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What cooking methods can make your food healthy?

Image credit: iStock/jaochainoi

While the ingredients you use to create a meal will impact the number of calories it contains, they can only go so far in ensuring it is as healthy as possible. After all, you could create a meal entirely out of vegetables, but if you deep fat fry it, it isn’t going to be healthy at all.

The way you cook food has a big impact on how healthy or unhealthy food is and can easily undo all your hard work to prepare a low-calorie meal. This is why you should consider the cooking options as well as what you are putting into your food.

To help you keep your calories low and ensure you aren’t eating more fat and oil than you should be, here are some cooking methods that can keep your meals as healthy as possible:

Steaming

One of the healthiest ways to cook food is to steam it, which is a suitable method for meat, fish and vegetables. It is a great method for avoiding dry food, as it seals in flavour and moisture, making it ideal for foods like fish fillets and chicken breasts. You also don’t need to add any fats at all when steaming food, helping to drastically reduce calories.

There are a number of ways you can steam food, including using electric or oven-top steaming pans. This method means you can usually steam several ingredients at once, so your entire meal can be steamed.

Pressure cooking

Pressure cookers are used to cook things quickly, so are often utilised to prepare meals that usually take a lot of time in order to speed up the process. However, you can cook almost anything in a pressure cooker and create healthier meals by doing so.

These types of cookers seal in the steam produced by heat, which cooks the food incredibly quickly. Pressure cooking also means that foods don’t lose as many vitamins and minerals as they do when using longer cooking processes, so you are getting more goodness out of your ingredients while still maintaining the flavour.

You can cook meat, vegetables, stews and soups, among other things, in a pressure cooker, so you’ll still enjoy a lot of variety.

Stir-frying

Stir-frying is another way of cooking food really quickly; this time because it is exposed to a high heat. Although you need to continuously stir your food when using this method, it is a fast way of cooking and can mean you have a fully cooked meal in minutes.

From fish to vegetables, you can stir fry a lot of ingredients, although the trick is to ensure everything is cut into small pieces and that you time when ingredients are added to your pan to avoid overcooking. You also don’t need to add much, if any, oil, as sauces can be used to help avoid food sticking to your wok.

Grilling

Grilling adds a great flavour to dishes while still maintaining the nutrition levels of food. Whether you grill in an oven or over a barbecue, you can get a lovely smoky flavour without having to add loads of fat or oil to your dish.

This method is also incredibly versatile, making it suitable for many foods, including sweet dishes. Not only does this make cooking simple, it also means you can try various recipes without having to use a lot of different kitchen equipment.

Keep it raw

Of course, you can enjoy the healthiest ingredients raw to ensure there are no added calories and you are getting all the best nutrients. While not everything can be eaten raw, adding uncooked ingredients to dishes can help to vary flavour and texture and cut down on calories.

 

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