There are many inexpensive cooking knives out there. Go in any big box retail store and you can find an assortment of chefs knives, paring knives and kitchen cutlery for fairly low prices. Thats OK, if you do not plan to use them. They look pretty in the wooden knife block and that is where they should stay because you will wear yourself out trying to use them much.

You Get What You Pay For

If cooking is your thing you should avoid buying a drawer full of inexpensive knives. Invest in just a few good quality kitchen knives. To start, you only need three good knives; you can add to your kitchen arsenal over time.

You will use a chefs knife or paring knife for about 80% of the cutting and chopping work. Delicate work will most often be done with your paring knife and it is important that it be kept sharp.

Three Must Have Cooking Knives

Short Chefs knife 6-8 inches long

Long Chefs knife 8-12 inches long

Sharp paring knife

Ease of Use

One of the best reasons to buy a better quality cooking knife sits at the end of your arm-your hand. A cheap knife is just that, cheap. The handles are made of plastic or wood that is often uncomfortable to grip. This puts extra stress on your hand and arm, making the work harder to perform. Over time, working with poorly made knives can cause pain, and even Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

A quality cooking knife is easier to hold and feels better in your hand. The grip is ergonomically crafted to fit comfortably in your hand and the knife is balanced to make the work easier to do. You can do much neater, more professional looking knife work with a well balanced, quality constructed cooking knife. High quality carbon steel or polished stainless steel blades stay sharp longer and the grip is much more comfortable.

Invest wisely and cooking can be the enjoyable experience it should be and not an onerous chore. What to Look for:

High quality forged carbon steel blades

High quality polished stainless steel blades

Ergonomic hand grips for easy use

Balanced for ease of use

A knife that feels good in your hand

In order to get food to taste good most people think that you have to result to unhealthy food flavorings. Most people wonder if it is possible to eat healthy while maintaining the great taste. Artificial sugars are an alternative to table sugar (sucrose) as they tend to be more intensively sweeter and have zero calories. Artificial sugars have become the main functional ingredients in many diet drinks and other healthy food products. Many artificial foods have been made to cater for those of us who watch what we eat. You can add texture to your food which is good for your digestive system via food texturizers. Here is how to add taste to your food:

Spices: Its definition tends to be a grey area for many culinary aficionados, as one definition is inclusive of herbs. The American Spice Trade Association has it that, flavoring is “any dried product used primarily for seasoning purposes.” The other widely and most accepted definition is whether fresh or dried or derived from the bark, stem, root, seed or fruit of a plant. They tend to be grown in tropical climes. They are highly regarded for their medicinal value and in preparation of cosmetic products. Examples include garlic, ginger, cloves, pepper, cinnamon even wasabi.

Herbs: Herbs are different in that they are derived from leaves. They may be whole, grinded a little to be flaky, or well grinded to be powder. When consumed whole they tend to give texture to food and hence are a great natural food texturizer. Herbs do not favor tropical climes and are commonly found in more temperate areas. Herbs are similar when it comes to their medicinal values and also cosmetic properties. Examples of herbs are parsley, basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary.

Condiments: They tend to be simple sauces; good examples include mustard, ketchup and barbecue sauce.

Others: Salt is a mineral, but it would be unfair to ignore it when talking of seasonings. Salt has preserving qualities, commonly used to preserve fish before refrigerators, hence the term salted fish. There are many different types of salt, from rock salt to sea salt. Iodized salt is usually recommended so as to limit the salts’ dehydrating properties. Some like to confuse sugar as a seasoning, but it is considered as part of functional ingredients as food can be made out of it. To be fair sugar changes the taste of whatever it is mixed in, but it is more commonly referred to as a sweetener.

We are what we eat and whenever we want to eat healthy there is always the drawback of sacrificing taste. Good food has to have the right functional ingredients and complementing food flavorings to bring out great tasting food. Food that tastes good is not enough; addition of good food texturizers will ensure that your food also feels good in your mouth. We usually rush at what tastes good to us every meal time, and probably our best meal is usually what we remember tasting best. With the proper application of food seasonings you will always have a feast of even the smallest meals.

In terms of nutrition food and health are great concern all over the world. The major concentration is on the threats exerted by kinds of foods, and how we can cut them by avoiding junk foods and modifying our daily diets. For example, many consumers avoid the white sugar as they perceive that it is harmful for health.

Many nutrition and health authorities offer guidance for people to avoid health problems associated with over or under-consumption of certain foods. However, it largely depends on the attitude of the people to their food intake and health. (more…)