Your kitchen is the heart of your home. And of your family. We all want to improve our health whenever we can, and often the first place we can do this is in the kitchen. So grab your wooden cutting boards, your apron, and knives and let’s get down to business here.
While most people have the essential basic cooking items like knives, wooden cutting boards, pots and pans, fewer people really understand the best ways to cook their foods. With so many types of cuisine and their various cooking methods, which ones are truly the best for our health? We’ve done some research and put together the following tips on the healthiest cooking methods.
Deep frying saturates everything in a layer of oil. Often the oils used for deep frying are saturated fats that are particularly bad for your health. Avoid deep frying, and when you do, save it for special occasions that only come around once in a while. A key to healthy habits is not forbidding any particular food or method, but rather minimizing it.
Microwaving food is arguably the worst way to cook your meals. Because of the way microwaves heat the food from the inside out, it literally “nukes” your foods. It destroys the molecular structure of the nutrients, making your foods far less nutritious. This kind of cooking produces empty calories, minerals and fiber.
Most vegetables and fruits are more nutritious without cooking. They can lose up to 20 percent of their vitamins when you heat them. Especially vulnerable are vitamins C, folate, and potassium. On the contraire, veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbages, carrots and spinach can actually benefit from a light steaming, as it helps release the good components.
Steaming is one of the healthiest methods for cooking. You can cook everything from fish to carrot sticks this way and steaming produces delicious results. You can cut down your fat use as well since the liquid used for steaming will eliminate your foods from sticking to the cooking surface. Steaming also leaves much more of the vitamins intact, especially if you keep the steaming times to a minimum.
Poaching is a kind of steaming that works great for fish, eggs and even fruits. Poaching generally takes longer than steaming. It is a healthy alternative, especially when you use it instead of frying.
After you’ve sliced and diced your foods on your wooden cutting board, toss them in a pan or on a sheet and broil them. Nothing brings out the best in your foods like broiling! It is also fast and easy so if you’re cooking short on time, broiling is great. It also intensifies flavors and colors so expect tasty results! Again, keeping your cooking time to a minimum can preserve the vitamins and textures of your foods. Avoid burning your foods though, as it adds carcinogens to your food—something nobody wants!
Stir fry is delicious and nutritious. Basically it combines steaming and grilling on your stovetop. Stir fry is great for veggies and meats, and leaves much of the flavor and nutrient intact. It also can be very low fat, since you can use broths instead of oil. Try it out!