Welcome to Simply Sunday here at the Health and Food Forum’s Blog. Today’s topic of discussion is healthy cooking. A quality diet isn’t just characterized by the type of foods that you eat, but how you prepare and cook them. Using proper tecnniques will lessen the chances of decreasing the vitamin and mineral content of foods and adding unnecessary amounts of fat and sodium to meals. Here are a few tips to follow when in the kitchen:
- Do not peel away the edible skin of fruits and vegetables (e.g., apples, peaches, potatoes, etc.,). Most of the vitamins and minerals are not found in the middle, rather they are present in the skin and just below the skin. By removing the peel you are stripping away vital nutrients.
- Steam rather than boil vegetables. There is very little or no contact with water during the steaming process; therefore, most of the vegetable’s nutrients can be retained. Because some of the vitamins can be dissolved in water, boiling vegetables can lead to a loss of nutrients. If you need to boil your produce, save and freeze the cooking water to be used at a later date for soup stock, sauces, etc.,. This way, you can still obtain the water-soluble nutrients that were dissolved in the water during the boiling process.
- Roast vegetables using nonstick cooking spray to enhance flavor while cutting down on fat content.
- Do not overcook vegetables. Overcooking destroys vitamins and minerals.
- Rinse canned fish and meat before consuming to lower sodium and fat content.
- To lower the fat content of your meal, trim the fat from cuts of poultry and meats before cooking and remove the skin from cooked poultry before eating.
- Microwave meats and produce. The fast-cooking process of microwaving decreases the time that the heat-sensitive nutrients of food are exposed to high temperatures. Also, you do not need to add any fat to your meal to cook it in the microwave.
- Baste using low-fat or fat-free liquids such as lemon juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, tomato juice, fat-skimmed stock, and wine.
- When sauteing, use wine, lemon juice, or fat-skimmed stock and/or broth instead of oil or butter to lower fat content.
- When roasting, grilling, and broiling use a rack so that fat drippings fall away from meat and poultry.
What techniques do you use for healthy cooking? Share with us, we want to know!