A home-cooked meal is most often the healthier option when deciding what to eat. That’s because you know exactly what goes into your food when you cook it, and that means less grease and sodium to start with. Cooking healthy food for the family ought to be a household priority because healthy food makes up a healthy body.
Healthy eating habits, especially of kids, are developed from home. The choices they make outside the house may reflect what they normally eat at home. While there really is no need for formal training in cooking for your family, it’s good to know different techniques in cooking to make meals healthier. Together with fresh ingredients, these often overlooked cooking techniques can keep bellies full with satisfaction, guilt-free.
Steaming is one of the easiest cooking techniques in the kitchen because it only requires a pot of boiling water to cook the food. This cooking technique is widely used in cooking asian dishes – from dumplings to seafood. Many stock pots and electric cookers have a steaming basket included with the pan and lid.
Steaming, unfortunately, is often associated with bland taste which is probably why it is not practiced more often in home-cooking. To keep the flavors trapped in the food, it must be steamed for the right amount of time and the lid must be closed throughout the process. Vegetables like sliced carrots, broccoli and asparagus takes about 5 minutes to steam. Quickly drench them in cold water after steaming to retain their color and crispiness.
A 1-inch thick fish fillet should be steamed for about 10 minutes. The fish is ready when its meat can be separated with a fork. Steam time for chicken and dumplings is 10 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Bony fish and chicken may need a longer time to cook. Make sure the meat is cooked through by using a kitchen thermometer.
The thought of grilling may invoke heavy outdoor grill sets and tiresome clean up. Conventional grilling may indeed involve those things, which can discourage anyone from doing it more often. Contrary to this belief, grilling can also be done indoors. When grilling, the food is cooked over a high temperature medium such as charcoal.
As with steaming, this type of cooking uses little to no oil, which in other words, is healthy. To grill food in your kitchen, you can use a stove-top grill pan or an electric grill instead of firing up wood fuel. This is more convenient especially during winter season. Pretty much anything can be grilled – fruits, vegetables and all kinds of meats.
Boiling food in water is simple. Homemade baby food can be made by boiling vegetables like sweet potatoes and peas. Mash them together with formula milk or breast milk for a healthy meal. Instead of frying eggs for breakfast, you can prepare hard-boiled eggs instead. Vegetable side dishes can also be made by blanching (quickly immersing food in hot water). Blanched spinach and green beans go with almost anything. Try to use the least amount of water when boiling vegetables to minimize the loss of water-soluble vitamins in the food.
But boiled food doesn’t have to stop there. Soup stocks are also made my boiling ingredients in water. Here, water-soluble vitamins are kept in the stock. Homemade soup stock may also contain less sodium and artificial flavorings than store-bought soup stock. Slow cookers also create wonderful dishes by slowly boiling food. It doesn’t require a lot of work to prepare slow cooked dishes in the morning, to serve for dinner.
Fast-paced living has created the habit of instant cooking by heating up pre-cooked food using a microwave. That is perfectly okay; In fact, according to studies, the mechanics of microwave heating actually lessens the breakdown of vitamins from food. Since microwaves work by exciting water molecules in food, it requires less time to cook. This means that the nutrients are less exposed to heat, therefore they are not destroyed. Avoid overheating food in the microwave and use microwaveable glass containers as much as possible to reap the benefits of microwave cooking.
It’s easy to get used to unhealthy cooking techniques but it can be avoided with a little effort. Even with healthy cooking techniques, it’s also important not to get carried away with unhealthy ingredients. The next time you whip up something from the kitchen, consider your different cooking options to make the dish healthy and delicious at the same time.
It is so much easier to try to be healthy during the summer than in the winter. Try some of the top summer nutrition tips for the whole family and see if you don’t lose weight and feel better. Of course, the trick is maintaining the loss when the cooler weather returns. Use the summer months […]
When it’s already time for a baby to eat solid food, many parents may hit the grocery stores to check on the wide selection of feeding gears, and ready to eat foods for their little one. But before you immerse yourself in the task of choosing the right baby food, it is important that you […]
A lot of people, who try to live a healthy lifestyle, choose home-cooked meals over commercially available ones because it is definitely healthier. However, it may also be necessary to closely examine whether the dishes we usually prepare at home are indeed healthy. It can be possible that our well-loved recipes are loaded with calories, […]
Is there a little chef in your household? How do you know if he’s ready for his own tools? When will be ready to make dinner every night? If only, right? Every child is different and there aren’t any hard and fast rules about what age is appropriate. Some girls mature quickly and will be ready […]
One thing people look forward to once warmer weather arrives is grilling outdoors. Is your barbecue grill ready? If not, here’s how to spring clean your BBQ ready for the warmer days. Start with the foundation. If your patio or deck isn’t in good repair, it won’t do you any good to set your grill there. […]