A balanced lifestyle that nourishes both the body and the mind is based on various elements. Being active is crucial, but so is eating right. In fact, one’s diet is arguably the most important part of the journey. Once you find the perfect middle ground between these aspects, you can truly say that you are living right and in tune with your own well-being.
The Best Healthy Cooking Methods
When it comes to clean eating, having the best organic ingredients on hand is essential. Fresh produce and free-range meats are recommended in this case. Using high-quality ceramic cookware sets, as well as cast-iron skillets and woks is an important aspect of this as well because it keeps your food safe and toxin-free.
But it can all be for nothing if you don’t cook them right. This is why any health enthusiast needs to know the essential methods that bring balance right on their plate, as well as in their lives. Here are the five best ones you can try anytime as long as you have the right ingredients and utensils for the job.
Any cooking enthusiast knows that, while boiling is a healthy cooking method, it can also strip away most of the nutrients from various foods, especially certain vegetables. Steaming is a much more desirable alternative, and it’s not all that more complicated either. All you need is a pot of boiling water with a covered perforated basket placed on top of it.
This approach offers you plenty of versatility when it comes to the dishes you put together. The best candidates are meats such as chicken breasts, fish fillets,and shellfish, as well as veggies such as zucchini, asparagus or green beans. For a fun twist, you can also try steaming a couple of pears and add a touch of creativity to any side dish.
And if you’re craving some extra flavor, wrapping your ingredients in separate aluminum foils with a drizzle of lemon juice and a couple of garlic cloves, onion slices, basil leaves or grated ginger enclosed in there is a great idea for any clean-eating foodie with a passion for savory dishes. Don’t bother using seasoning just yet, because it will just wash away.
According to Reader’s Digest, grilling is the quickest and healthiest cooking method that can be used both for tender cuts of meat, fish,and shellfish, as well as some vegetables, such as peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplants,and zucchini. Fattier meats such as pork chops or sausages are ready to be grilled as is, so you can just fire up the grill and throw them on there.
If you’re cooking leaner foods, such as chicken breast fillet, you will need to either drizzle a bit of oil on them or marinade them beforehand so that they possess the necessary moisture to be prepared in such a way. Vegetable slices also benefit from this because it adds to the flavor and makes them crispier.
In addition, you can also grill some deliciously smoky corn on the cob along with a mash potato topping to make the perfect side dish to any delicious steak. And if your barbecue is big enough in size, you even have the liberty to cook everything at the same time and ensure that your meal is ready in the most time-effective manner.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, just think of broiling as grilling’s indoors cousin of sorts. It still implies using a lot of heat to cook your food, but instead of firing up the barbecue, you just need a broiling rack and a heat-emitting element to place it on top of. TIME Magazine describes it as a great way to cook tender cuts of meat, provided that you trim excess fat off beforehand.
But you shouldn’t waste too much time with it because anything left behind will melt off and drip away from the meat. Unfortunately, it’s not an ideal way to cook any vegetables, because it dries them out. Furthermore, such high temperatures degrade their nutrient content. So, unless that’s what you’re going for, steer clear of broiling your side dishes.
Just like you would bake a pie or a cake, you can also use your oven similarly to roast meat, fish, seafood,and vegetables. And it all happens in one pot, which results in a flavorful entire meal that everyone will enjoy. However, medical professionals advise that you use this method in moderation when it comes to certain foods.
Paolo Boffetta, M.D.,an oncologist at Mount Sinai in New York City, states that cooking starchy foods like potatoes or bread too dark leads to the formation of acrylamide, a probable human carcinogen. Nevertheless, products such as meat, fish or dairy present little to no risk of the compound developing within their structure.
If you just can’t give up fried foods entirely, the least you can do for your health is use the Asian method instead of the American one. Therefore, stop deep-frying everything you get your hands on and stir-fry your foods with just a small drizzle of oil instead. You get bonus points if you use a traditional wok for it, and your dishes will be ready sooner as well.
Animal products such as pork, chicken, shrimp, and scallops cook perfectly in a wok, as do vegetables such as eggplant, bell peppers, mushrooms, cabbage,and broccoli. And if you’re a devoted vegetarian or vegan, or want to keep your diet as healthy as possible, you can also prepare your tofu like this and have a delicious, guilt-free meal for dinner.
Nevertheless, this approach is a bit pretentious because once the wok heats up properly, it maintains a high and constant heat, which can lead to your food burning in no time if you’re not paying close attention to it. To avoid this, cut everything into equally small pieces, and remember to constantly stir and toss it around the pan.
Changing the way you eat starts with the ingredients you bring to your household and ends on your plate. But there are a lot of essential aspects to be respected in between these steps and cooking your food in a healthy manner is surely one of them. Each and every one of these five methods will surely improve your well-being in the long run, so try them today.