How To Cook Without A Package? A Starter’s Guide

Cook Without A Package
Cook Without A Package

By ‘Cooking with packets and sachets’, cooking should be faster and easier and today also healthy. Yes, the marketers of the food-producing companies really pull out all the stops and don’t always tell the (whole) truth. In this blog, I give you general information on how you can cook tasty and healthy without packages.

How To Cook Without A Package?

Be aware of why you cook without a package and bags. Start with one dish a day, take small steps so you can keep it up. Do it together with your partner and/or family. Buy enough herbs and spices and plan your meals.

It is indeed possible to eat quickly, easily and naturally healthy without packages and bags. Yes, it does require some adjustments and a different mindset. Once you get past this stage, it’s really easy and tastier too. You taste much more! This is partly due to the little sugar and salt you use (which is a lot in packages). You just taste the ingredients! You can taste the pure taste!

Cooking Without Packages And Bags

As I said, I’ll help you start cooking without packages. You can cook a lot of dishes without packages and bags, but for a number of products I recommend that you buy them in the supermarket. This concerns products such as vegetable butter, mayonnaise, ketchup and other sauces, bread, pasta and the like.

I do recommend that you always read the label for these types of products. The ingredients per product can vary enormously. For example, I always look at the percentage of sugar that has been added (one of my hobbyhorses!).

Heinz ketchup, for example, has 22.8 grams of sugar per 100 ml. and Remia 13.9 grams per 100 ml. for the same amount. Oliehoorn Ketchup has 11.1 grams per 100 ml. this is therefore half the sugars less than the A-brand Heinz. In short, reading labels is worth it.

Below I will give you tips, ideas and handles to make it easier for you to start cooking without a package and bags.

Pure Cooking Without Packages

The tips and advice below will help you to start cooking without packages and perhaps even more important to keep it up.

