Nowadays, most people live in the fast lane and don’t really have enough time to take care of themselves and focus on their health. With all the fast food restaurants and too much on their plate, many tend to forget that a healthy diet is of crucial importance, together with exercise. To make sure that your meal is healthy enough, it is not just the choice of food that matters, but the way you prepare it, as well. Here are the best 7 helthy cooking methods to stick to:
1. Roasting method
If you opt for roasting meat, do remember that you’ll need a roasting pan, while vegetables can be roasted on a baking pan, as well. Now that you have the roasting pan, it’s time to prepare the meat. After you defrost it, leave it in room temperature for up to 4 hours (or just 20 minutes, depending on the size of the roast). Also, don’t forget to preheat the oven. The next step is to roast vegetables, while adding spices and just a little bit of oil.
Should it look like your meat is drying, use the juice from the bottom of the pan to baste it. Also, if the surface of either the meat or the vegetables seems to be getting to crisp, cover the pan with aluminum foil.
2. Steaming method
When it comes to steaming, the first thing you’ll need is a steaming basket, which is a necessary “tool” if you want to make sure that all of your food steams evenly. If you want to steam green beans, broccoli, cauliflower or pea pods in a colander, you need to pay special attention when cleaning them. As for the steaming basket, don’t forget to check whether it fits the pan that you’ve chosen.
Then, heat approximately 3 inches (7.6 cm) of water in your saucepan. When the water boils, place the vegetables in it, use a lid to cover the saucepan, and steam them for 5 to 10 minutes. Use herbs, spices or lemon juice to flavor the vegetables. In case you decide to steam fish, it will probably take 5 to 10 minutes, while chicken takes 10 to 15 minutes to be done.
3. Braising method
Here, the first step is to heat a frying pan to high heat, spraying some cooking spray into it. Then, place the meat and cook it on each side until both become brown.
For the next step you’ll need a large pot or a slow cooker to heat the meat in it, adding a few inches (5 cm) of broth, wine or another mixture of liquid. Should you decide to heat it in the oven, it should be done at a temperature between 200 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit (93 to 121 degrees Celsius) for 4 to 8 hours.
4. Stir-Frying Method
If you decide to try the stir-frying method, you will first need to get a wok or a large and deep frying pan. Whichever you choose, place on the stove top, setting the temperature to medium high or high.
Once heated, pour 1 tsp. to 1 tbsp. (4.4 to 14 g) of extra-virgin olive oil or grape seed oil in it. It is advisable to cut your meat into small pieces. That way, it will be cooked very quickly, but also thoroughly.
Then, add seasonings, such as pepper, sea salt, red pepper flakes or sesame seeds. You should place both meat and vegetables into the pan at once, and stir them constantly using a wooden spoon.
5. Steam-Frying method
For this one, you should first heat 1 to 2 tsp. (4.4 to 8.8 g) of olive oil in a frying pan. Then, place vegetables and (or) meat inside and sauté them. Once you’ve done that, you should turn the temperature down to medium low or even low.
After 2 to 5 minutes, add low-sodium chicken stock, water or wine to the dish to cover about 1/4 of the food. Then, cover the pan and leave it like that for 5 to 10 minutes. Finally, when you take the lid off, you should stir the food for a little longer, letting the rest of the liquid simmer off.
6. Poaching method
As for poaching method, it first requires you to heat wine, stock, herbs, spices, lemon juice and/or water in one large pan and wait until the mixture starts simmering.
The next thing to do is to add meat, for instance, fish fillets or chicken breasts. Also, we suggest that you separate meat and vegetables instead of cooking them together.
Another way of poaching meat or vegetables is to do it on the grill using aluminum foil. When doing so, remember to put some liquid in the foil before adding meat/ vegetables.
7. Baking method
Finally, when it comes to baking, the first step to take is to preheat your oven to lower than 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius). Use vinegar, lemon juice, herbs, spices, or wine to marinade your meat or vegetables. Then, place them on a pan and bake in the oven.
So, the next time you start thinking about changing your lifestyle, remember how important it is to keep a healthy diet and try using some of the previously mentioned methods, and enjoy your meal!