6 Easy Ways To Save Water While Cooking

If you think it’s impossible to conserve water on daily cooking or with bigger meals, you’re wrong. There are several small, doable methods which you can implement in your kitchen to save water. Measuring water is the best way to start, which is a basic practice that can impact everything you do in the kitchen; this helps you plan your washing and cooking needs and also saves you from wasting running water. 

Another easy method is collecting rinsing water and reusing it. When rinsing fruits, vegetables, or dishes, place a basin or large bowl in the sink to catch the water. Instead of letting it run down the drain, collect this water and repurpose it for other household tasks. For instance, you can use it to water indoor or outdoor plants, clean surfaces, or even flush the toilet. By adopting this simple habit, you'll minimise water wastage while efficiently. Water-saving aerators on your kitchen faucet can help reduce water flow without sacrificing water pressure. Here are some other easy ways you can save water while cooking.

Optimise Vegetable Washing Techniques 

Cleaning produce needs a lot of water. When preparing vegetables, many of us tend to use running water to rinse them thoroughly. However, this habit can lead to significant water wastage. Instead, consider filling a basin or a large bowl with water and soaking the vegetables for a few minutes. Use a vegetable brush to gently scrub away any dirt or residue. Afterwards, you can reuse the water for watering plants or cleaning purposes. Alternatively, if running water is necessary, use a basin in the sink to catch the water and reuse it.

Explore Steam Cooking Methods 

Steam cooking is not only healthier but also more water-efficient compared to boiling or simmering. When you boil vegetables or grains, a considerable amount of water evaporates into the air. In contrast, steam cooking requires significantly less water while preserving nutrients and flavours. 

Invest in a steamer basket or a steaming rack that fits inside your existing pots and pans. Simply bring a small amount of water to a boil, place the vegetables or grains in the steamer, cover them, and let them cook until tender. This method not only saves water but also retains the natural colours and textures of your ingredients.

Reuse Cooking Water

Instead of draining the water used to boil pasta, potatoes, or other starchy foods down the sink, consider repurposing it in your cooking. Pasta water, in particular, contains starches that can help thicken sauces and enhance flavours. Allow the water to cool, then store it in a clean container in the refrigerator for later use. You can add it to soups, stews, or sauces to impart a rich and velvety texture. 

Similarly, water used to boil potatoes can be reused to water garden plants or as a base for homemade broths. By incorporating this simple habit into your cooking routine, you'll not only conserve water but also reduce food waste.

Plan Ahead and Measure Water 

Before you start cooking, take a moment to plan out your water usage. Determine the exact amount of water you'll need for boiling, steaming, or any other cooking method. Remember using excessive water prolongs the cooking time as well. Invest in measuring cups or use markings on your cookware to accurately measure water. 

Additionally, consider cooking multiple items in the same pot or steamer to minimize water usage. For example, if you're preparing vegetables and grains, cook them together in the same pot using a steaming basket or tiered steamer. This not only saves water but also reduces the number of dishes to wash afterwards.

Practice Batch Cooking 

Batch cooking involves preparing large quantities of food at once and storing portions for later consumption. Not only does this save time, but it also reduces water usage by minimizing the number of cooking sessions. When you cook in batches, you can efficiently use water by boiling or steaming larger quantities of ingredients in a single pot or steamer. For instance, instead of cooking rice or quinoa in small batches throughout the week, prepare a large batch on the weekend and portion it out for meals. Try cooking a variety of vegetables together and store them in the refrigerator or freezer to conserve water and streamline your meal prep process.

One-Pot Meals Can Save Water

One-pot meals are not only convenient but also water-efficient. By cooking multiple ingredients in the same pot or pan, you can minimize water usage while maximizing flavour and nutrition. Choose recipes that allow you to combine proteins, grains, vegetables, and sauces in a single cooking vessel. For example, stir-fries, casseroles, and stews are excellent options for one-pot meals. 

Start by sautéing aromatics such as onions, garlic, and spices, then add protein, grains, and vegetables along with a small amount of water or broth. Cover the pot and let the ingredients simmer until fully cooked and infused with flavour. Not only does this cooking method save water, but it also reduces cleanup time since you only have one pot to wash.