Ten handy tips for cooking with arthritis
Being a mastermind in the kitchen doesn’t have to stop if you suffer from arthritis. Whether it’s choosing to invest in equipment for a helping hand, freezing herbs and spices in prep or rolling condiment bottles we’ve collected 10 tips to help you cook up a pain-free storm.
1. How do you like your eggs in the morning?
If you don’t own an egg white separator, small kitchen funnels are a perfect alternative. Place the funnel over a glass and crack the egg into the funnel. The white will slide into the glass, leaving the yolk in the funnel.
2. Let’s get saucy…
Shaking a new bottle of sauce is often recommended, and something of a habit in most cases. But what happens when your hands are too sore? Roll, roll, roll! Use your forearm and the weight of your body to roll the bottle on a flat surface for the same effect.
3. An apple a day keeps the doctor away
If you haven’t yet invested in an apple corer then now is the time! Arthritis or no arthritis, apple corers are the ultimate time and energy savers. Simply put the corer over the apple or other fruit or vegetable and use the weight of your body to push it through.
4. Whisk away those mixing problems…
Don’t spend time whisking in pain; substitute a whisk for a handheld electric whisk/drink mixer. Electric mixers are lightweight with thick handles, making the job effortless. Save your whisking energy for entertaining your dinner guests instead!
5. Reach don’t bend
Be good to your back and store pots and pans up high rather than down low. Using pot hangers or wall hooks removes the need to bend down in the kitchen.
6. Ready, set, chopped
Make the most of ready-prepared food on offer at supermarkets. Pre-chopped vegetables and grated cheese are all available at most stores, to make things even easier for you. While homemade meals are typically a healthier, recommended option, there are days where the thought of cooking an entire meal is just too much. Ready-made meals are a good idea for days like these.
7. Prepare portions
When you’re in full cooking mode, making batches will become your best friend. Whether you’re making spaghetti bolognese to last for a few days or a week, or cooking multiple chicken breasts at a time, refrigerating or freezing leftovers allow for an easy, delicious backup for those particularly bad days.
8. Transport with wheels
Carrying plates and heavy pots can be a strain on your joints. Introducing a trolley is an efficient way to transport plates to and from the table. Similarly, plant stands with wheels are saviours for moving heavy pots around the kitchen. Being conscious of using lightweight cutlery with large handles is also important for a pain-free cooking environment.
9. Freeze frame
Use your stronger days to freeze fresh herbs and spices. Measure out the herbs in tablespoons and/or teaspoons and place in ice cube trays. Fill the trays with liquid and leave to freeze. This way you can immediately grab the ingredients you need, without having to clean or cut them.
10. Changing the knobs
Doors can often be painful to negotiate if you have arthritis. Swapping door knobs for handles allows the use of the elbow and forearm to come into play for a less stressful door-opening experience. If your door doesn’t allow the option to swap in handles, tie a ribbon or string to the refrigerator or other closed door and when you’re unable to open with your hands, hook an arm through the ribbon and use the weight of your body to open it.