Simple Guide : The healthiest ways to cook your food.

Grilling, roasting, steaming, frying. What’s the best way to cook your food? And more importantly, why? The answers might not be what you expect…


Grilling The Healthy Choice

Best for: Meat, Sturdy Vegetables

Grilling and frying are both great ways of maximising the nutrients you get from a meal, because you tend to eat everything in the pan, so nothing is lost

Grilling has its advantages when you want to lose weight because it allows excess fat to drain away from the food. Because fat contains more calories than any other nutrient, it makes the overall meal a bit lighter on calories.

Three healthy recipes


Roasting The Healthy Choice

Best for: Fatty Meats, Sturdy Vegetables

Roasting is an interesting way to cook, as it combines some of the crisping of frying without the fat. Or, if you want to lock in the juices you can pot-roast or foil-wrap to make stews and cook fish.

Great things about roasting:

  • You can control the amount of oil you use to keep calories down.
  • You can still get a crisp finish by turning the heat up.
  • You don’t waste any of the precious nutrients or flavour.

Three healthy recipes


Boiling

Best for: Soups and Stews

Have you ever noticed how the water turns green after boiling broccoli, or slightly yellow after carrots? Those are all the precious nutrients, and you are about to pour them away.Once upon a time the advice was to drink the ‘cabbage’ water, but we have a few better suggestions:

  • Use a different method – we recommend steaming, grilling or roasting.
  • Use less water when you cook – you only need enough water in the pan to create steam and stop the veggies from sticking, 1/2 inch is plenty. Keep an eye on it, and if the pan dries up, add a drop more. By the time it is cooked, you will not have wasted any nutrients. Do this for any veg other than potatoes.
  • Reduce the cooking time – by the time your veg is completely soft you have probably lost most of the nutrients and fibre in them.

Three healthy recipes


Steaming The Healthy Choice

Best for: Delicate foods, like fish and leafy vegetables

Boiling vegetables is fine to cook them, it serves its purpose, but the problem is, that when you boil vegetables you lose a lot of their nutrients into the water. Steaming is a much gentler process, allowing the nutrients to remain in place, without taking any longer to cook. If you’ve been put off steaming for some reason, here’s our three top tips to overcome your fears:

I don’t have a steamer – No problem, use a sieve or colander that fits on a pan, with a pan lid on top of the colander to trap the steam. Simples.
I like soft vegetables – This one is easy. Steam them a little longer. It’s the same as boiling.
I’m not sure on the flavour – How about adding a little seasoning, or gravy? You may find that steaming retains a lot more flavour than boiling too.
It takes too long – Actually that’s wrong. For a lot of common vegetables (Carrots, shredded cabbage) steaming is actually faster than boiling.

Three healthy recipes


Frying

Best for: Sturdy Vegetables, Lean Meats

We have nothing against frying, but choose your oil carefully. If you are deep frying, drain off the excess oil before serving and change your oil every 3 uses (or less if you can afford it). Fast food joints will often reuse their oil many times, which is not good for you.

A griddle pan is a great compromise, all the benefits of frying without using much oil. Perfect for meats, chicken, fish, and vegetables.

Our top tips:

  • Switch to grilling – Especially for meats, or absorbent vegetables like aubergine and mushrooms.
  • Use slightly less oil – With a non-stick pan 1 teaspoon of oil will normally do.
  • Choose a good oil – one which is high in nutrients. We suggest coconut oil, avocado oil or olive oil.
  • Watch the heat of your pan – using a very high heat can cause items to stick, requiring more oil. Try to gradually increase the heat and find the optimum temperature for your stove.

Three healthy recipes


Deep Frying

Best for: Delicate foods, like fish and baby vegetables

With a light batter and clean, good quality oil, that is throughly drained off afterwards, deep-frying is not all that bad. There are some dishes where deep fat frying is totally worth it, but on the whole we would rather roast.

Deep fried foods also often mean a high calorie count as well, because of the batter and the excess oil, some of which inevitably finds its way into your body. All oils are fat, and fat contains the most calories per gram of any nutrient, so if you are trying to reduce calories, these foods carry a big, flashing warning sticker.

Watch out for deep fried takeaway dishes too, the oil that is used is often changed very infrequently and is often of a poor quality.

Three healthy recipes

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