Opinion: Healthy cooking possible in dorms

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Bao Bui prepares cookies recently in dorm kitchen. Photo by Kaitlyn Hart

With busy class schedules and limited kitchen appliances in the dorm, on-campus students cannot always make it to the dining hall and thus usually opt for canned or fast food. However, cooking healthy food in the dorm is not as difficult or expensive as people usually think. As an on-campus student, I am still able to make quick, easy, and pretty healthy recipes instead of choosing ramen or pizza for my meals.

In the girl’s dorm, I already have access to a fridge, a microwave, an oven, a blender, a toaster, and stoves. Regarding my own basic kitchen tools, I just need to buy a small pan, some bowls and plates, silverware, and a baking pan at Walmart and Dollar Tree — they only cost approximately $15 in total. I only buy other kitchen tools, as well as groceries, whenever I really need them.

On the days I am too lazy to go to the cafeteria for breakfast, I usually prepare oatmeal the night before. Just some oats, water, and fruit and nut toppings (optional), I can refrigerate it in the fridge overnight and it is ready to eat the next morning.

Whenever I crave for sweets, I usually dip strawberries in melted chocolate, or just simply enjoy a cup of hot chocolate milk. Regarding sources of my recipes, I mainly get them from some inspirational YouTubers such as Blogilates and Joanna Sol who not only share their workout routines but also easy and healthy recipes with everybody.

Everyone loves snacks, and healthy snacks are easy to be prepared in the dorm. Some quick and easy recipes include toast topped with peanut butter and banana, an apple with nut butter or yogurt parfait with fruits and more. Sometimes, snacks can be made on the weekends to prepare for the upcoming school days. For example, I often make banana oatmeal cookies with few basic ingredients: bananas, oatmeal, and trail mix (optional).

Healthy food is not hard to make, no matter where I am, even in the dorm. I can make use of my Saturdays to prepare meals and snacks for the upcoming weeks with some recipe reference on the internet. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and balanced diets does not rely on time or budget, but it is all about my mindset. If I can do it, you can do it too!

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Opinion: Healthy cooking possible in dorms