Top 10 healthy cooking tips
1. Invest in a set of cookware that has a non-stick finish. It means you’ll be able to prepare foods with little or no added fat. Just make sure to pick up some cooking spray, so you can coat your cookware with it when you need to, for even less sticking potential.
2. Always try to prepare meat, poultry and fish using low-fat cooking methods, like steaming, grilling and stir-frying. And remember that both fresh and frozen vegetables taste great either steamed or cooked in a microwave.
3. Instead of using store-bought marinades (which can add kilojoules and extra sodium) marinate meat, poultry, and fish using a mix of fresh or dried herbs and spices, plus lemon juice, crushed ginger or garlic.
4. Fresh or dried herbs are excellent substitutes for butter and oil. Try adding dill to steamed carrots, saffron to brown rice, coriander to baked fish and ginger to stir-fried chicken for an extra layer of flavour.
5. Always remove the skin from chicken before you cook it. And get familiar with the cuts of meat that are leaner than others – look for ‘heart-smart’ tags, and go for cuts that have visibly less fat.
6. Skim and discard fat from hot soups, stews, and casseroles. Or if you’re chilling the soup, stew, or casserole, skim off the solid fat that forms at the top, before you reheat it.
7. For most recipes, you can trim the amount of fat included on the ingredients list without affecting taste or quality. For example, substituting skim milk for whole milk in mashed potatoes won’t make a difference. And, you'll be surprised how delicious soups can be without cream, or how good your vegetable lasagne tastes made with reduced-fat cheese.
8. When making desserts, try to cut back on some of the added sugar that recipes call for, by using plenty of fruits, and making the most of spices like vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. They work to enhance the sweet flavour, without the need for too much sugar.
9. Replace meat with pulses like cannellini beans, red kidney beans or chickpeas, or do a half-meat, half-pulses mix.
10. Instead of thickening with cream, use evaporated skim milk or corn flour to thicken up sauces.