Cooking Up a Storm – The Healthy Way!
Healthy eating doesn’t need to be boring or expensive. The truth is that it can be as simple as making small changes to the way you eat, like eating more of this and less of that, or using healthier cooking methods.
The 7 Best Healthy Cooking Methods
Do you also think that healthy cooking methods only include boiling, blanching and steaming?
Well, while these are indeed healthy options, they’re certainly not where the list ends. Oven or pot-roasting, baking, stir-frying and grilling can also result in wonderful meals, and of course we all love to braai! Just remember to apply these methods in the best way possible, to keep serving healthy family meals:
Add healthy flavour
Yes, cooking turns raw food into cooked food, but by combining the right ingredient with the best choice of cooking method, you’ll have an excellent start to a tasty meal.
The main aim is to add lots of flavour with the chosen cooking method and to avoid using a lot of oil, salt and artificial or sugary seasonings. Rather enhance the natural sweetness and flavour of an ingredient with the best cooking method. For example, pan-fried onions or roasted butternut are delicious enough and need little more to make flavourful.
Remember, you don’t need the salt! Lemon juice adds flavour to any food without adding salt.
A practical tip to avoid using too much oil
Cook over medium and lower temperatures in a pot or pan instead!
Over high temperatures, food tends to stick to the pan and burns easily. More oil is often added to prevent this, resulting in what may be a less than healthy meal. Another risk with high temperatures, is creating overcooked, dry and tasteless food.
Oven roast, grill or bake foods
Additionally, oven-roasting, grilling or baking food often requires less oil.
Everyone loves a roast chicken, not to mention, tender roast beef. Ingredients like chicken and meat contain enough natural fats and moisture for the cooking process. If you are concerned that the ingredients will dry out, then simply cover with a lid or foil and add some moisture to the oven dish. Most recipes will specify the amount.
Firmer veggies like potatoes, butternut and sweet potatoes are ideal to roast, while you will have to carefully watch the roasting time of more delicate options, like cauliflower, mushrooms or tomatoes, which are so flavourful when roasted with a dash of oil, lemon juice and some fresh herbs or spices.
Stir-frying is a quick and easy (and fun!) cooking method and is ideal for fish, chicken and tender cuts of meat.
Most vegetables, especially quick-cooking or tender veggies, can be stir-fried, such as mushrooms, peppers, onions, green beans, and broccoli, among others.
A good tip is to stir-fry in batches to prevent the first ingredients from being too soft by the time that everything is cooked.
Braaiing is also considered a healthy and enjoyable way to prepare food, as long as the food doesn’t burn! Download the Cooking from the Heart book 4 for healthy and delicious braai recipes.
This is a wonderful combination of first frying ingredients, like onions and carrots, to add flavour and then gently simmering together with all of the other veggies or meat in a liquid.
Moreover, this cooking method can also be combined with others, like for a stew!
You can also boil vegetables, rice and other starches. And when a stew or soup is made, boiling over a low heat (called simmering), is the best way to develop the flavours!