You don’t have to become a professional gourmet chef or invest in specific cookware to begin healthy cooking – just use some basic cooking techniques to prepare tasteful and healthy foods.
In this age of fat and calories dominated food, it’s a great advantage to know how to cook quality stuff so you can stay healthy.
Still depending on what food you will cook, healthy cooking methods are a must in every kitchen to ensure the family’s health and nutrition. So keep preparing and eating healthy foods with these cooking techniques:
Baking is not for bread and cakes only. You can use this technique to cook uniform-sized pieces of vegetables, fruit, seafood, poultry or lean meat. Place food in a pan or dish surrounded by the hot and dry air of your oven. You may cook the food covered or uncovered. Baking generally doesn’t require that you add fat to the food so it makes it one of the most healthy ways to cook.
This healthy cooking method is useful to cook relatively small or thin pieces of food very quickly. Choose a good nonstick pan, so you can cook food without using any additional fat. Depending on the recipe, use broth, nonstick cooking spray or water instead of oil.
This technique consists in browning the ingredient in a pan on top of the stove, and then slowly cooking it with a small quantity of liquid. In some recipes, the liquid is used to form a flavorful, nutrient-rich sauce afterward.
To poach foods, you have to gently simmer ingredients in water or a white or brown stock, vinegar or juice until they’re cooked and tender. The food should retains its shape during the cooking process. Choose a covered pan that best fits the size and shape of the food so that you are allowed to use a minimum amount of liquid.
5. Grill and broil
These cooking techniques expose pieces of food – meat, poultry, fish, vegetable… – to direct heat:
- If you plan to grill outdoors, place the food on a grill rack above a very hot bed of charcoal embers or gas-heated rocks. When grilling smaller items, use a long-handled grill basket, which prevents pieces from falling through the rack.
- To broil indoors, place food on a broiler rack below a heat element.
Both methods allow fat to drip away from the food. They are among the healthiest cooking methods.
Just like baking, but at higher temperatures. You can roast foods healthy way on a baking sheet or a roasting pan. For poultry, seafood and meat, place a rack inside the roasting pan so that fat in the ingredients can drip away during cooking.
A typical Asian cooking technique: stir-frying quickly cooks small, uniform pieces of food while they’re quickly stirred in a wok or a large non-stick frying pan. You need a minimal amount of oil or non-stick cooking spray to prepare a healthy meal.
Some more tips
Consider replacing part of the salt with an herb or spice, flavored vinegar, citrus juice or zest. Garlic or onion podwer (not garlic or onion salt) work well with meats, soups, and sauces. Make your own mix of garlic, onion, paprika, and parsley flakes. Steam instead of boiling vegetables. Avoid cooking at too high temperatures (except for quick stir-frying).
Enhance with herbs and spices
Use spices and aromatic herbs when you want to add color, taste and aroma to your food. You should choose fresh aromatic herbs that look bright and aren’t yet wilted. Add them at the end of cooking. Add dried herbs in the earlier stages of cooking. When substituting dried for fresh, use about one-third the amount as dried herbs are stronger.
Now I’d like to know what are your healthiest cooking methods?