Healthy Meal Preparation

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When you want to cook healthy meals for yourself or your family you want to bring out the natural flavours of the food you are preparing. There are several methods of cooking your favourite foods without overwhelming the flavour by covering it in flour, salt and frying in cooking oil (fat). Next time you are preparing dinner, try one of the following alternatives to cook your foods:

  • Bake instead of fry: Try to opt for cooking your food in the oven, this ensures that any of the natural fats in the meat you are preparing will be used as a way to baste the food, and no additional fats are added.
  • Blanch: This is an ideal way to cook vegetables that you want to be a little raw or crispy; first you boil for around 30 seconds, then take off the heat and put in ice cold water to halt the cooking process.
  • Braise: Braising food is can be done with the dry heat of an oven or on the stovetop, as well as with a wet heat that is from a liquid source.
  • Broiling food which is done right beneath the heat source at a very high temperature setting.
  • Grilling: the opposite of broiling; done above the heat source.
  • Poaching: Immerse the food in some simmering liquid such as water, broth or wine.
  • Roasting: this is when you cook the food in the oven in an uncovered pan.
  • Sauté: Food is cooked over direct heat source with a small amount of broth, juice, wine, canola or olive oil, water or cooking spray.
  • Steam: You can steam your food by boiling water and covering the pot with a lid with the heat off—this allows the food to maintain the original shape, texture and flavour that it had before cooking, retains a lot of the nutrients when cooking this way.
  • Stir-fry: Even though the word “fry” is in this method of cooking, it isn’t the same sort of frying than is done with fats. Stir fry is done using a wok or large frying pan to cook the food rapidly using a high heat and not that much liquid or oil. You must stir quickly to prevent the food from sticking to the pan or burning.

With all these alternative methods for cooking food, there is not really a need to fry anything with the fatty oils and flours mentioned above. Once you try any of these cooking methods you will wonder why you never learned about them sooner, because the food you create will have a much better flavour and none of the nutritional value of the food will be lost through the process of frying.

If you still want to fry your food, there are some healthy alternatives you can use as a substitution for vegetable oils:

  • Coconut oil is a good substitute for vegetable oils; even though coconut oil is filled with saturated fats the content that is in the coconut oil may actually have a positive effect to your health.
  • Olive oil is another good substitute for vegetable oil: olive oil has a high amount of monounsaturated fats which is proven to be heart healthy.

Now you know how to cook without frying and how to substitute frying with fatty vegetable oils. You are on the right track to eating and cooking in a much healthier manner.