Some people are naturally great cooks; they know exactly which foods taste better together, how long certain products should be cooked for, and how to maximize the nutritional value of every meal. However, not every one of us can boast the ability to be an intuitive genius at cooking – sometimes you just need a little guidance in order to make your food taste great. Today you’ll learn 7 easy tips for making your cooking as healthy as possible.
1. Learn everything about oils
There is such a wide variety of oils you can cook with on a daily basis that sometimes making the choice becomes really hard. Besides, we often hear about the harmful effect certain oils and fats have on our bodies. The key to using oils in cooking is to know which oils to use at what time. Generally it is advised to use animal fat for cooking and frying, and vegetable oils for salads and dressings. Additionally, you can make coconut oil one of your basic cooking oils – it’s delicious, nutritional, and reacts well to heating.
2. Don’t be blind to what you eat
If you don’t have a lot of cooking experience, or if you’re used to someone doing most of the cooking for you, you probably don’t know a lot about different types of foods; not only how to cook them, but also how to choose them and estimate their nutritional value. For example, if you’re shopping for fish, give the fish that caught your attention a thorough inspection; check out how it smells, how clean it looks, and how firm it is to touch – otherwise you’ll just end up with a low quality product that will do no good to your body.
3. Soak your foods
Not every food product, especially if it’s a fresh grown organic one, is instantly ready to be cooked. Sometimes it takes a little prep work to make your foods taste more amazing, and there are times when cooking actually starts the day before you plan to serve the food. We’re talking about soaking foods that are too hard to eat at once. Soak beans, potatoes, and other hard vegetables, and you’ll instantly notice a difference in taste and texture. This can also be done with meat – mix your favourite spices, some lemon juice, and vegetable oil, and let the meat sit in the marinade before cooking.
4. Mind the temperature
In order for the cooking process to be super efficient and for the foods to keep their nutrients, the cooking temperature should be high enough. This is especially true for meat and poultry, because if you attempt to cook meats at a low temperature, it will either stick to the pan, or will start to boil instead of frying, which in no way is healthy. If you’re planning to fry, grill, or deep fry a dish, make sure the temperature is just right for you to obtain the perfect result from your cooking. At the same time be careful to not overdo the meat, because burned meat tastes as bad as undercooked one.
5. Avoid wasting food
Throwing out food is not only impractical, but also disrespectful to the people who produced it. This is why you should minimize your food waste. As long as the product is edible, it should be used in cooking one way or another. Take a simple potato as an example. Usually we peel the potato and throw the peel away. However, potatoes taste even better cooked with their peel on – for example, if you bake or boil them. Plus, you can clean the potato thoroughly, peel it, and use the peel as a snack or a crunchy addition to a salad.
6. Don’t overdo it with spices
As a rule, spices and seasonings can either make or break your dish. Bland, underseasoned dishes don’t taste good at all, but too many spices can overwhelm your sense and overpower the product that should normally be the centre of the dish. Be especially careful with salt, because oversalted food will be nearly impossible to finish, and there is no way to undo it once you put too much salt into a dish.
7. Use fresh produce
It’s no secret that freshly produced foods taste much better than canned or precooked once, but since it’s so convenient we often stick to ready-made foods that are not as good for us as fresh ones. For instance, if a recipe calls for tomatoes, use fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones and the difference in flavour will be instantly noticeable. The same goes for nearly every vegetable and fruit available today.