There are many different ways to cook food and I think it’s good to know them so we can bring variety into our cooking.
Steaming is one of the best and healthiest ways to cook. It helps to keep nutrients in the food and it’s a way to save on calories and fats. Steam in a bamboo basket or in a stainless steamer over boiling water.
Blanching is a great way to cook vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, since it’s a process that keep nutrients in vegetables and make them easier to digest. You only blanch them for a few seconds, up to a minute, and you stop the cooking process by putting your vegetables in very cold water.
Sautéing is a quick and easy way to cook vegetables, tofu, and meat, by adding a little fat, such as olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, or organic ghee in the pan.
You don’t want to see any smoke when you sauté so make sure the heat is not too high so the oil doesn’t reach the smoking point. You can add a little bit of stock, broth, or water to help prevent a high temperature.
Roasting is a dry heat method that is popular to cook meat and some types of vegetables. It’s similar to baking but requires a higher temperature. You can roast in the oven with a roasting pan, on a rack, or with a rotisserie. You normally marinate vegetables or meat prior to roasting.
Grilling is a popular cooking method that is known to be healthy but it may not always be the case since grilling may produce some types of carcinogens, especially if fatty cut of meats are heated at a high temperature.
To reduce carcinogens, use medium heat, choose fish or lean cuts of meat instead of fatty ones, cut visible traces of fat, marinate your meat or vegetables with herbs and spices that are high in antioxidants such as rosemary, thyme, turmeric, and garlic, and avoid direct flames. You can also pre-cook your meat or vegetables prior to placing them on the grill to reduce the cooking time. If you grill at home, don’t forget to always clean your grill when you are done.
Baking is a very common and popular method to cook and can be used for almost anything. It involves dry heat in the oven. You normally don’t need to add any fats during cooking.
Boiling is normally used to cook vegetables but avoid boiling them for too long since the more you boil them, the more nutrients they lose. You want your vegetables to still be a bit crunchy.
Poaching is a healthy way to cook eggs and fish since you avoid fats. Gently put your food into boiling water or a liquid such as broth, and cook them until they are cooked.
Avoid deep-frying as much as possible since they contain trans fatty acids, which are the worst type of fats. If you eat fried food, try to fry at home instead of eating in fast food restaurant, and fry with an oil that tolerates extreme heat such as peanut oil.
I don’t like microwaving since it alters the composition of the molecules in the food, which make it critical to health. It can be used occasionally but not as a main method of cooking. Microwaving is popular because you don’t need to add any fats but there are better alternatives that will give the same advantage. Also, microwaving doesn’t heat the food equally, which can cause burning.
Stewing is a great and healthy way to cook, especially during the cold months of the year. Stewing is a long and slow cooking method that requires liquids such as water, broth, or stock. You can make delicious and nourishing meals with almost anything you like.