If you want the most straightforward advice and your eating habits are anything like most Americans, we advise you to eat more veggies, fruits, and whole grains. Most of us don’t eat enough vegetables, and we are particularly deficient in fiber in our diets, which are fantastic sources. If you need more direction about healthy eating, one of the best places to start is to cook more at home. Home cooking gives you more control over the ingredients, and restaurant food usually has more calorie and sodium content than anything you would prepare yourself.
Cooking at home gives you a meal that will be significantly healthier than a restaurant dish. It is one of the easiest ways to reduce calories, especially if you create a heavy dinner like cheeseburgers or spaghetti. However, if you’re seeking even more methods to make your cooking healthier and more convenient, there are a few healthy cooking tips you may keep in mind for future culinary adventures.
Why is Cooking Important in Life?
Cooking is important in life for several reasons:
- Beat stress. Cooking is a fun way to relieve stress after a hard day of school or work.
- Expand your mind. Learning to cook will help you understand world cultures, customs and flavors. You will also learn life skills like eating healthy, budgeting your money, and cleaning.
- Save some cash. Cooking is less expensive than eating at restaurants, fast food joints and school cafeterias. Spending money on pre-packaged meals gets too expensive for a young person and families on a budget.
- Eat food you love. You can control your menu and choose what you want to eat at every meal.
- Boost your health and wellness. Preparing fresh foods will put much-needed nutrition into your diet and increase your energy and quality of health in the short and long run.
- Be more awesome. Cooking will boost your self-esteem, and you will learn proper planning and preparation skills to see a task through from start to finish while contributing positively to the health of your family and friends.
- Spread the love. Cooking creates a culture of giving and receiving positive energy from the people around you.
- Hang with friends. Cooking helps create time for hanging out with family and friends, having fun, and making memories that you will keep for the rest of your life.
- Express yourself. Cooking activities are a great way to express your creativity. You are the master of the canvas. Try new things! You can always eat your mistakes. Mmm, yes, those delicious mistakes!
- Use your brain. Cooking will help you practice subjects like science, reading and math and will increase your critical thinking. Cooking is a great way to use the skills you learned in school!
What is the Number 1 Healthiest Food in the World?
The competition is fierce in this area. So many nutritious foods are available, and they benefit our health. But which cuisine may be declared the top food to eat in terms of health? There isn’t a clear top choice because the variety of advantages is just too great and unique, but where’s the fun in that?
Kale has been named the world’s healthiest food in order after we reviewed the entire list of candidates.
When compared to its rivals, kale has the most advantages and the fewest disadvantages. For us, kale reigns supreme. To find out why to continue reading.
Cooking Techniques for your Best Health
Here are the different cooking techniques for your best health:
Steaming maintains the nutrients in veggies better than stir-frying or sautéing can. This 2000 study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry suggests that heating carrots can significantly improve their beta-carotene concentration! Research also suggests that steaming maintains the most glucosinolates, the molecules in leafy greens like kale, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli, that can help prevent disease and cancer.
How to do it: Boil a pot of water, place a steam basket over the pot with the food you’d like to cook and cover it with the top. Steam for the recommended number of minutes or until the vegetables become tender. Try cooking up my Hygge Macrobiotic Bowl, packed with steamed veggies and gut-boosting fermented foods.
Need a weeknight meal, stat? Stir-frying is one of the best dry heat cooking methods to help clean your fridge and use all the proteins and fiber-rich veggies you have on hand. Plus, it allows you to maximize the nutrition in your meals, adding various vegetables with different hues, tastes, and textures. Stir-frying is the equivalent of cooking speed work, and this technique cooks food fast and makes vegetables more palatable.
How to do it: Heat a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil in a pan; it doesn’t necessarily need to be a wok. Then, add the food you’d like to stir-fry to the pan and let the food sear until it tenderizes, stirring every 30-6o seconds. Season food with your choice of spices and herbs or a homemade sauce. Try my 10-Minute Peanut Stir-Fry for a super quick meal on busy weekdays!
From crunchy Brussels sprouts to crispy sweet potato wedges, roasting is one of my all-time favorite dry cooking methods for vegetables because it tenderizes their texture and enhances the flavor. For example, roasting butternut squash caramelizes and accentuates its sweetness to make it less bitter. Even the pickiest eaters can appreciate a bowl of butternut squash mac and cheese!
