Happy Father’s Day!!!
Sometimes when I ask what you have eaten recently, I am pleasantly surprised by the choice (usually of the protein) but not in the manner it was prepared.
So this week’s installment will outline seven different cooking methods and their health benefits.
The food’s vitamins and minerals, as well as its traditional flavor, are retained and readily available for your body’s consumption and use.
No extra calories are added to the food via this cooking process.
Compared to traditional cooking methods like boiling and stir-fry, steaming retains twice as many nutrients and eliminates excess oil and fat while sealing in moisture and flavor.
Did you know that you can steam poultry and seafood?
If you use your imagination and add natural herbs, spices and healthy marinates, you won’t feel as thought your food is too bland.
Like steaming, this process doesn’t require any oil and therefore adds no extra calories to the food.
However, more nutrients are destroyed or lost into the water than with other cooking methods.
But, since this form of cooking requires such a high and sustained temperature, the food is safer to eat due to then number of microorganisms that are “killed” in the process.
3. Blanching: (Boiling w/ an additional step)
Once the food is fully cooked, it is immediately removed from the flame and immersed into an icy cold “bath”.
The food should “bathe” for the same amount of time it was boiled.
This results in the preservation of the food’s natural color and the retention of more nutrients than if just drained after boiling – where the cooking process would continue as the food cools.
A forgotten method of cooking (except by my Dad [Happy Father’s Day Pop] – who used to love to poach eggs).
However, fish even poultry and thinly sliced red meat can be poached.
The goal is to cook the food at a NEAR boiling temperature (no bubbles).
If the heat gets too high and the water boils the violent “currents” will cause the food to tear into little pieces rather than gently cooking them through.
This process also allows food to cook without the use of additional oil and thus extra calories. However, added spices to the water may accentuate the natural flavor of your food to an even higher level.
This process will still give you a crunchy feel (similar to deep frying) without as much fat.
In a 12″ skillet you’ll only need about one tablespoon of oil to cook as many breasts that can fit in the pan at one time.
So, if you only use the white meat, with ALL of the excess fat trimmed off, and cook with extra virgin olive oil (EVO) and manage to put three or four pieces in the skillet at one time, you will greatly reduce the amount of fat of the meal.
Also, EVO is, what many of you call, “the good fat” and it will help your body fight against chronic degenerative diseases, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, breast cancer, and bone loss.
This process only requires only a small amount of extra fat (EVO again), if any.
It doesn’t provide the same taste as frying.
However, because baking is done in an area which is fully sealed and no heat is passed outside until you open its cover, the stored heat helps release the food’s natural energy (fat) which triggers the baking process.
This process is probably the healthiest and most flavorful way to cook.
No extra amount of fat needs to be added and most of the food’s natural fat actually drips away during the cooking process.
Unlike many other cooking methods, grilling doesn’t sear in a lot of fats.
It is also beneficial as it can reduce summer energy costs by alleviating the extra time a household air conditioner would need to run in order to compensate for the added heat to the home other cooking methods would produce.
So kids, next time I ask you about your last meal, really impress me. Tell me the healthy choice of protein you made as well as the healthy preparation that went along with it.