In The Kitchen: Measuring Cups

This is going to part of an ongoing series of postings about items in my kitchen, from food items to various cooking related products I use. I’ll try to give some general information about the items, as well as hints and tips for their use, and in the case of food items maybe some recipe ideas.

A huge part of eating healthier isn’t just about what you eat, it’s about how much you eat. Portion control. While we all like to think we can ‘eyeball’ it pretty good, we can’t. Scales are a great help in this, but while most people may not have a scale in their kitchen yet, most folks have measuring cups of some sort. If you don’t, they are easy to find and an inexpensive addition to your kitchen arsenal. Most dollar stores carry both wet and dry measuring cups of some sort.

I recommend having multiple sets for a variety of reasons.

First of all, I keep a measuring cup right in side some of my staples that I use on a regular basis in the measurement I most often use. For example, I cook up a batch of quinoa every week and keep it in the fridge for adding to my breakfast. I keep a 1/2 cup measuring cup right in the quinoa because that’s how much I use for each meal. This saves me a bit of time in the morning as I don’t have to go digging in the drawer for one. It stays in the fridge with the quinoa, and it’s only used for the quinoa, so I don’t have to worry about it being dirty. I wash it when I wash the empty container.

Speaking of washing, that’s another reason to have at least a couple of sets on hand. When you are preparing a meal, you may need to use the same measurement of multiple items. Now if it’s simply a matter of adding 1 cup of shredded carrots and 1 cup of chopped celery to a salad recipe, you probably don’t have to worry about washing the cup in between. But sticky foods like peanut butter or honey – well, it can be nice not having to take the time in the middle of preparing the food to wash a measuring cup. Dirtying two cups once is the same as dirtying one cup twice, but it doesn’t interrupt your work flow.

And when it comes to liquid measuring cups, you don’t always need multiples of the same size, but I do recommend having different sizes. I have 1-cup, 2-cup and 4-cup sizes that all see frequent use.

As far as materials, if you go the dollar store route, they’re likely to be plastic. Which is fine, but personally I like the stainless steel ones I have and use them mostly for keeping with the foods I frequently use and then I have a couple sets of collapsible silicone ones that fit great in one of my kitchen drawers. And for liquid measuring cups, glass ones are great cause they can be used to heat things up in the microwave without worrying about any issues associated with plastic materials.

All of the above can apply to measuring spoons too! And when it comes to measuring spoons, look for deep ones, they’ll make measuring liquids much easier.

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