Hi everyone, compliments of the new year, I hope that 2019 is treating you well so far and I that it will be a fantastic year for you. After all the festive eating it is time to get back on track with your healthy eating. If you are looking to lose an extra kilo here and there, why not let your cooking do that for you? When I started my weight loss journey I was told by friends, family even by some media channels that you need to exercise to lose weight, which is not entirely wrong. However, majority of your weight loses will take place in your kitchen. The foods that you cook and eat ultimately determine whether you will lose or gain weight. BUT! how you prepare your food, in other words the cooking method use is the key to a slimmer you.
The cooking methods:
A quick and simple method that retains the colour and nutrients in food. Blanching requires a large quantity of boiling water to a small amount of food. You will place the food in boiling water, wait for the water to return to a boil, allow the food to boil for a short period of time with the pot uncovered. The time will depend on the type of food you are blanching. After boiling for a short period of time, plunge the food into an ice bath (cold water with ice) to stop the cooking process. This method of blanching is mostly used for cooking vegetables. Blanched vegetables are great to use in a salad or add into a stew just before serving.
A gentle cooking method that prevents food from drying out. This method is great for cooking delicate foods such as eggs, fish and fruits. Foods may be poached in water, milk or stock. Timing and temperature are important when poaching foods. The timing will depend on the type of food you are poaching. A general estimate in temperature when poaching with water should be between 65-85°C, the water should be at a gentle simmer.
Is a easy method that allows food to absorb water and cook evenly. Boiling requires a large quantity of water to a large quantity of food, meaning the more food you want to boil the more water that will be required. The best food for boiling are potatoes, carrots, beetroot and animal bones. To boil food you will place food in cold water, cover the pot and bring to a boil until the food is nice and tender, drain off any excess liquid before serving.
Steaming is amazing for cooking filleted fish or fresh vegetables, it allows the food to cook in its own juices therefore retaining all the nutritional goodness. Plus no oil is needed to prevent the food from drying out, steaming natural retains the moisture of the food. When steaming, food is not immersed in any liquid, so no draining is required meaning no nutrients from the food is lost.
Sauteing is cooking meats, fish and vegetables at a medium to high heat. This cooking method is generally done with oil, butter or some sort of fat. Swapping fats for water or stock will cut out the unnecessary calories. So, as you are cooking your food at a medium high heat, you will add a few tablespoons of water or stock to prevent the food from catching at the bottom of pan or pot. Once your food is cooked to your liking, allow the water or stock to completely evaporate, before serving the food. This method of omitting the oil can also be used to saute onion, garlic and ginger. Please do not think that I am implying that you should cut out fats from your diet, alternatively you can use other good sources of fats, when you are preparing or serving your meal. Fats such as avocado, tahini, seeds and nuts.
Broiling is cooking small, tender foods at a high heat (220-250 °C) for a short period of time. Remember to trim excess fats from meat before cooking. This method of cooking might not work so well for vegetables, as it could dry the vegetables out.
Baking doesn't only have to be used for desserts and pastries. You can also bake pasta dishes, potatoes or even fish. Cover fish and vegetables with foil to prevent drying out and using excess oil. Temperature and time will depend on the type of food you are preparing.
8. Grilling/ Barbecuing/ Braaing
Grilling is a great way to add extra flavour to foods without sacrificing nutrition. You can even get away with adding very little to no oil on your fish, meat and vegetables. Grilling is a quick cooking method that leaves food with a deep smoky flavour, without out drying the food. Yes, this definitely means you can have a braai with friends and family and still be healthy. Just remember to braai lean cuts of meat and marinate fish and vegetables in very little to no oil.
Stir-frying is cooking small pieces of food in a hot pan or wok with a small amount of oil. This is a quick and easy cooking method, that leaves meat tender, vegetables crisp and retains the nutrients in food.
Microwaving is one of the healthiest cooking methods but unfortunately is the most frowned upon. What makes microwaving a healthy cooking method is because, a microwave cooks food in a short amount of time which retains the nutrients of the food as well as minimum to no oil will be required when cooking in the microwave. You can cook anything in the microwave, such as rice, potatoes, fish and eggs.
11. No cooking
I like to call this one the no-fuss-cooking method as there is no cooking required. Food can prepared in minutes. The biggest benefit of not cooking your food is that you retain the maximum amount nutrients in your food. With the no cooking method you can prepare meals such as smoothies, cold soups and salads.
There are so many healthy cooking methods to choose from, so please do not limit yourself to one or two, try a new cooking method every week. Happy cooking Kitchen New Gym Family.
Ps: All weight loss starts in the kitchen