• Britannia
  • Financial protection for families
  • Financial protection for wage & salary earners

Home-cooking tips for the ‘new normal’

During the lockdown days, many of us have been honing our skills in the kitchen. From home-made bread through to yoghurt, spreads and sauces, there probably has never been a better time to embrace the pleasure of home-cooking. And echoing this sentiment, New Zealand chefs and foodies have been sharing their top recipes online for everyone to enjoy.

The world will eventually find its ‘new normal’. In the meantime, here are some home-cooking tips we can take with us on the other side – to eat healthier and save money.

Making your own bread

Has your home smelled like your favourite bakery of late? Bread-making is a craft in itself; it may take patience and practice, but in time, the results are sure to reward. It’s no surprise that bread is the most widely consumed food in the world.

You’ll obviously find plenty of recipes online to inspire you, but here are some great NZ-made examples to get you started:

  • Yoghurt dough scroll, by Kiwi parenting blogger and nutritionist My Kids Lick the Bowl: All you need is four ingredients.
  • Beer bread, by I Am a Baker: Can you spare five minutes and a can of ale?
  • Soda bread, by Annabel Langbein: No yeast needed.
  • Crusty no-knead bread, by The Kiwi Country Girl: Ready for breakfast.
  • Lockdown load, by Chelsea Winter: Is a fresh loaf made from old beer the perfect bread recipe for pandemic times?

As a little extra from overseas, US chef and baker Brandon Johnson has recently shared a Navajo flatbread recipe which promises to be “the easiest kind of bread you can make”.

Can’t find flour in the supermarket?

Flour has become a scarce commodity in recent times. The good news is, you can make your own flour using a coffee grinder and your choice of grains, seeds, nuts or beans.

Homemade pasta

While you might not be as experienced as this lovely Italian nonna, that’s not to say you shouldn’t try making your own homemade pasta. As food blogger Girl Meets Food says, “From the outside it seems so complicated and out of reach. The reality is, it’s not very hard and once you’ve done it a few times, it’s easy and methodical.”

Feeling ready? You can find her recipe here. 

Easy-to-make yoghurt

Whether you’re using a set yoghurt like Easiyo or doing your own thing, making yoghurt overnight is incredibly easy – and importantly, it can help you save some bucks. Check out this quick recipe by NZ chef Annabel Langbein.

Your own dips and spreads

Dips and spreads make the perfect snacks or addition to a hearty meal. What’s more, they allow you to experiment with flavours and colours: all you need is a blender (or mortar and pestle) and your ingredients. Eatwell.co.nz has pages and pages of recipes for you.

Preserving the goodness

You can preserve almost anything, using oil, sugar, vinegar, salt brine, alcohol or by fermentation. However, keep food safety in mind. According to OzFarmer, it’s important to use special preserving jars with a secure seal, to avoid bacterial contamination (yikes!). If you’re confident enough, you can try these recipes and preserving tips from LoveFoodHateWaste.co.nz, and stock up your pantry.

Looking for more inspiration? Follow the pros

While restaurant and café doors were closed shut, Auckland’s top chefs have taken to social media to share some of their favourite recipes – click here to learn more, there’s something for everyone.

Meanwhile, in Wellington, hospitality businesses have come up with a ‘pay what you can cookbook’, with all proceeds going to its contributors. You can purchase and download the PDF here.

Start an online cooking class

Feel a bit rusty? Or perhaps, you’d like to perfect your skills?

According to Google’s global data, the search term “online cooking classes” saw a trifold increase during the first three months of 2020. From free to paid-for options, an online class may just be the ticket to explore your culinary creativity.

Get in touch

We may not help you season the new pan, but if you have any questions for us, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to answering them.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.