Did you know that the way you cook your food is almost as important as what you eat?
Think about it: if you deep-fry your food in cheap highly-processed oil, you’re going to end up consuming a lot more trans fats and calories (from the oil) than you would if you baked or steamed the food.
The “how” matters as much as the “what”!
If you’re looking for healthier ways to cook, here are the healthy cooking techniques you need to know about:
Boiling – Boiling (or simmering) food in salted water adds no calories and provides you with a perfectly safe cooking method for all your favorite foods. Just know that boiling also causes some of the nutrients to leech out into the water, so make sure to use that water (in soups, rice, etc.) so as not to waste all those precious nutrients. You can cook meat, turn vegetables into soups, prepare noodles, boil eggs, and prepare your meals so many ways when you boil.
Steaming –A bit of steam can turn even the crunchiest veggies soft, and there is little to no nutrient loss. This cooking method is particularly effective for cruciferous veggies—carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, even cabbage. Steaming doesn’t add extra flavor to your food, so you’ll need to add in extra spices and herbs once everything is cooked. However, you’ll find that it makes for some absolutely delicious and easy-to-prepare meals.
Sauteeing –This cooking technique uses very little oil or fat to cook your food, but the fact that it relies on high temperatures means your food develops complex aromas and flavors and gets a nice brown coloring. Sauteeing is the cooking technique used for a huge variety of dishes, and you’ll find it makes your meals a whole lot more flavorful. Make sure to keep your use of oil to a minimum, and stir the ingredients regularly to prevent them from burning in the pan.
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Roasting/Baking –Anything that cooks in the oven is either baked (typically at temperatures of 325 to 375 F) or roasted (temperatures higher than 400 F). You can cook with very little oil, and the longer cooking time locks in maximum flavor. Roasting makes it easy for you to cook large cuts of meat, turn anything into a casserole, or produce some marvelously delicious desserts.
Braising –Using moist heat for low-and-slow cooking tenderizes even the toughest cuts of meat and the crunchiest veggies. It’s an amazing way to start off highly flavorful stews and soups. You’ll find that it can often extract the maximum flavor from your meats, veggies, and whole grains.
Poaching –Most people use this technique to make eggs (which come out mid-way between boiled and fried) with no added oil (so no extra calories), but it can be used for fish and chicken as well. The fact that it’s cooked in water means that it will be very healthy and low in added fats, giving you only the flavors of the poached food itself to enjoy.
Scrambling – Instead of using a lot of oil to make yourself fried eggs for breakfast, you can use next to no oil (or fat) and still have yourself a perfect scrambled egg breakfast. Scrambled eggs are one of the easiest breakfasts to cook, and they make it easy to add in a lot of healthy vegetable ingredients.
Grilling –High-heat grilling is an amazing way to flavor your food, but be warned: animal fat can turn carcinogenic when it blackens. Make sure that you cook the meat just enough that it’s thoroughly done without actually turning black, and load up your grill with lots of veggies to capitalize on those delicious smoky flavors.
Cooking is a skill that takes years to master, but you can learn these basic healthy cooking techniques in a matter of weeks. You’ll find that you become far more competent in the kitchen just by practicing cooking this way.
And, best of all, your food will be a LOT healthier! You’ll eat less fried and deep fried foods, add less oil to your meals, and cook more healthy ingredients. It’s the diet-friendly solution you’ve been looking for, and your food will be so much more delicious.
For live demonstrations on how to apply these techniques to your favorite foods and ingredients, join ZONIA video streaming platform where you will find hundreds of cooking videos and recipes by our celebrity chefs and food nutritionists.
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