Healthy Cooking Tips To Start The Journey To A Healthy Lifestyle
With the negative impact of a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet and the new realities of social distancing, more and more people are spending time in their kitchen than ever before. Healthy cooking is all about capturing the flavor while retaining the nutrients in food. It isn’t only about the ingredients; it’s also about how you prepare your food. You don’t need to be an experienced chef to cook healthy. Just a few basic healthy cooking tips and techniques can get you there. Healthy cooking is an act of self-care. So let’s start the journey to a healthy lifestyle right from your own kitchen.
Easy Healthy Cooking Tips You Must Know
– Use skinless poultry or trim all fat from the meat before cooking.
– Cut vegetables in medium sizes and cook them immediately to prevent loss of essential nutrients.
– Use salt wisely by substituting it with lemon juice, herbs, or spices to season food.
– Avoid the yoke of the egg by substituting it with two egg whites as cholesterol and fat are in the yolk and not in the white.
– Use less of all fats and oils to replace with small amounts of unsaturated fat such as vegetable oil, corn oil, soybean oil, olive oil or peanut oil.
– Stock up wisely on healthy items like unsalted canned beans and tomatoes, precooked unseasoned brown rice, unsalted chicken stock and dry staples like quinoa, lentils, and chia seeds that you can always have as a quick healthy cooking option.
– Opt for fresh fish, meat, and poultry instead of pre-seasoned to get more vitamins and antioxidants.
– Have seasonal fruits and vegetables for they have the highest amount of nutrition, antioxidants and phytonutrients.
– Avoid excessive heating of milk as lactose reacts with proteins and reduces the quality of protein in the milk.
– Use sprouts in your diet as it improves the digestibility of pulses and grains besides increasing Vitamin C.
– Take extra time and read food labels to choose foods that are lower in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
– Use non-stick cookware as they don’t need as much oil as a typical stainless steel pan.
Healthy Cooking Techniques To Capture The Nutrients And Flavors
There are plenty of healthy cooking methods to cook nutritious and flavorful food. Before you don your apron, consider these healthy cooking ideas to have complete control over what goes into your body.
This may be the healthiest way to cook because of its short cooking time. Microwaves cook food fast by heating from the inside out which results in minimal nutrient destruction. Studies suggest that it may just be one of the best ways to preserve nutrients in vegetables. It can be used to cook, reheat, defrost and you can microwave just about anything. One thing you need to be extra careful about is the choice of cookware, use only microwave-safe containers.
Poaching is a moist heat method of cooking where the ingredients are gently simmered in some kind of liquid until they’re cooked through and tender. Since it’s one of the gentlest cooking methods, poaching allows the actual flavor of the food to shine. This technique is used to cook delicate proteins such as fish, chicken, eggs, and some fruits and vegetables. It is one of the healthiest ways to cook your food, with minimal fat and oil.
Steaming anything from veggies to fish allows them to cook in their own juices and retain all that natural goodness. If you use a flavorful liquid or add seasonings like salt or lemon juice to the water, you are flavouring the food as it cooks. The steaming method reduces unwanted fats, making the dishes very light, healthier and gentle on the palate. This technique is one of the simplest and healthy methods of cooking because it adds no fat or calories.
To get maximum nutrition without sacrificing flavor, grilling is a great cooking method. It is a method of dry heat cooking that has the ability to cook meat and vegetables very quickly. Grilled meat is typically lower in fat and calories compared with meats cooked in other ways. Grilling is commonly done on a barbecue, griddle or grill pan. The high heat from the grill locks the moisture and keeps food tender.
Baking is a very healthy option, as you generally need little or no oil. Apart from bread and desserts, you can also bake seafood, poultry, lean meat, vegetables and fruits. Place food in a pan or dish, covered or uncovered with a little water or reduced salt stock. This method of cooking allows the natural moisture to slowly evaporate, which generally doesn’t require that you add fat to the food.
Stir-frying quickly cooks small, uniform-sized pieces of food with small amounts of oil, vegetable stock or water. In addition to being quick and easy, they are also healthy as you need only a small amount of oil or cooking spray for this cooking method. It results in tender-crisp vegetables that retain more nutrients as they’re rapidly stirred and fried. This method of cooking is definitely healthier than deep frying or pan-frying.
Broiling uses very high heat to cook food for a short period of time. It’s a great way to cook tender cuts of meat quickly and evenly. Broiling allows fat to drip away, reducing the total fat content in your food. In addition to being diet-friendly and healthy, broiling is also fast and cheap as this can be tried out by putting the food on the top rack or by using a toaster oven.
There is a misconception that healthy cooking is bland and expensive. It’s time to start changing the way we think and focus more on healthy cooking. Hope these tips and techniques will make cooking healthy meals at home a little easier. Try them out for a healthy but satisfying meal that will make you feel good.