The 7 Best Cooking Methods to Keep Nutrients Intact
Healthier cuisine! Each cooking technique has its secret and offers different results. In this article, we will show you the healthiest ways to keep the nutritional value of food.
The rush and the desire to waste little time in the kitchen have displaced the healthy food of the day to day of many Americans. But prepared, precooked and frozen dishes are allowing us to forget the taste of food, and also, these products contain too much salt, harmful fats, dyes and preservatives.
If you want to eat healthy again, try cooking your dishes with the techniques that we have selected for you below. You even have a little more novelty.
When we cook in the oven we are applying dry heat to the food. So that the food does not turn out to be dry, it is very common to add broth or fat to those products such as meats or lean fish, which, as they contain practically no fat inside, are easily dried out.
Keep in mind that food is made in its own juice, so we can reduce the amount of oil we normally use.
The technique of roasting has interesting benefits: because they contain little oil, these dishes provide us with few calories, and if we start cooking over a high heat, a superficial crust will form in the food that will prevent the moisture from leaving, thus conserving all its vitamins and minerals and achieving a juicier and more tasty texture.
Take note: One way to bake is “a la papillote”, which involves wrapping food in foil or special baking paper to be cooked in its own juice.
It consists of cooking food with steam at normal or high pressure. The ingredients are placed in a grid-like container, in a mesh basket or perforated suspended in a pan, pot or similar containing water that is boiling. With this cooking technique, vapors amount to boiling the liquid and cooking the food. So that they are all made equally, they must be cut to the same size.
The advantages of steam cooking are that the loss of nutrients is minimized, since the food is in contact with only a minimum amount of liquid, and does not require the addition of fat, so that the food retains its original flavor. In addition, it allows the vegetables to not lose their color and remain al dente, with texture, and tenderness and without losing liquid. The steam lends itself to making quick preparations with delicious results.
Our proposal: You can not only steam vegetables, rice or potatoes. Have you tried fruit? They are delicious.
3. In the microwave
This appliance is not only used for heating. Learn to cook tasty dishes, with little fat and all the vitamins and minerals. Keep in mind that the microwave waves that heat up are the water that the food has; therefore, dry products such as beans or rice need more liquid added. As the preparation is very fast, it is recommended that you watch the cooking of the food every five minutes so that it does not burn or dry out.
As the food is cooked in its own juice, practically no oil or salt is needed, since its flavor is enhanced and concentrated.
Our proposal: To cook vegetables better in the microwave, put them in a closed container and add a little water so that they keep all their flavor.
It is one of the best techniques for cooking vegetables, according to the Healthy Eating Guide of the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition. It consists of cooking the food completely by immersion in water or broth. The shorter the cooking time, the lower the loss of nutrients.
It is not necessary to soak vegetables before boiling them, as some nutrients would be lost. Cut them into large pieces, since if you make them small, the loss of vitamins and minerals will be greater. Use as little water as possible and add little salt.
Take note: Take advantage of the cooking liquid, rich in nutrients, for later preparations such as stews, soups, purées or sauces.
5 – 6. Cooking Grilled and Charbroiled
The food is placed on a surface that can be smooth (plate) or ribbed (iron) from where it receives the heat.
Due to the high temperature reached by this surface, the fat we use to cook food – preferably olive oil – will not pass to the food, but will serve so that it does not stick to the surface on which we are cooking, which will be in turn covered by a special non-stick material, usually Teflon.
It is a good alternative to frying, because when cooking foods grilled we respect the flavor, texture and properties of food more.
If you think that the food is bland, you only have to “baste” the food with a mixture of oil, mashed garlic and a little parsley.
Our proposal: The thickest pieces should be cooked at medium temperature, so that they are made well inside and do not burn.
This form of quick sautéing, over a high heat and with little oil, can “seal” the food, reduce the loss of juices, minerals and vitamins. The result is golden and crunchy preparations on the outside, which are tender and tasty inside. There are special frying pans for wok cooking.
Note: normally, with one or two tablespoons of oil is enough to cook any food wok.
Do you want even healthier dishes? Here are some extra tips:
- Moderate fried, breaded and crumbed foods. It also limits precooked products and sauces.
- Use little salt and more aromatic herbs, vinegar, lemon, garlic and onion.
- Choose lean meats (low fat) and blue fish.
- Increase the consumption of integral and fiber-rich products, such as fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
- Use olive oil to cook. However, given its caloric content, limit it to three tablespoons daily.