Just be mindful to stick to a temperature below the oil’s smoke point. While technically, the high heat used during roasting can take a bit of the veggie nutrients away, there’s no reason you should shy away from this cooking technique. You’re still eating veggies and reaping their health-boosting benefits!
How to do it: In a mixing bowl, combine the veggies you’d like to roast with a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and your choice of seasonings. Stir until the ingredients are well-combined and the vegetables are coated with the oil and spices. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease it. Then spread the vegetable mixture evenly on the sheet pan and pop them in the oven at 350°F for about 45 minutes, or until they’re lightly browned and crisp on the edges.
Poaching is one of the most versatile cooking options. In fact, from eggs to fruits to chicken to fish, you can poach just about anything. This moist-heat cooking technique involves submerging food in the water at a low temperature, usually between 140°F and 180°F. You’ll know the water is ready when you see white bubbles forming around the edges.
How to do it: perfectly poach an egg, fill a saucepan 2/3 full with water, a vegetable broth, or whatever liquid you’re using. Bring the water to a boil, then boil it to a low simmer. Small bubbles come up to the surface and along the sides. Crack an egg into a ramekin or small cup. Carefully drop the egg into the water and gently stir the water with a spatula to ensure the egg doesn’t stick to the pan. You can also add a dash of vinegar to the water, so the egg whites stay in a more compact shape. Allow the egg to poach for three to four minutes before removing it with a slotted spoon.
If you enjoy a little crunch in your veggies, blanching is one of the best basic cooking techniques to make them crisp yet tender at the same time. It’s also one of the easiest ways to preserve food, so if you want your seasonal produce last, blanching is the way to go.
With this method, you submerge the veggies in a boiling pot of water for about seven minutes. Then, you stop the cooking process by putting them in an ice bath. This technique allows you to maintain the vegetables’ bright colors and help retain their nutrients. Research suggests that the antioxidant activity in some veggies, such as beetroot, peppers, green beans, and spinach, can increase during the boiling process because the oxidative enzymes (which cause inflammation) are deactivated.
How to do it: Fill a large pot with water, add a tablespoon of sea salt and bring it to a boil. Add the vegetables to the pot and allow them to cook for a few minutes until their colors brighten. Then, immediately remove the veggies from the pot and run them under ice-cold water!
You can profit from grilling at any time of year, even if summer is when it may be one of the more common times to do so. In reality, you can buy a cast-iron grill pan and cook your preferred vegetables at home on the stovetop. The broiler in your oven is also a terrific option to grill at home; prepare your meal on a broiler plate and lay it on your oven rack between four and eight inches from the flame. Fruits and vegetables gain a mildly smokey flavor from grilling and extra fat from meat.
How to do it: Wash the vegetables and trim the meat fat. Before delicately brushing them with extra-virgin olive oil and seasoning them, ensure they are completely dried. Heat the grill pan on the stovetop at high heat for a few minutes to warm it up. Then, for three to four minutes, reduce the heat to medium-low. To avoid drying out the meat, flip it over and cook it for an additional three to four minutes.
Are Tools Also Important in Healthy Cooking?
Cooking at home can be facilitated and enhanced by using high-quality appliances. Start with these if you are starting and lack any necessities:
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Baking sheet
You can prepare most meals at home if you can access those simple but effective kitchen tools. Consider purchasing more advanced appliances if you have them covered. Now might be the ideal moment to get an Instant Pot if you have been on the fence about getting one but are dedicated to a future of healthy cooking.
Is Heat Damage Nutrients?
It’s important first to understand which nutrients are more sensitive to heating. Temperatures or contact with water, heat, or air generally has little impact on vitamin K or the majority of minerals. Potassium is an exception since it can be lost to cooking liquids.
Besides riboflavin and niacin, heat degrades vitamins E and C and most B-complex vitamins. Potassium, the majority of the B-complex vitamins, and vitamin C will all be harmed or leached into water during cooking. Vitamins A, D, and E can be diminished by cooking in fat.
There are more factors to consider when selecting a healthy cooking method because not all cooking methods affect food similarly. Additionally, since humans enjoy eating, it’s crucial to consider how cooking affects the flavor and texture of food.
Food preparation is crucial and becomes much more crucial for your health. If you use the proper techniques when cooking, it will improve your health in addition to taste. The cooking techniques impact your food’s texture, flavor, and nutritional content. Pick techniques that don’t require adding a lot of fat but allow for less nutrient loss. A healthy balanced diet should include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables because no cooking method is perfect.