Great Cooking Techniques for Healthy Eating
The New Year is a perfect time to start eating healthier and trying new cooking techniques such as mixing, steaming and pressure cooking
After the indulgent Christmas holidays, most of us will be resolving to eat a healthier diet in the New Year. What we sometimes don’t realise, however, is how simple it is to cook nutritional, healthy dishes which are just as delicious and substantial as their calorific cousins. All is required is a few changes in basic cooking techniques to cut the level of fat in food such as meat and vegetables.
Did you know that each tablespoon of oil that is used for frying ads an extra 100 calories to your food? Fat calories should make up no more than 20-35% of your total daily allowance– that’s 400-700 of a 2,000 calorie diet. By switching to techniques that involve using a food steamer or pressure cooker, you can successfully cut your calorie intake with minimum effort required. This article will aim to educate you on cooking methods that will capture the flavour of your food and retain its nutrients without adding excess fat.
The simplest way of cooking healthy food is by using a steamer. Popular for both veggies and meat, this method involves food being steamed in a perforated basket which is suspended above simmering liquid. For additional flavour, why not add a stock cube? Food steaming is especially great if you want to lower your cholesterol or lose weight; steaming food eliminates its fat content which ultimately equates to healthier food. When done properly, vegetables are crisp and juicy as a result of being steamed, the only disadvantage is that whilst veg like broccoli may only take 10 minutes to cook, beets and artichoke can take up to 40 minutes.
Pressure cooking your food is a similar concept to steaming, but the intense heat means that it is much more efficient alternative. Whilst more substantial vegetables can take 40 minutes in a steamer, in a pressure cooker they can be ready within 10. Both pressure cooking and steaming food retain nutritional content of food whilst methods such as boiling strip vegetables of nutrients such as Vitamin C. Much debate has endured over which technique is superior in terms of nutritional value. But for now, the general consensus asserts that using a steamer has a slight upper hand, as pressure cooking can sometimes degrade certain heat sensitive nutrients.
We all know that eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is essential to healthy living; however, some of us just do not like the texture of veggies therefore everyday can be a challenge in our quest for nutrition and a balanced diet. For this reason a food mixer is a great addition to a kitchen in need of a health kick. Fruit and veg can easily be pureed to make soups and smoothies - the kids will love them! Even the most unpopular of veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower make for great warming soups during the winter months. Before you know it, you’ll be getting your 5 a day without even knowing it!