Ways To Stop Ruining Your Healthy Meals
Making the resolution to begin cooking healthy for yourself and perhaps even your loved ones is an honorable goal.
Unfortunately, there are some common mistakes that may occur in the process that can take your otherwise healthy meal and either make it unhealthy or unappetizing.
It is not uncommon for even the best cook to earn the title of bad cook when tackling a healthy recipe. In an attempt to cook healthy, you are often met with textures, flavors, and foods in general. This can lead to some mistakes in the cooking process due to a general misunderstanding of how to cook the item.
Health to not tasty
For instance, Brussel sprouts have a unique texture and taste. They require a specific method and time to cook to get to the consistency that most people will enjoy. Preparing them also requires certain cuts and soaking procedures. If these are bypassed due to lack of knowledge on the food an already often disliked food is sure to get passed over at dinner time.
This can also occur when you are attempting to use a new, healthier, cooking method. Perhaps you typically pan fry or use a high saturated fat oil when sautéing. Changing cooking ingredients without proper planning can make even a professional cook look like an amateur.
Steaming vegetables is an excellent way to keep vegetables healthy, but it is also a classic example of how a healthy method can gone wrong. There isn’t a standard steaming time that applies to every vegetable. The cook must take the time to research exactly how long a food will require steaming to prevent getting a poor texture. After practicing it is easy to determine your own preference for steaming and cook times to get the consistency you desire.
A good tip to follow when steaming is to cut the vegetables into uniform pieces, set a timer to avoid overcooking, and keep on eye on the consistency as the food cooks by sticking a fork into it. Steaming time will vary depending on the food between two and twenty minutes.
Nuts are high in fat, low in carbs, and a great source of several nutrients, including vitamin E, magnesium, and selenium.
Healthy to Unhealthy
Overly seasoning and flavoring healthy dishes can make their health properties null and void rather quickly. A good rule of thumb, especially when just starting out with healthy cooking, is to not overcomplicate the process. This is commonly done by adding in more flavors than necessary. Most healthy foods are full of their own natural flavors provided by their phytochemicals, which are the compounds that give them most of their healthy qualities.
Some healthy oils, like coconut oil and olive oil, should not be exposed to high heat. There are certain nutritional properties of these oils essential to their health benefits that are denatured or destroyed when heated above their smoke points.
Peeling some vegetables can reduce their nutrient content. This doesn’t necessarily make a meal unhealthy, but does can take away a large portion of the health benefits of the food. This is especially true for fruit and vegetables.
Fruit that should be eaten with the peel include apples, apricots, peaches, and plums. Vegetables with nutrient rich peels are eggplant, cucumbers, zucchini, and potatoes. Their peelings are loaded with antioxidants that can give them their free radical fighting properties.*
Bulking up the calories and flavor in healthy recipes with non-healthy ingredients can quickly take away a recipes health qualities. Sauces and cheese are commonly added to lean cuts of meat increase the saturated fat content of potentially healthy meals.
Rather than loading them with high sodium and calorie sauces increase the flavor content with natural ingredients like spices, herbs, and flavorful vegetables.
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Health Food Misconceptions
When it comes to healthy eating, there are some common misunderstandings surrounding supposed healthy food. It can be tempting to assume that all organic food means it is healthy. However, even junk food can be made with organic ingredients, but are still full of refined carbohydrates and sugar.
Low fat does not always equal healthier. Often food manufacturers will replace the fat with sugar in an attempt to improve flavor. This is most often noticeable with yogurt, fat is removed and replaced with sugar being disguised as fruit.
You’ve made the decision to start cooking at home and eating healthier. Don’t waste your time and money by making common healthy cooking mistakes that can easily be avoided. Cooking healthy doesn’t have to be difficult, a small amount of forethought and preparation can keep you on track to reaching your health goals.