While a lot of us focus on getting the rights foods to eat, we hardly take the time or effort to notice the way we cook these foods. Cooking foods the right way is important in order to preserve their natural nutrients and ensure that you benefit from the same as well. So here are 9 such cooking hacks that will help make your meals healthier.
Cook on sim/ low flame
It pays to cook your foods over a low flame as cooking at high temperatures strips the foods of their nutritional value. It could also lead to partially cooked food that can have adverse effects on your health.
Use a pressure cooker
When cooking lentils and pulses, using a pressure cooker will not only cook the ingredients faster, but will also help preserve the nutrients. You can also opt to boil your vegetables in a pressure cooker provided you don’t keep it on the flame for too long (the vegetables would otherwise become mushy and overcooked).
Cook foods thoroughly
Rather than checking on the temperature, check whether the food is cooked thoroughly. Chances are you might reach the desired temperature when cooking, but the foods remain uncooked. This will lead to bacteria accumulation in the food, thus causing food poisoning and other serious health ailments. Simply allow the foods to cook on a low flame, checking in at regular intervals to see if they have been cooked thoroughly.
Retain the nutrients while cooking
Many foods contain water soluble nutrients that can be destroyed while cooking. In order to retain these nutrients, you can microwave the foods instead of boiling them. Rather than peeling vegetables, consider scrubbing them so that the nutrients on the skin are not lost. Do not over boil foods as this can strip them off their nutritional value.
Substitute salt with natural flavors
It is not surprising to note that a wide range of prepared seasonings come with very high salt aka sodium content. Increased sodium in the system can lead to conditions like high blood pressure. So consider replacing salt with natural spices, herbs, hot chilies and lemon juice to enhance the flavor of the dish without necessarily reducing its health.
Thaw frozen foods properly
Make it a point to bring down frozen foods to room temperature before cooking them. This would prevent bacteria buildup in the foods caused by sudden temperature changes.
Reheat food properly
Always reheat refrigerated food properly. It is wise to reheat the food to the point that it become smoking hot. This would help reduce any bacterial buildup in the foods, making it safe to eat.
Use the microwave on rare occasions
Unless you have a couple of guests coming in for lunch and need to cook a few dishes, use the plain old method of cooking/reheating foods above a flame. Cooking in microwaves can lead to a lot of radiation being absorbed by the foods. This could lead to health complications in the long run.
Go grease free
Fried foods usually come with a generous amount of grease sticking onto them. This usually happens when you deep fry them. So consider eating baked foods instead. If you still prefer to stick to the frying mechanism, simply coat the foods with olive oil and cooking spray and then bake them in trays or a wire rack set. This will help you enjoy fried foods without worrying about the grease that comes with them.
Buying fresh foods is only half the job done. In order to ensure that the nutrients of these foods remain intact while cooking, it is considered wise to opt for cooking hacks like the ones mentioned here. These hacks will ensure that your meals are healthier and more nutritious.