buying take away food is often the more expensive option. When you prepare meals at home the ingredients you purchase at the grocery store can create more meals for approximately the same amount of money. And while you are saving money, you are creating good habits for your family. Children who see meals prepared at home have this memory of home cooking ingrained into their own family homes and they will be more likely to enjoy cooking for themselves later on in life.

Who can attend cooking classes?

There is absolutely no rule about who can attend cooking classes. Basically, if you are old enough to attend, then it’s a great idea to learn the basics of cooking in your kitchen. Men and women alike can learn to prepare simple yet delicious meals for their families at home. Cooking classes can be particularly enjoyable for couples looking to broaden their hobbies together, whilst providing great nutrition for the whole family. There are also cooking classes that are focused on kids! Helping out in the kitchen, is after all, a family affair.

When it comes to family, it can even be a great idea for any teenagers and kids in the home to also attend. They can share the load of preparing meals whilst building a very useful foundation for feeding themselves in a healthy manner when they move into their own homes in the future.

Getting the most out of your kitchen.

A fantastic time to consider taking a cooking class is when you are going to remodel your kitchen or if you are going to have a complete new kitchen installation. When you have a new kitchen installed or a simple makeover, making sure the kitchen is functional is top priority on the agenda. So while the tradies are busy fixing your cooking area, you are already preparing yourself for future cooking activities! Imagine making that roast you’ve always thought about doing in the new oven.

Cooking classes not only teach you what meals you can make, they also create the importance of organisation and time management. Putting skills such as these into practice will ensure that you are making the most use of your beautiful, functional kitchen.