How to Cook and Enjoy Low fat yet Nutritious Meals at Home
Cooking low fat can be challenging sometimes. The following tips will help you cook healthy meals and improve their nutritional value without scarifying flavor or increasing the time spent in the kitchen. Prepare homemade fat free chicken and meat stocks. Let the strained stock chill in the refrigerator until all the fat solidifies on top. Then, remove the fat layer with a spoon and discard. This simple trick will leave a stock that’s perfect for low fat soups and gravies. If not using immediately, you can always place the stock into freezer containers and keep it there up to three months for later use. Use nonstick cookware. In addition to easing cleanup, nonstick cookware allows for healthier cooking by using less oils and fats. When sautéing, avoid seasonings such as butter or oil. Instead, use a small amount of wine or homemade fat free chicken stock. Whenever possible, cook fruits and vegetables with their skin on. This will help retain most of their nutrients. Consider healthy and nutritious whole fruit recipes such as pears in wine, stuffed apples or baked pumpkin as a tasteful dessert alternative.
Get a pressure cooker. Many studies suggest that vitamins and minerals are diluted and lost in the cooking process. Vitamin C, an important nutrient present in many fruits and vegetables, is especially vulnerable being both water-soluble and extremely susceptible to heat. Opting for cooking procedures that minimize cooking times and the amount of water used is essential to preserve nutrients in cooked food. And don’t forget that appearance and texture are as important as taste. Pressure cooking not only enhances meat flavor, it also tenderizes tougher meat cuts giving an incredibly smooth texture. Additionally, steaming your vegetables in a pressure cooker instead of boiling them in water will definitely give them a more appealing texture.
Prepare homemade yogurt dressing to season your salads by mixing a container of plain low fat yogurt with a teaspoon of finely chopped chives, parsley, Dijon mustard and lemon juice. Substitute iceberg for romaine lettuce. It contains more vitamins and it´s easier to digest.
Spice up you food. Getting bored of bland flavors is the most common complaint about low fat cooking. Season your food wisely by using fresh herbs and spices. They will bring out the natural flavors in traditional foods.
Use milk or pureed vegetables to thicken gravies to avoid fats like oil or butter. Blend milk, fat free stock and flour in a blender, then cook the mixture long enough to get rid of the raw taste. If you want to add any starches, opt for pureed low carb root vegetables such us eggplant, cauliflower, zucchini etc. They will thicken your gravies wonderfully without adding too much flavor. For certain sauces, further simmering until all the liquid evaporates, is enough to obtain the desired thickness and consistency.
Choose olive oil for cooking. In addition to its many health benefits, it will add flavor to your dishes.