Tips to Cooking Healthy Meals | By Khieng Chho
Cooking a good nutritious meal does not have to result in torture for your taste buds. In fact, aside from it being pretty easy to prepare, adhering to experts’ cooking tips and tricks can turn you into cook extraordinaire. All you have to do is know which types of food you should choose and find out how many meal varities you can make out of them.
Even your favorite cooking recipes can be modified to their healthier alternatives without compromising on taste and texture. Just figure out where to cut on calories and fat so it won’t turn out a gourmet disaster.
Of course, cooking healthy food does not really ental having to start from scratch. Why, you can even use convenience store fare and transform them into semi-homemade masterpieces by just adding healthy pinches of ingredients here and there.
Healthy cooking also does not mean that everything has to be raw and involve only vegetables. Healthy means the meals carry a balance of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, no matter how they are prepared. So whenever you think healthy cooking simply means chopping up a few things and tossing them together, you are wrong.
Keep Fat Low
To spare yourself from the so-called hidden fats, or fats that aren’t easily visible, it’s best to use reduced-fat dairy goods and lean meats for ingredients. The good dietary fats usually come from unrefined products, such as fish, olives, nuts, soy, avocado and seeds. Such kinds of fat also come with other necessary nutrients so it’s okay to crazy with them.
When cooking, use a non-stick pan to minimise your oil usage. If you really need to use oil, use monosaturated oils applied with pastry brushes or cooking sprays so you don’t go overboard. Also, if your recipe book requires you to brown some veggies, try dunking them into the pan first before spraying oil. This will help lessen the amount of fat absorbed by your ingredients.
Some heathy cooking experts recommend that you use subsitute liquids for oil, like water, stock, fruit juices, so you won’t strip your ingredients of their vitamins and you won’t run the risk of having excess fat. And if you’re really serious about a healthy diet, use vinegars and salsas, instead of creams and butter, when you serve fish or meat dishes.
Should the Veggies Stay Raw?
This is a trikcy question. While there are schools of thought that say vitamins and minerals are best preserved when vegetables are served raw, there are some that also contend that certain nutrients only surface when they are cooked. For instance, the anti-cancer and anti-heart illness antioxidant called lycopene is present mostly in cooked tomatoes and ketchup.
When cooking vegetables, just make sure they don’t stay boiling or frying too long to keep the minerals locked inside. Vegetables contain vitamins that are also soluble in water, it is not advised that you use too much of this liquid.
As with anything else in this world, things work when done in moderation. The secret the healthy cooking is knowing what you want to take out and what you want to preserve. It doesn’t really take rocket science to learn all these, but it does require some amount of research and patience. After all, your body is your temple. You must love it by giving it a delicious and healthy reward.
Khieng ‘Ken‘ Chho is author and owner of Online Cooking Resources. For related articles and other resources, visit Ken’s website: http://cooking.onew3b.net
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