Friday, June 22, 2012

Healthy Cooking Tecniques

Last day here on Food Week!! Today I'm going to tell you all about food preparation and the tecniques that with garantee you get as much goodness as possible of all the food you're eating. Let's start!!
As we all know, in most homes there's an increasing tendency to fry food. This only adds to the amount of fat you're eating, which doesn't do you any good. That's why I'm going to introduce you to some other cooking tecniques that reduce the amount of fat used in the cooking process:

1. Vegetables. Usually we would boil vegetables, but what most of you may not know is that this way most of the vitamins in the vegetables are lost when we throw the water away. Which is why I recommend using other tecniques, such as using less water and then using it to boil other foods such as pasta or rice, or steam. Try to keep cooking time to a minimum or use a pressure cooker (it reaches higher temperatures, but cooks a lot faster). 
If you want to add more taste to vegetables you can always sautée them with a bit of oil and some garlic salt. 
When preparing salads and raw vegetables. be very careful when you wash them. Some people also recommend adding a few drops of bleach to the washing water, to eliminate even more bacteria. 
Using vinegar or lemon juice on salads with preserve the vitamins in the vegetables. 

2. Fruit. It is usually consumed raw, which is why we should wash it properly, like with the vegetables. There still isn't a clear answer as to whether you should eat fruit with or without peel, though we know it does contain a lot of fiber. 

3. Meat. When it comes to meat, frying is not the only option. You can try grilling, with very little oil or roasting. In the oven, the inside of the meat should reach 65-70ºC. You can check it with a meat thermometer. 
Though the BBQ may be tempting, it's not a good idea to eat too much either, as this cooking tecnique produces toxic aromatic compounds, especially if the meat has a lot of fat. 

4. Eggs. These must be very well cooked before eating, because of the risk of Salmonella in them. There are a ton of different ways to cook them (without including frying): omelettes, scrambled eggs, boiled, poached, in pies...
If even after being introduced to all these cooking methods, you still must fry, there are some things to keep in mind that make it that less "bad":
- Oil: the best oil to use is olive oil, as it is rich in monoinsaturated fats, which are actually healthy for you (that's right, fat can be healthy) and it tolerates higher temperatures than other oils. NOTE: we mustn't let the oil burn, or it will produce toxic compunds. 
- Temperature: the ideal temperature for frying is 175º y 200ºC
- We must introduce the food we want to fry when the oil is hot. If it's cold, it will only absorb more oil. 
- If we cook frozen food, makes sure you separate them into small batches, so to not cool the oil too much. 
- After frying, place on a paper kitchen towel to absorb excess oil. 

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