Dieting isn’t just about the food you eat but how you cook it too and so many of us don’t realise how the way we cook our food affects how healthy and nutritious it is, so we’re here to help!
We’re going to be sharing with you our top tips for cooking your food in the healthiest possible ways to enhance your weight loss journey even further:
One of the best ways to cook vegetables and fish is steaming as it is actually proved to be not only one of the simplest and easiest cooking methods but one of the most effective at preserving nutrients in foods too.
Whether you use a steaming bowl and saucepan or electric steamer, steaming vegetables, fish or seafood not only keeps the food moist and full of flavour but also keeps in all the goodness as the food is being cooked by steam generated by water being trapped in an enclosed warm environment, meaning any nutrients that leave the food can’t escape the cooking environment and are likely to be reabsorbed.
Steaming also stops the needs for any additional oils which can add calories and fat to a meal.
We all know that stir fry is one of the healthiest and nutrient-packed dishes we can add to the meal plan but the method of stir frying food is actually a super healthy way of cooking.
The reason stir frying is so healthy is because it uses very little oil and cooks food so quickly whilst constantly being moved around, minimising the risk of anything burning or over-cooking and therefore reducing the time for nutrients to be burnt off or escape from the food.
Meat, fish and vegetables are all ideal for stir frying and the best way to ensure they cook through quickly is to chop all your stir fry ingredients into small, uniform pieces so everything cooks quickly and at the same speed.
Believe it or not, your microwave could actually be an essential bit of kit during your weight loss journey as microwaving food, particularly vegetables, is very much like steaming and is hugely effective at preserving nutrients during the cooking process.
Perfect for cooking frozen vegetables in particular, adding a little boiling water to a microwavable bowl with your vegetables and microwaving on a high heat works in the same way as steaming over a pan, where the closed environment generates steam to soften and cook the veg whilst keeping them moist, full of flavour and full of all their original nutrients.
Microwaving is also a great way of re-heating leftovers without the need for any additional oils for the second cooking process.
Baking / Parcel Baking
We all know that baking is better than frying, particularly with meat and fish but this can be for more reasons than one.
Both methods often require a little oil for the cooking process, however as baking is a ‘lower and slower’ cooking method, the small amount of oil added is likely to last longer than when frying, which is the method of cooking we often find ourselves having to use the most oil for as it uses it up so fast.
Parcel baking is great for meat and fish and is ideal for trapping in moisture, flavour and nutrients in a similar way to how steaming does. Using tin foil or greaseproof paper parcels to wrap up your fish or meat with your seasoning traps in all that flavours and keeps the ingredients moist during cooking.
Using lemon juice with things such as salmon or chicken is also a perfect and healthier swap for oil and if you do wish to use a little oil, opt for a low-calorie cooking spray!
So, will you be swapping your cooking methods for some of these? Let us know how you cook your go-to meals to make them as healthy as possible!