You don’t have to be a Master Chef to cook healthy foods. By using some basic healthy cooking techniques, you can reduce the amount of fat and oil going in to your food, and therefore reduce the impact on your diet.
Each tablespoon of oil you use when frying adds more than 100 calories, and around 14 grams of fat, to your meal.
Although some of this fat is the good kind, it’s important not to overdo it.
By switching to some healthier cooking methods, you can eliminate some of this extra fat, making it better for your diet and your overall health.
And it doesn’t mean losing all the flavor either! You can still retain all the taste and nutrients in your food without adding excessive amounts of fat or salt.
If you use some of these methods more often, you can make a huge difference to your weight loss plan, as well as discovering some delicious new ways to enjoy your food.
Healthy cooking methods
Here are some healthy alternatives to frying with oil…
This is one of the simplest ways of cooking food, especially vegetables. Steaming is a great healthy option, as it preserves the nutrients and natural flavor of the food, without overcooking it.
A good trick to make your vegetables tastier is to add seasonings to the water, so the food will absorb the flavor while it cooks. It’s also a good idea to steam rice in a rice cooker or bamboo steamer.
You can use very little oil to stir-fry your meats and vegetables. Just put a little bit in a wok or a large pan and swirl it around so that it coats the bottom and sides.
When the oil is hot, add your meat or vegetables and cook until tender.
You can grill food inside using a grill pan, which will keep the temperature of the meat even and even prevent the charring that barbecues can cause.
This also makes it easy to remove any fat from the meat before serving. And if you buy a non-stick coated grill pan, you don’t even need to add any extra oil. This is a good way to cook vegetables as well.
Poaching isn’t just for eggs! You can poach all kinds of foods by gently simmering in water, broth, vinegar or juice until they are tender.
The food will retain its shape. When poaching on the stove, use a suitably-sized covered pan so that you only need a minimal amount of liquid.
Roast meat and vegetables in the oven by placing them on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan.
You may need to baste or marinate the food first to keep it from drying out, as roasting uses the oven’s dry heat to cook the food through.
For meat, poultry and seafood, place a rack inside the roasting pan, so that fat from the food can drip away while it roasts.
Marinating meat helps to tenderize it by breaking down the muscle fibers. It’s also a great way to add flavor – the marinade works its way through so that every bit has a rich, succulent taste.
And it can work for other foods as well as meat. Try marinating tofu and other soy products, or even vegetables before grilling.
Instead of frying fish on the stove-top, try broiling. It allows the fat to drip away from the food, so you can easily remove it before serving.
Marinate your fish and then put it under the broiler, turning after five or ten minutes for even cooking. It will still have the great flaky texture, without all the extra oil.
You can quickly cook relatively small or thin pieces of food by sautéing it in a good-quality, non-stick pan.
Use either a small amount of oil or cooking spray, or cook in a bit of low-sodium broth or even water to avoid adding extra fat.