Everyone loves healthy, home-cooked food. Yet, making it can sometimes be intimidating.
Healthy cooking doesn’t require you to become a gourmet chef and can be a lot of fun! In fact, there are many basic cooking techniques you can use to prepare various foods in healthy ways. To help do this with ease, below are six of Dr. Trupti Patel’s all-time favorite healthy cooking methods:
- Roasting is a great cooking method that doesn’t need constant supervision. Roasting is a term often associated with veggies, but it is also great for meats, fish, and nuts. Dr. Trupti Patel likes to roast her veggies without any oil or seasoning. Once they are roasted, she recommends adding a good quality extra virgin olive oil and seasoning of your choice.
- Broiling is similar to roasting but unlike roasting, broiling has its heat source coming from above. It also happens to have a much higher temperature, often starting at 400 degrees.
- Steaming is a good way to retain nutrients. By steaming the food, the water-soluble vitamins are also retained, which otherwise are lost in the other cooking processes. Cooking anything from fresh veggies to fish filets this way allows them to stew in their own juices and retain all their natural goodness. There is no need to add fat. However, it is always good to add a little seasoning first, whether that’s a sprinkle of salt or a squeeze of lemon juice. If you are looking to preserve anti-cancer properties, research suggests steaming could be the best way to cook your broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts. Then add whatever flavor enhancer you desire at the end to spruce up the taste.
- Grilling is a great way to get maximum nutrition without sacrificing flavor. Grilling is great in that it doesn’t use much fat but food is prone to sometimes burning and can produce carcinogens, which is a cancer-causing agent. Stick with lean cuts of meat that require less cooking time, and keep dark meats on the rarer side.
- Stir Frying is another simple and healthy cooking method. While this method does require some oil in the pan, it should only be a moderate amount — just enough to get a nice sear on your meat and vegetables. The key is using the right oil and the right amount of cooking time. Using an oil with a high smoke point like avocado oil is important. Stir frying requires high heat, so keep the cooking time short. It’s a great way to make a lot of delicious veggies!
- Poaching is a cooking technique that submerges food in hot water, just below boiling. This process locks in flavor without the use of oil, butter, or heavy frying. For people on a weight loss plan, poaching is one of the best ways to conserve flavor without adding calories. Poaching is commonly done with eggs, delicate grains, and certain veggies.
Remember to add flavor boosts to whichever cooking method you use. But do so at the end of cooking to retain flavor. You can add vinegar or citrus juices, but again, add them at the last moment. Or just add dried vegetables and fruit, such as mushrooms, tomatoes, chilies, cherries, cranberries and currants — they have a more intense flavor when dried than when fresh.
To both novices and seasoned chefs, cooking can sometimes feel like a vast, unpredictable sea full of strange ingredients and even stranger rituals. The trick is to jump in again and again and again, until you begin to confidently establish your go-to cooking techniques inside the kitchen. To learn more about healthy cooking and weight loss, visit our website at www.healthymeweightloss.com