It is one thing to get healthy ingredients for your cooking and another to know the best methods for cooking such ingredients to get the most of it. Cooking can be fun and exciting when you do it right, and it is important to be health conscious when choosing your cooking method.
Carefully plan the healthy cooking method that is best for the ingredients you want to cook. Preparing a healthy meal starts from the ingredients to the cooking method.
What methods have you been using in cooking your food?
Although these cooking methods may not be new to you, they will help guide you on the best healthy cooking methods for any ingredients.
Boiling is one of the easiest and healthiest methods of cooking food. Some food must pass through the boiling process to enhance the texture of the food, making it more edible to eat.
We use the boiling method to cook mostly starchy foods in the kitchen. Boiling is simple because it requires liquid like water to get it done with some other flavourful ingredients.
Boiling foods will help you to get the best of the nutritional value of many food ingredients as long as you don’t overdo it. When you eat boiled food more, it helps to reduce your fat intake. It is better to boil food than to deep-fried them.
When you boil your food, it will kill germs through the process; it will help to reduce stomach inflammations that can be caused by eating food with bacteria. Also, boiled food can reduce the number of oxalates in food.
Although, not all food is good with boiling, and foods like vegetables can quickly lose some nutrients with boiling. But foods like potatoes, rice, pasta, legumes, yam, eggs, chicken, meat, prawns, fish, green beans, and corns are good when boiled.
Steaming is another healthful way of cooking your food, and it is simple, flavourful, and helps to retain the food’s nutrients and minerals. Steaming is when you place your food on a rack over simmering water covered with a tight-fitting lid to cook for some minutes.
This method is excellent for preparing vegetables, fish, desserts, and meats. It is a moist-heat cooking method that helps to retain food nutrients.
Steaming is one of the best nutritious cooking methods because the nutrients remain in the food instead of leaching the whole nutrients into the water. The steaming food remains separate from the cooking water, and it helps the nutrients and minerals of the food not to leach into the water. You will get more nutrients when you steam some food than when you boil them.
Asides from the retainment of nutrients, steaming is an excellent way of getting good texture from food, it tastes better when you steam, and it is also a quick way of getting your food ready.
It is ideal to steam foods like vegetables, carrots, green beans, apples, meat, hard-boiled eggs, fish, and chicken than boiling them. Steaming is as fast as boiling; be careful so you don’t overcook your food.
Grilling is one of the oldest methods of cooking. It is fun to use the grills for your food and a healthy way of cooking, making the food more flavourful and enjoyable.
Grilling is not so stressful; it is when you cook relatively tender foods quickly over high heat. The fire is hot enough to caramelize the natural sugars in foods, coaxing out the incredible flavor. Charcoal or hardwood lends an excellent smoky taste. The most fantastic thing about this method is that you are not washing any pans, just the racks for grilling within a short period. It is a healthy way to reduce fat intake and retain some nutrients and minerals from food.
The benefits of grilled foods are numerous, and one of them is that it helps to reduce heart-related diseases.
It is especially good to grill meat as grilling does not need oil, which is a suitable means to reduce oil intake and the fats from meat. You can also grill meat, steaks, burgers, fruits, veggies, and chicken.
Poaching is another moist-heat cooking technique that is very healthy, and it is best for preparing delicate foods such as fish, shellfish, chicken, eggs, and fruits. You can poach anything, and keeping the cooking liquid below a simmer is good.
Poaching uses a low temperature to cook food; when you poach food, the cooking liquid should hover between 160°C and 170°C. When poaching, the water’s surface should show movement and look like it is just about to bubble without reaching a simmer. Submerge your food completely in a poaching liquid without covering the pot.
Poaching is also a great way to retain nutrients in food. It does not require oil, making it a good option for those who are weight conscious and will not need more fats in their diets.
Baking is one of the most basic cooking methods that are also healthy. Food or baked goods are cooked in an oven by dry heat, and bakeware or food ingredients determine the temperature to use for baking.
It is necessary not to overcrowd your oven when baking because the oven cooks by surrounding the food with hot air; the food needs enough space to have heat. When baking, it is necessary to use the right timing to avoid overcooking or undercooking your food.
Aside from baked goods, you can also bake chicken, meat, veggies, and potatoes in your oven. It also uses less oil and is a good option for those who want to lose weight and improve heart health. The process is quick, and it also maintains the nutrients of the food.
Roasting is another essential cooking method, especially for meat and poultry products. Roasting cooks food by surrounding the food with dry heat at very high heat; the hot heat covers the food with an oven or an open fire.
We can roast food like potatoes, snails, fish, corn, yam, seeds, grains, turkey, and chicken. Roasted food has a very nutritious and flavourful taste, and the flavor on the outside differs from the inside. Roasting gives a very flavourful and healthy option. It is essential not to overdo the cooking, so it doesn’t destroy the flavor and aromatic compounds.
Roasting is a healthy form of cooking. When roasting, you will still get to retain some vitamins and minerals compared to other forms of cooking. It also helps to reduce fat intake because it uses less oil for cooking.
Read also: How To Cook Catfish Pepper Soup
Stir-frying is another excellent method of cooking that uses high heat, making cooking very fast and easy. Stir-frying cooks food over high heat, tossing and stirring regularly to avoid burning and sticking. The flavor of stir-fried food is top-notch, and it is very nutritious.
We use the stir-frying method primarily for veggies and poultry foods like chicken, ingredients used for stir-frying will be cut into small sizes before frying them in a small quantity of oil for a tender-crisp texture.
Stir-frying is healthier than deep-frying; we get more nutrients when we stir-fried. The stir-frying cooking technique does not take time; it is fun to make and comes out colorful and flavourful.
Blanching is a method of cooking that partially cooks food in boiled water. A process that is essential for veggies or fruits to inactivate their enzyme actions, remove harsh peels, reduce pesticides, and also decreasing microbial load.
We use blanching to heighten the color, soften, and intensifiers the flavor of vegetables before adding to other food ingredients on heat. Blanching is a method that preludes to cooking or for other purposes. The food commonly blanched before other preparations is fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
Blanching should be done briefly between 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on what you want to use the blanched food for.
Sauteing is another food cooking technique that cooks food in a small amount of fat over medium-high heat in an open pan. This method adds enormous flavor to food, and we use the method with other cooking methods such as roasting and braising.
Sauteing is a method that can stand alone without adding other cooking methods. A method that is fast, simple, and can easily give a crisp and well-browned exterior.
We can saute all food, but the process differs with food. It also helps to retain nutrients because it uses less fat and cooks on high heat and for a brief period.
Broiling is another essential method of cooking food. This method cooks food by direct radiant, cooking directly beneath a heat source. It uses a very high heat that cooks food quickly so that the food’s exterior becomes browned and juicy and the interior becomes tender and soft.
The high heat the broiling uses can cause the natural sugars in foods to caramelize more quickly, and broiling uses more heat than roasting and baking. When broiling, food is turned regularly during the process; unlike other cooking methods with high heat, we leave the food until browned. Protein foods like meat, fish, chicken and other poultry foods are more flavorful with broiling.
Broiling is also very healthy because it uses less cooking oil. It also reduces some saturated fat in food like red meat, and this helps to promote heart health.
You need to use these cooking methods more often for healthy eating. Food cooked with these methods is more nutritious and very flavourful.
Is there any method here that you haven’t tried before? What cooking method do you use the most?
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