Lifestyle

With costs rising, Susan Jane White shares six simple ways to save energy (and money) in the kitchen

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This is poetry, not poverty. Our energy is a finite resource and the price per unit is skyrocketing. Instead of freaking out on LSD like a meerkat, we accept the challenge and start our poetry game.

1 Go batch-it crazy. If you’re making a curry, sauce or soup, double the amount and freeze the leftovers for another day. A full freezer works more efficiently and uses less energy than a half empty one – who would have thought?

Scaling your recipes means: less washing up; less energy consumption; less lugging your energy-guzzling car to the shops; and more free time while you throw away the excess meals. Think of these homemade healthy frozen meals as Mario Kart mushrooms. They will surely give you an energy boost and a lifeline when you need it most.

For me, batch cooking has changed my relationship with my wallet and mental health. Try it yourself and see.

2 Familiarize yourself with oven sprees and cook multiple items at once. Having the oven preheated is already a sunk cost, so make the most of it by cooking something on each shelf for later in the week.

For example, roasted vegetables are very suitable for filling omelets, sandwiches, dough sheets and curries. You can instantly prepare nutritious meals by simply topping the cooked veggies with a poached egg, shredded cheese, and some fancy nachos.

At my house, we simultaneously bake tempeh slices in aluminum foil and bowls of roasted vegetables to prep our fridge and tummies for the busy week ahead.

3 As the Spice Girls say, “put it on, put it on”. Putting a lid on a pan while cooking has been shown to significantly reduce cooking time and reduce the use of energy-hungry range hoods. Score.

And if you’re boiling water in a pan, put on a lid to keep the heat in the pan and speed up the cooking process. Even better? Switch to the kettle instead of boiling a pot of cold water. A kettle uses much less energy, less money and less time. But remember to only boil as much water as you need.

4 Adjust the pot to the ring size. Seems obvious, but did you know that a small pan on a large ring can waste up to 40 percent of the fuel used? Crazy but true. And guess what? You spend money on that energy, so you might as well burn money.

Consumption stats skyrocket when your stove is running on gas. Electric induction cooktops are much more energy efficient than gas cooktops.

5 Learn to use steam. Two great options to consider are a plug-in electric rice cooker (especially if your regular stovetop uses gas) and a Cooking Cosy. Both use steam to cook grains and rice and require very little energy to operate. I use mine most days. The Cooking Cozy is also handy for off-grid activities like camping.

The idea is simple. Instead of bringing carbs to a boil and then “cooking for x minutes,” you can use the cooking warmer to harness the steam, insulate the pot, and continue the cooking process without a direct heat source like a flame. Simply place the pot on a wooden board. Genius. See cookcosy.com.

Both the Cooking Cozy and a plug-in rice cooker result in more mindful cooking, less steam in the kitchen, and a long-term solution to wasted energy in the kitchen. Some rice cookers double as slow cookers, like the Tefal 8-in-1. This is a win-win situation, both ecologically and financially.

6 Find the energy thieves. We’re told that devices that stay on standby actually use a lot of power when you’re not even using them. WTF? Some of the most common devices left on standby in my kitchen include the coffee maker, phone chargers, our digital radio, and my digital blender.

I try to make it a habit to turn off the device on the wall when I’m not using it – and every time I do that, give high fives to someone in the room to celebrate my genius and this one normalize new behaviors.

If no one is available for a high-five, the cat gets a pat. Some energy companies say we can save up to 10 percent on our electricity bills by controlling plugs. I would like to test this theory.

https://www.independent.ie/life/food-drink/with-costs-rising-susan-jane-white-on-six-simple-ways-to-save-energy-and-money-in-the-kitchen-41523049.html With costs rising, Susan Jane White shares six simple ways to save energy (and money) in the kitchen

Fry Electronics Team

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