Healthy Cooking Tips
I have a lot to say about the importance of good fats in a healthy diet. But gram for gram, fat has more than twice as many calories as protein and carbohydrate, so it's important to make your choices carefully. I like to eat my good fats in the form of avocados, nuts, seeds, and a little olive oil here and there.
In terms of cooking, I can really keep the calories down by focusing on cooking methods that don't require added fat.
Sautéing or stir-frying are quick ways to cook on top of the stove and therefore involve fairly high heat. Using a good nonstick pan and an optional mist of oil, we can accomplish this with just a trace of fat. The key is to ensure that the pan is hot before adding the food, to reduce the chances of sticking. An oil mister makes "oil rationing" a breeze!
While baking or roasting, it's important not to crowd the oven without expecting the baking time to increase. Invest in a few pieces of nonstick bakeware so there's no need to grease the pan or add extra oil.
Grilling allows food to cook very quickly, depending on how close it is to the heat. Like broiling, this method results in browning and a crispy exterior, and, depending on the heat source, can enhance your food with a rich smoky flavor.
Poaching is a method of cooking food in a small amount of liquid without adding fat. The food may be fully submerged in liquid, suspended over it, or submerged in only a shallow portion of water or another liquid, which may be seasoned. The item to be poached, such as a salmon fillet, an egg, or a chicken breast, is submerged in hot liquid and simmered just until cooked. Although there are special pieces of equipment available for poaching fish and eggs, a shallow saucepan works very well.
Steaming is another great fat-free cooking method. This method requires the use of a metal or bamboo basket over boiling water, which allows steam to circulate around the food and cook it through. Although water works well as a steaming liquid, you can also use fat-free broths or add herbs and spices, such as garlic or ginger, to boiling water or broth to enhance flavor.
For more nutrition, recipes and weight loss tips, visit Cheryl's blog.