  • Always be aware of why you are doing it. You cook without packets and bags for a reason. Everyone has their own reasons for cooking pure. If you keep this in mind, you will always have the motivation to keep going. Sometimes it won’t go well, it just won’t work. Then don’t let yourself be discouraged and be aware of why you are doing it. It may take a while, but you don’t give up.
  • Start with one meal a day. You can take a radical approach and immediately change everything in terms of eating pattern and preparation method. This radical approach can work when you’re alone, but even then it’s not wise. You still have so much to adapt and learn that it can sometimes become too much. The easiest thing to do is to cook one dish, one meal a day, pure without a package. For example, only do this the first week if you are going to cook pure, after that you can expand it.
  • Do it together. If you have a partner or a family, do it together. Don’t just cook pure and healthy for yourself. This makes it confusing for you and if things go wrong you can fall back to old methods, because they seem easier at the time. So the advice is do it together or don’t do it!
cooking without a package
  • Stock up on herbs. Without a package and/or bag, you will have to season your dishes with other seasonings, herbs and spices. It is therefore important to stock up on enough spices and herbs. Also other seasonings such as garlic, lemon juice, Ketjap Manis, Soy sauce, sesame seeds and pine nuts to name a few.
    • For Italian dishes I use dried Italian spice mix or oregano, basil, thyme and garlic.
    • For curries, for example, you can use pepper, chili pepper, garlic, cumin seeds, turmeric, paprika powder, fresh or dried.
    • Nasi/bami dishes can be flavored with chili powder, cumin powder, garlic powder, ginger powder, coriander powder and lemongrass.
    • For Mexican dishes such as burrito, taco and wraps you can use garlic, sweet paprika, onion powder, cumin powder, chili powder and a little salt.
  • Plan your meals. Don’t go to the supermarket to see what you want to eat, but plan your meals. Make a schedule for one week or at least three days. What do you want to eat? Which ingredients, herbs and seasonings do you need. What by-products/dishes are you going to make? Then make your shopping list and do your shopping. This way you protect yourself when you walk into the supermarket and you are less tempted.
  • Read the labels when shopping. Of course you will also buy ‘ready-made’ products in the supermarket. Think of bread or pasta. When you do, always read the label and check the ingredients and quantities. There can really be a big difference in nutritional value, sugars, salt and fats. Also look at the colorings and flavourings; the email numbers. It should be noted that not all e-numbers are harmful. Some e-numbers are even necessary for the product and these are usually also the natural e-numbers. Health and Nutrition has a nice overview of all e-numbers.
  • Buy organic and fresh as much as possible. Always try to buy fresh and preferably organic products (and local products if possible). Fresh is of course always preferred. Organic is preferred because no chemical pesticides are used here; what your body does not ingest it does not have to process.
cooking without a package
  • Do not buy ready-made dishes and/or products . There is a lot to say about this, because there are many bad options possible. I name and some.
    • Ready-made pizzas, for example, or the one-pan meals from the freezer compartment or refrigerator shelf. These products generally contain a lot of salt and sugars.
    • Stop with ready-made soups. These also contain too much salt. The products want to make you believe otherwise with health claims such as ‘organic’ or ‘100% natural products’ but beware, these are marketing terms to entice you to buy it. You have made a soup yourself very quickly, fresh and easily with fresh ingredients!
    • Make your own pasta sauce. It’s really done that way. Read our article about making tomato sauces for pasta and pizza dishes.
    • Ready-made salads and dressings is another example. Pasta salad, curry salad, celery salad, cucumber salad just to name a few. Many colorants and flavor enhancers are used in this. In addition, you have made a dressing or vinaigrette yourself. Read our article on how to make dressing.
    • Ready-made pancakes and poffertjes are also a hype. This is really easy to prepare and you don’t have to buy it vacuum-packed. The advantage of preparing it yourself is also that you can use fresh fruit and the like.
    • In products such as potato croquettes, duchesse and rösti, many ‘extra’ ingredients are also added to give it a better binding and structure and to make it taste nice and creamy. So many E numbers, while this is not necessary.
    • Look at the bottom of the packaging of spreads such as tapenade, pesto and herb butter. I think you’re in luck when you see how many ingredients and additives are used for such a simple product. This is made at home without all these additives.
  • Clean out your fridge. Open your fridge and see what no longer satisfies your new way of cooking. You can choose to make them up, after all it also cost money. If you don’t want to empty your fridge, remove the food you no longer want to use or eat from your fridge. Ask your neighbors, friends or family if they can use it, you can always throw it away.
fridge with vegetables
  • Clear out your kitchen cupboards. Also check your kitchen cupboards and remove all packages and bags from the cupboard. You also remove all jars of pasta sauce and other processed products that you no longer want to eat. Again, ask if your neighbors, friends or family can use something before you think about throwing it away.
  • Make your own snacks. You can also use cooking without a package to make your own snacks. You can not only prepare your meals without packages and bags. If you want to go a step further, you can also make your own ‘snacks’. For example, think of a Granola bar that you can make yourself. We also have examples of this on our site. You can also make a fruit salad for in between. Or homemade chocolate cookies. The advantage of this is that you know what ingredients you have used, and these are probably not fragrances and flavors!
  • Be practical. You can make it as difficult for yourself as you want, but sometimes you just have to be practical. I will also give a few examples here.
    • For example, buy your pasta. You can also make your own, but it is not necessary. There are good products for sale in the supermarket.
    • Do not make your own bread but buy whole wheat bread. Whole wheat bread is the best and healthiest bread there is. For more information about this, you can read our blog about waldkorn bread.
    • You can skin tomatoes, but you can also use canned tomatoes (read the label). Some are without addition.
    • Use dried herbs such as basil, oregano, and thyme. Fresh is not always necessary.
    • For example, buy ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard and curry sauce. Buy the best and healthiest variety available. Read the labels for this.
  • Buy cookbooks, visit Pinterest or Google for recipes . Now that you’ve been on the road for a while, you need inspiration or prepare your dishes. Do yourself a favor and buy a cookbook. For more ideas, look on Pinterest or just Google ‘recipes without packets and bags’. You will see that this will give you new energy to continue with your new cooking method. This way it becomes more and more fun and it doesn’t cost you any effort to keep it up.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t work out. Sometimes things won’t go the way you want. That can really happen to you. Then don’t be mad at yourself. Accept that things don’t go the way you want for a while and just move on the next day, pick it up again. Sometimes things don’t go well, you don’t have the ingredients at home, you’re too late and you don’t have enough time or….. Yes, fill it in yourself. Then don’t be too hard on yourself.
  • Be aware of why you are doing it. As a last point, the first point I started with. Be aware of what you are doing all this for. You cook without a package and bags for a reason. If necessary, write it down. Stick it to the wall, but don’t forget why you are doing this. So you can keep it up.

These are the tips and advice to get started and to keep it going. Once you have mastered cooking without a package and bags, it is fun to do, you eat healthier and maybe you can inspire others with your new way of cooking.

I hope I’ve helped you on your way with cooking without a pack or bags. If you have more ideas of your own, please let me know via

On our site you can read everything about cooking, baking, woks and more, without packages and bags. You can also find cooking vegetables with herbs and other seasonings here.

Good luck and I wish you a delicious, fresh and healthy meal.

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