Healthy Cooking Methods For Nutritious Food
The thumb rule of healthy cooking is to avoid use of excessive fats and still make scrumptious food. The cooking methods we use are required for healthy eating and weight management. Thus, good nutrition is not only a matter of selecting nutritious foods, but the way you prepare them decides the nutrition level retained in them for you to consume. Read this article to know about some healthy cooking techniques to ensure your food retains nutrition and flavor both.
It is a very healthy cooking method which is quite simple and it is well suited for cooking all kinds of foods. This method requires boiling water and the steam generated carries the heat to nearby food, thus cooking the food. Seasoning can be added to the boiling water to give the flavor to food being cooked. There are the following advantages of steaming cooking method:
- Nutrients are preserved
- Easy to prepare
- High flavored food
- Burning or over cooking are prohibited
- Fat is highly minimized
This method requires cooking of food over medium heat with continuous stirring, keeping them crisp and nice without burning. Oil is used in spraying form in this method. Some benefits of stir frying are as follows:
- It can be prepared easily and it is a fast method of cooking
- This method uses proteins and healthy vegetables
- This method uses healthy fats over a medium heat threshold
Food is placed on a roasting plate over a rack and rotated on a rotisserie to ensure even application of heat. The food is exposed to dry heat on an open flame or oven. This method leads to Maillard browning or caramelization of the food surface which is considered as a flavor enhancement. To keep your food as healthy as possible, put it in a roasting plate or pan so that the excess fat can drip away. Olive oil can be used for coating the food lightly. Its benefits include minimized use of oil, thus trimming of fat.
This method include application of dry heat to the food surface from above or below. This generally includes a lot of radiant, direct heat to cook and is generally used for cooking pre-cut pieces of meat quickly. Prior to cooking meat, it should be well marinated and the excess fat should be allowed to drip away as it cooks. Charring of food should be avoided as it has been linked to increased risks of cancer. Grilling benefits include minimized amount of oils and trimming of excess fat.
Baking is normally used for preparing breads, poultry meat, sea foods and vegetables. This method involves prolonged exposure to convection and dry heat in an oven, also over hot stones or ashes. In order to make healthier baking foods, parchment paper can be used instead of butter paper. Its benefits include reduced use of fat.
It is a combination cooking method which involves use of both moist and dry heat. Firstly, the food is seared at a high temperature and then covered in a pot with some amount of liquid to enhance flavor and taste. In some recipes, the cooking liquid is used to make a rich flavorsome sauce. Its benefits include reduced use of oil and nutrients retention.
This method is used for cooking thin and small pieces of food. This method of cooking is quite similar to stir frying as it uses a little amount of fat in a shallow pan over a high heat. The food is cooked on a direct high heat on a shallow pan. Its benefits include retention of moisture, texture and flavor of food.
Using spices and herbs
Adding spices and herbs to food is the best way to add taste, color and aroma to food without putting oil. Dried herbs should be used while cooking and fresh herbs can be used as a garnishing. Using spices and herbs include various benefits like –
- Nutrients are preserved
- Salt usage is reduced
Healthy Practices for Nutritious Food
- For stir-frying and grilling, use non-stick pans and cooking spray to reduce oil.
- Reduce salt level to half and replace with vinegar, lemon juice and herbs.
- Use canola oil or olive oil.
- Choose fruits over cookies and cakes for desert.
- Substitute sauces or heavy gravies with fruit chutneys or vegetable salsas.
- Make use of whole grain flour instead of white flour in cooking.
- Use steamed vegetables instead of boiling them.
Thus, cooking in above ways allows you to consume less fat and more vegetables, fruits and whole grain products. These are some sure ways to increase nutritive value as well as flavor to your food. These practices also reduce the risk of cancers.