General suggestions for healthy cooking

Healthy cooking methods include:

  • Steam, bake, grill, braise, boil or microwave your foods.
  • Modify or eliminate recipes that include butter or ask you to deep fry or sauté in animal fat.
  • Avoid added oils and butter; use non-stick cookware instead.
  • Don’t add salt to food as it is cooking.
  • Remove chicken skin and trim the fat from meat.
  • Eat more fresh vegetables and legumes.
  • Eat more fish, which is high in protein, low in fats and loaded with essential omega-3 fatty acids.

Healthy cooking tips

Eating healthy food doesn’t mean giving up your favourite foods. Your favourite recipes can be adapted easily to provide a healthier alternative. For example, non-stick cookware can be used to reduce the need for cooking oil. Vegetables can also be microwaved or steamed instead of boiling to keep valuable nutrition.

There are many ways to make meals healthier. Limit fats, sugars and salt and include plenty of vegetables, fruit, grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy in your cooking. Foods with added fats, sugars or salt are less healthy than food in which these are found naturally.

Keep fats to a minimum

Choose lean meats and reduced-fat dairy products and limit processed foods to minimise hidden fats. Nuts, seeds, fish, soy, olives and avocado are all healthier options because they include the essential long-chain fatty acids and these fats are accompanied by other good nutrients.

If you add fats when cooking, keep them to a minimum and use monounsaturated oils such as olive and canola oil.

Low fat cooking

Suggestions include:

  • If you need to use oil, try cooking sprays or apply a small amount of oil with a pastry brush.
  • Cook in liquids (such as stock, wine, lemon juice, fruit juice, vinegar or water) instead of oil.
  • Use low-fat yoghurt, low-fat milk, evaporated skim milk or cornstarch instead of cream in sauces or soups.
  • When browning vegetables, put them in a hot pan then spray with oil, rather than adding the oil first to the pan. This reduces the amount of oil that vegetables absorb during cooking.
  • An alternative to browning vegetables by pan-frying is to cook them first in the microwave, then crisp them under the grill for a minute or two.
  • Use pesto, salsas, chutneys and vinegars in place of sour creams, butter and creamy sauces.

PANCAKES RECEIPE

Ingredients:

Original recipe yields 8 servings

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.
  • Step 2Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:

158 calories; protein 4.5g; carbohydrates 21.7g; fat 5.9g; cholesterol 37.7mg; sodium 503.6mg. Full Nutrition

Cooking During the Pandemic

For the past several months, many restaurants have either been closed or are offering limited services because of the coronavirus health crisis.

This means people all around the world have had to prepare meals for themselves. The COVID home cooking experiences are “all over the map” — meaning something with a lot of different results: some good and others not-so-good.

For those who like to cook and are good at it, cooking during the coronavirus pandemic is business as usual. But they still may tire of it. Cooking every single meal, day after day, is difficult. Yet others may have learned how to cook for the first time and found that they like it!

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

COOKING HISTORY

 Cooking is as old as civilization itself, and observers have perceived it as both an art and a science. Its history sheds light on the very origins of human settlement, and its variety and traditions reflect unique social, cultural, and environmental influences. 

The precise origins of cooking are unknown, but, at some point in the distant past, early humans conquered fire and started using it to prepare food. Researchers have found what appear to be the remains of campfires made 1.5 million years ago by Homo erectus, one of the early human species. In fact, anthropologists such as Richard Wrangham have argued that cooking played an essential role in human evolution. Cooking foods makes them more digestible, so the calories and some of the nutrients in them are easier to absorb. Thus, cooking allowed early humans to tap a wider variety of food sources and gain more nutrition from them.

Archaeological evidence of food preparation, backed up by knowledge of how modern-day hunter-gatherers prepare their food, suggests that the first cooks did little to their food in the way of preparation or technique. The flesh of animals was either roasted over a fire or boiled in water to make it tender, fruit was gathered and peeled, and nuts were shelled. Necessity, rather than flavour, usually dictated how hunter-gatherers of the past prepared their food.

Fotografie de Yente Van Eynde pe Pexels.com
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