5 student kitchen hacks to tackle the exam season
Whipping up quick, healthy brain food has never been this simple – or this tasty.
29 May 2019
Exam season. Not much fun, is it?
We can’t do anything about the classes you missed or the equations you just can’t get your head around. But we can do something to ease the stress of revision.
Play student cooking on easy mode
It’s a fact: good food can make you smarter (well…for a short while).
- Too much sugar in your diet can increase oxidative stress
- People who eat more probiotic foods are more resilient to stress and have lower anxiety
- People who eat more fruit and veg, unprocessed grains and fish have lower risk of depression than those who eat more processed foods
So, cooking great food with high-quality ingredients can make all the difference to your mood, your memory and your stress levels.
Here’s how heaps of savvy and a dash of tech can help you get your vitamins and minerals this exam season.
1. Sub in some veggie meat
Everyone knows the five student food groups: chilli con carne, spaghetti bolognese, chicken stir fry, ham & cheese toasties and full English breakfasts.
But all that meat and salt can leave you feeling bloated and lazy. It’s full of free radicals that can be bad for your brain. So, why not switch it up with some low-calorie, low-fat, low-everything alternatives?
Try using vegetarian mince in your next pasta dish for less fat, fewer calories and the same yummy flavour. Or veggie chicken pieces in your stir fry – you can even microwave it to save time. There's also vegan chicken nuggets to try, yummy!
2. Air fry your fries
Chips are high in salt, fat and saturates… but they’re also ruddy delicious.
But, if you’re on a first-name basis with the local chippy and thinking about reassessing your life choices (without giving up yummy chips), why not invest in an air-fryer?
They use hot air circulation to cook your chips quickly and evenly, they’re easy to clean and make meals just as delicious as anything from the chip shop.
3. Eat plenty of brown rice
Brown rice. It’s chock fulla healthy stuff. Vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and fibre to keep your gut in a good state.
And – best of all – it goes great with just about everything. Grilled chicken? Brown rice. Fajitas? Brown rice. All the leftovers in the fridge plus a big dollop of store-brand ketchup? Brown. Rice.
Most rice cookers can keep your rice warm for up to 12 hours. So, cook up a big batch at lunchtime and you’ll have plenty left for dinner, plus a late-night snack: the perfect fuel for when you need a revision power hour.
4. There’s nothing that can’t be blended (if you use your imagination)
And we can prove it – here’s how you can eat blended food morning, noon and night:
- Breakfast: banana, mango, blueberries, strawberries, Greek yoghurt, a handful of oats and a cup of milk. Whizz it all together. Bam! One breakfast smoothie containing a big dose of Vitamins to get your brain in gear.
- Lunch: 4 big tomatoes, one small onion, half a red pepper, a couple of garlic cloves, a chunk of ginger, basil, oregano, lemon juice and a bit of flour. Whip it all up. Boom! Healthy tomato soup chock full of brain-friendly antioxidants.
- Dinner: More eggs. All the eggs. Whisk ‘em up, stick ‘em in a pan with some spinach, mushrooms, sliced potatoes and cherry tomatoes. Fry until, bam, you’ve got a delicious frittata with all the Vitamin B6 and B12 you need to see you through the night.
5. Let the slow cooker do its thing…
…while you focus on making flashcards.
A slow cooker or multi-cooker is the ultimate student kitchen accessory. It can do everything – chop, crush, blend, mix, steam, fry… the list goes on.
In the build-up to exams, every minute counts. Who wants to spend those vital minutes sweating over a pan, doing all their own turning, stirring and flipping?
With a slow cooker, you can just bung everything in a pot, hit a button, and walk away – then come back later to a freshly cooked, nutritious meal.
If you’ve read this far you must really be procrastinating. Here’s one last tip, but after this, you should probably get back to revision.
Get a fat-reducing grill
It reduces the amount of fat in your food, obviously.
But with its drip tray and easy-wipe surfaces, it also means less cleaning. That saves you precious time that you can spend reading articles online, err, we mean revising.
Good luck in your exams from everyone at Currys PC World!