Most people equate healthy food to boring, bland, un-fulfilling food. Cooking healthy recipes will not be daunting anymore if you develop the knack to find easy, fresh, tasty but healthy replacements to ingredients and cooking methods. You can start off with this little list of easy ways to make food healthier even while making classic recipes, especially during the festive season. This will help you whip up easy recipes that are healthy without being bland or boring.
1. Replace cream with creamy sauce in cooking healthy recipes
Don’t chuck creamy dishes off the menu yet. Instead of the butter, cheese and cream use a creamy sauce made out of low fat milk and all-purpose flour. This is a healthy, yet tasty alternative to cream in bakes, pies and other creamy dishes. You could also opt for sour cream (low-fat) in place of mayonnaise in creamy dishes that call for mayonnaise. Or whip up your own mayonnaise by following healthy cooking methods with a little olive oil, lemon and egg whites instead of using a store bought mayonnaise.
2. Use vegetable oil in place of animal fats
Try using Canola oil instead of bacon or duck fat. You could also use virgin coconut oil for cooking. It will not only supply you with required antioxidants, but also the required omega 3 fatty acids and it is significantly low in trans fats. Replace butter with olive oil. In the 80s where the research hadn’t still discovered the existence of healthy fats, refined oil became popular. Now, we have scientific studies and plenty of research proving the existence of good fats and bad fats. Use whole grain oil instead of refined oil when you use vegetable oil. It will enhance the taste and also provide the required ‘good’ fats to the system.
3. Fire up the grill instead of deep frying chicken or any meat
Chicken is an all time American favorite and is rich in protein. It even contains calcium, Vitamin B12 and a bit of iron. Why not make a plate of grilled chicken with some vegetables on the side with healthy baked sweet potato wedges? Cooking healthy chicken is not only easy but also a wonderfully tasty alternative to deep – frying it. Marinate chicken with low fat buttermilk and spices and grill for a tasty succulent dish instead of rolling it in breadcrumbs and deep – frying it. Grilled sole fish with a sweet dressing made of palm sugar and peppers along with steamed baby carrots, broccoli, and grilled shallots with a dash of lemon olive oil dressing will make an incredibly light, yet tasty supper.
4. Steaming works as well as frying
When you use the right marinade with the right protein, steaming works as well as frying and sometimes even better. Cooking healthy recipes is easier than ever since the invention of easy to use grills and steamers. If you never liked fish, steamed salmon with lemon dressing or garlic and ginger will change your life and make you an expert on healthy cooking methods that yield tasty food. There are several steamed salmon recipes available on the Internet. Choose one with ingredients you love and it will change your perspective of fish forever.
5. Look for fresh produce of varied colors
Borrow a bit of Japanese wisdom when you load your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables. The Japanese theorize that each day, a person must eat food of five different colors to stimulate the five different senses. Modern research states that food of different colors is rich in different antioxidants that not only metabolize calories fast but also increase the energy levels. So, while diligently following the healthy cooking tips and healthy cooking methods, it is also important to consume sufficient fresh fruits and vegetables, as they are the best sources of vitamins, and the only source of dietary fiber apart from whole grains.
6. Use the oven for crispy yet tasty chicken wings
You will find a lot of ways for cooking healthy chicken. But, fried chicken is after all, fried chicken. Yes? If you really have to fry the chicken for the texture to suite your palette, bake it to perfection and finish it off in a shallow pan. You can dip the chicken wings in egg whites or spiced buttermilk and then roll them in breadcrumbs. Bake them in a preheated oven and then finish off in a shallow pan using vegetable oil. This is a great alternative to deep – frying the chicken or in some cases double frying it to make the skin crisp. Adding herbs and aromatic spices to the marinade will step up the flavor making it tastier than the popular fried chicken.
7. Use herbs instead of standard salt and pepper
Healthy cooking tips for daily meals include using fresh vegetables and salads. But salads come with fatty dressings in the form of mayonnaise, emulsified fats and plenty of salt. Food such as broccoli, spinach and grilled eggplant sound boring and with less salt incite a rebellion at the dinner table; but you can improve the flavor of vegetables and salads using herbs instead of fatty dressings. This will cut the fat used by almost 100%. Instead of an emulsified fat in the dressing, use herbs such as rosemary, basil, and mint, lemon and olive oil. This will not only cut fats but also the amount of salt used to enhance the taste of the vegetables and greens.
Use the healthy cooking tips while making any dish, not just the chicken. The tips suggested for cooking healthy chicken maybe used for other forms of protein, not just poultry. Cooking healthy recipes is highly underrated due to the prejudice attached to healthy food that it is not tasty. By now, however, you know healthy food need not be tasteless and boring. These easy ways to make food healthier can be easily applied to make tasty scrumptious dishes, even when you throw a party, given that Christmas is round the corner!