How to Cook is as Important as What to Cook!
8 Very Low Fat Methods of Cooking
Being on a diet does not necessarily mean you have to force yourself to eat raw unpalatable food. It is possible to restrict your calories without compromising on taste. A healthy food cooked in an unhealthy way can ruin your diet. So apart from knowing what is right and what is not, it is also important to know how to prepare the best of meals.
The cooking methods given below use the minimum oil and preserve nutrition in the best possible manner -
Steaming is one of the easiest and the most guilt free form of cooking because it uses practically NO fat!
It is the process of cooking food by surrounding it with steam and is the best method for retaining the original colour, nutrients, and taste of the food. Steamed vegetables are rich in fiber and nutrients and make for a perfect meal.
All you have to do is to place the veggies in a perforated vessel over boiling water or in a dish kept in steaming hot water.
A number of foods like dhokla, idli, and koftas have traditionally been steamed but you can also get innovative and use any vegetable for cooking.
Grilling is the form of cooking that most meat-eaters would be familiar with. It is the process of cooking food by direct or radiant heat, under a grill, over an open fire, or on burning coals.
Though not necessary, a little amount of fat may be brushed on the food if required. Grilling gives the food a smoky flavor.
Grilling is commonly used for tender meat, steaks, chops, fish and vegetables like, stuffed tomatoes, capsicum, cauliflower etc.
Anybody who has ever cooked anything would be familiar with boiling.
It is another excellent NON fat method of cooking food but a number of nutrients are lost in this method. All the water soluble vitamins and minerals get dissolved into the water and may be wasted if the water is thrown away.
It is a good idea to consume the water in which the food has been boiled if possible. You may boil vegetables, meat, eggs, and some fruit.
Cooking food in a hot air oven, open flame, or any heat source is called roasting. We often roast meats, potatoes, sweet potato and brinjals.
It locks the juices and the flavours inside and intensifies the taste of the food. A thin layer of fat can be put on the food using a small brush. This locks in the moisture and keeps the food crisp from outside and tender from inside.
Roasting may be used to cook tender parts of meat, chicken, vegetables, potato, tomato, cereals, etc.
Sautéing is the process of frying and tossing food, in a small amount of hot fat, in a shallow frying pan.
Sautéing utilizes less fat than other traditional methods of cooking. You may try sautéing in a non stick pan as it would further reduce the amount of fat used.
Many vegetables like cabbages, beans, carrots, capsicums, bean sprouts, onions, tomatoes, noodles and thin sections of meat are commonly cooked in this manner.
Stewing is the process of cooking food slowly in water or any other liquid. The food is simmered till it is cooked and is served without being drained.
This technique makes the food tender and is commonly used to cook meat, chicken, fruits and vegetables. Stewing is a great way to cook fruits to be eaten as dessert.
Unlike boiling, the water used for cooking is also eaten along with the food. This preserves the nutrients and ensures that the food tastes good as well.
Poaching means cooking food in a minimum quantity of water, stock or wine on very low heat. This is another ZERO fat process and just adding spices or herbs to the liquid gives flavor to the food.
Eggs, fish, chicken, fruit etc can be poached.
Braising is a combined method of roasting and stewing.
To braise means to brown meat and vegetables in a minimal amount of fat and then cover and cook in a small amount of simmering liquid.