The Joy of Home Cooking

Most of us have grown up in houses where food was lovingly prepared at home. Of course, we would eat out sometimes, creating a bustling chaos at home before heading to our favourite restaurant. Eating out was not a frequent activity for most of us.

How many of us cook regularly at home using fresh wholesome healthy produce? And how many times have you grabbed a burger on the go, or order in pizza or takeaway from that nearby Chinese joint. I don’t like the number you’re thinking of.

Now, listen up. I’m not against eating out or having a McD once in a while. All I want to share with you, my brothers and sisters, is simply this….take a good look at what you put in your mouths and what you feed your families everyday. Is it halal? Is it tayyib (good)? Is it wholesome? Was it prepared with love? Or is it simply processed, refined, filled with preservatives, additives, color, and other crazy stuff that only has a chemical compound for a name. We read about it all the time, hormones and antibiotics injected into diary produce, genetically modified poultry, pesticides and chemicals all around. It’s a crazy confusing world – the food industry.

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Sahih International: O you who have believed, eat from the good things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.

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Sahih International: And eat of what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and good. And fear Allah, in whom you are believers.

Almost everything that we buy from the supermarket can be easily prepared at home. Try baking your own cookies with homemade butter. Make your own dips to go with healthy snacking options like carrots (I spent half my childhood with my head in the fridge’s vegetable compartment) or homemade bread sticks. Instead of reaching out for those easy instant soup mixes, make your own. Instant pudding mix? Please! Do you have any idea how simple it is to make pudding? We make our own homemade yoghurt everyday, Alhamdullilah!! Trust me, it will become second nature once you start enjoying the baraka’h (blessings) and benefits of home cooked food.

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Sahih International: And He it is who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.

Truly, very little effort is required to go about doing this and the reward you get for ensuring that you and your family eat healthy will be multiplied, Inshallah. You’ll soon love to cook everyday and opt for wholesome healthier snacks.

Here are ways you can achieve the desired goodness:

  1. Make dua to Allah to help us start making positive changes, one by one.
  2. Stock up your pantry with good wholesome ingredients and fresh produce from the local farmer’s market.
  3. Resist the temptation to buy all those instant mix, microwave and ready to eat, cookies and cakes and see what you can whip up at home
  4. A little bit of planning, a little bit of good sensible shopping and making a few preparations for the week ahead goes a long long way. (It used to be take some effort in the beginning to plan ahead but now it has become second nature.)
  5. Make breakfast your priority and try to get most of your vegetable servings right in the morning with your favorite bread, roti or qubz.
  6. Keep a handful of nuts in your desk at your workplace to help you curb any un-toward cravings!!

If we really want to be productive, we need to put some thought and effort into our food. Alhamdulillah, now it’s effortless for me to whip up healthier options at home in no time. And with whatever is available in my pantry. Of course, I do reach out for that cookie (sometimes more than one), I do eat out and I do the quick mix stuff too. But the point is, it doesn’t happen too often.

Experience the joy of home cooking and watch your energy levels shoot up, productivity leap and get sick less often. Lead an active lifestyle, exercise, eat good food and notice the clarity in thought and action that will kick in, Inshallah. May Allah give us the strength and will power to make good choices in what goes into our kitchens and on to our plates.

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