Best cooking techniques for a healthy meal
SURE, you can find many cooking techniques that cooks and chefs will declare as best. Sure, you will be content and happy with the outcome and with the food served to you using such cooking techniques proclaimed to have worked.
But as a teacher, it matters where we stand on things – we must be a consistent influencer. It is our social responsibility to not only teach our students about what’s best for this world but also keep them from bad influences at home and from their surroundings.
In the Technical Vocational Livelihood ( TVL) track of the K- 12 curriculum in high school, students may be taught about the best cooking techniques, particularly in their Cookery class, but if we don’t present to them the idea of a healthy meal or diet, them learning this later in life is as bad as a soft drink habit. Learning just the cooking techniques without considering the kind of food that is going to be served forms a tasteful bias that will linger for many years. Think of a childhood food that gives you nostalgic or comforting feeling. What we teach students in Cookery will always find a way to their heart. What makes them happy is not something that can make them always healthy. Health is (always) wealth.
There are plenty of ways to cook up juicy and flavorful food without adding tons of unnecessary extras. While most people know to ditch the fryer when cooking up healthy meals, many don’t think about how their cooking method affects the nutritional makeup of their menu. Heat can break down and destroy 15 to 20 percent of some vitamins in vegetables – especially vitamin C, folate and potassium.
Contrary to most unproven claims about microwave foods, some research suggests that it may actually be the healthiest way to cook because of its short cooking times resulting to minimal nutrient destruction. Microwaves cook food by heating it from the inside out. They emit radio waves that make the molecules in food move all round generating heat and cooking the food. While microwave cooking can sometimes cause food to dry out, keep things moist by splashing the item with a bit of water before heating, or by placing a wet paper towel over the top of your dish. Just make sure to use a microwave- safe container.
Steaming anything from fresh veggies to fish fillets allows them to cook in their own juices and retain all that natural goodness. Again, there is no need for fat- laden additions to up the moisture. The only downside? Steaming doesn’t always taste so great. So many people get steaming wrong, leading them to dislike veggies even more. It’s always good to add a little seasoning first, whether that’s a sprinkle of salt or a squeeze of lemon juice. But I think people should learn by now, and I wish students can appreciate i t early on – that whatever tastes bitter actually makes the body healthier ( e. g., vitamins or medicines, gourd, some leafy veggies).
While sautéing does require some oil in the pan, it should only be a moderate amount – just enough to get a nice sear on your meat and veggies. It’s effective for bite- size pieces of meat, grains like rice and quinoa, and thincut veggies like bell peppers, carrots, and snow peas. Some studies actually found that cooking veggies in a little bit of olive oil may increase the antioxidant capacity of the food. This may come as no surprise, as olive oil is a large part of the heart- healthy Mediterranean diet.
Lastly, the best cooking technique for a healthier meal are those that are actually not cooked. Raw food diets have gained tons of attention, and for good reason. Many studies suggest there are benefits to i ncorporating more raw foods into the diet: Eating the rainbow consistently reduces the risk of cancer, but the jury’s out on whether raw or cooked is really best overall. (