It’s the in thing to be a foodie. But at the same time, you are conscious of your diet. For example, bacon is so popular. And yet, too many people still think bacon is really unhealthy. With these fun and healthy cooking methods, you can make a fantastic meal, but still keep fit and trim.
The use of fat in cooking has reached a new vogue in recent years. In the past, you had to eliminate as much fat as possible for a meal to be considered healthy. Not anymore. Master chefs who dedicate their lives to healthy food preparation know that the right kinds of fat are good for you.
If you want to deep-fry, stir-fry or sauté, you should use healthy fats. Avoid hydrogenated oils, also known as trans fats. Keep vegetable oils to a minimum. They are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which can contribute to inflammation in the body. Instead, get back to basics. Use bacon fat and butter in moderation. Otherwise, olive oil and coconut oil are healthy, tasty and easy to fry with.
Anyone can steam vegetables or fish. But, the true avant garde is sous-vide cooking. Preparing food sous-vide means that you seal the food in an airtight bag and cook it in a water bath. The process requires that the water temperature be kept consistent, for up to 72 hours in some cases.
Sealing the package ensures that the natural juices and flavors are not lost in the steam or the water. While you may need a machine specially designed for sous-vide cooking, some people have figured out how to safely cook meats or fish in their dishwasher.
For simple, healthy meals that don’t require a lot of babysitting, the Crock Pot is king. A slow cooker gives you an excellent opportunity to braise meat over a period of hours, without leaving your oven on the whole day. Braising involves briefly cooking meat on the stove.
You may choose to use a dry rub or marinade before searing to help seal in the spices. Then, you transfer the meat to the slow cooker to cook for several hours. Liquid in the covered crock provides an even temperature. When it’s done, you can turn the liquid into a savory sauce, gravy or even soup.
Broiling and grilling
Everyone loves a barbecue. You apply direct heat to your chosen meat or vegetables, and the heat cooks them. No worry about oils or fats, because there’s no frying. And, as the heat renders the fat, it simply drips off the meat. Using a grill basket makes it a snap to roast corn or vegetables.
With any cooking method that requires high heat, you have to keep an eye on your food so that it does not char. And if you want the taste of grilled food all year-round, buy a broiler pan for your oven. Then, you can enjoy indoor grilling, even in the dead of winter.
Although your oven is the site of many an unhealthy dish, you cannot go wrong with roasting. When you roast meat or vegetables, you take a longer period of time to cook them than you would frying or grilling. The advantage is that you can take the time to adjust your preparations, as necessary.
Grandma’s Thanksgiving turkey is the most obvious example of roasting, but the sky’s the limit. Get a good roasting pan, prepare your veggies or meats with spices and herbs, and put it in the oven. In an hour or two, you’ll have a hot meal that is fall-off-the-bone tender.
Recently, experts have argued that the un-healthiest way to eat is actually not cooking. When you cook your own food, you control the environment. As a result, you end up with delicious food that doesn’t hide behind fat or sugar to make it taste more flavorful. You eat better, and so you live better.