All cooking destroys nutrients to some extent, but some methods are better than others in both this respect and in minimizing other unhealthy factors, such as fat and salt content.
- Non stick pans are healthy investment, since they reduce the need for added fat during cooking.
- A light spray of vegetable oil should be enough to avoid food sticking to the pan.
- Saute vegetables and meat in wine, water or stock instead of using butter.
- Remove fat from soups, stews, sauces, and gravies by chilling after cooking and skimming fat off the surface.
- Substitute healthy oils such as olive and rapeseed for butter or dripping.
Methods for cooking:
Braising cooks food in a small amount of liquid in an open or covered pan, either on top of the cooker or in the oven. There is no need for any fat to be added, since the cooking liquid keeps the food moist. The juices from the food add flavour to the cooking liquid, which may be reduced by rapid boiling to provide an intensely flavourful, nutrient-rich sauce of thickened consistency.
Ideal for thin cuts of poultry, meat and fish,grilling cooks food quickly. If the food is cook on a rack fat can drip into the pan beneath and be discarded. If the food is very lean, it may be necessary to brush it first with a little oil to prevent it from sticking to the rack and drying out during cooking.
In this low-fat method, fruit, fish, eggs, and meat are gently simmered in water, stock, tomato or fruit juices, or wine until tender. Food can be poached in a saucepan, or it can be cooked in a baking dish in the oven.
For healthy roasting of large joints of meat or whole poultry, place the food on a rack in a roasting tin. The rack allows the fat to drain into the tin and be discarded. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that meat and poultry are thoroughly cooked.
This involves cooking food quickly in a sauté or frying pan over direct heat. Use a good quality non-stick pan to minimize the need for added oil. If necessary, use just a light spray of oil to prevent the food from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Sautéing is a healthy alternative to shallow frying, which uses more fat.
Ideal for cooking fish, poultry, and vegetables, this quick cooking method retains nutrients and does not require any added fat. Place a steamer basket or rack with the food to be cooked over a pan of boiling water, cover and cook over a low heat. Some steamers incorporate several separate baskets so that a variety of foods can be steamed at the same time.
Source: Nutrition for life