8 Top Healthiest Cooking Techniques!

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When people want to start getting healthy, losing weight or eating better, one of the first things they may turn to is their daily food intake.  What types of food are they eating?  How are the prepared?  Both of these questions are important to answer in order to turn around a “not-so-hot diet.”  Filling your diet with tons of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy everyday is the first step to eating better.  But cooking all those healthy foods is also important.  Deep fried, au gratin dishes, cream based sauces, smothering foods in cheese or other rich sauces end up turning any healthy food into a calorie bomb.

bakedfish While deep-fried foods definitely taste delicious, there are a ton of other cooking methods that are healthy but still leave your food full of flavor.  A win-win:  flavor and healthy.  Can’t go wrong with that combo!  If healthy foods don’t taste great, then you’re less likely to stick to your healthy eating plan.  So I’ve come up with a list of my top 8 favorite cooking methods (that save on fat and calories).

  • Baking – This is a great technique for seafood, poultry and other lean meats.  It also works great with fruit and veggies too.  Place foods on a sheet pan or in a baking dish with desired seasonings – maybe some dried herbs and a drizzle of olive oil – and bake until golden brown.
  • Braising – A great cold season cooking technique – you brown your lean protein or veggies first and then slowly cook it covered with a small quantity of liquid – like water, wine or broth.  The remaining liquid after cooking makes a great sauce too!
  • Broiling – this makes use of the top heating element in your stove – set to super high.  This is great for getting a nice crispy golden crust on your foods.  Especially on lean protein’s that your going to oven fry!  Yum!
  • Grilling – even though the typical grilling season is over, you can still bundle up and head out to your grill or use an indoor grill pan.  Grilling gives a nice smokey charred flavor to your foods in addition to getting those beautiful crispy grill marks!
  • Poaching – many people find poaching to be intimidating.  But it’s one of the easiest techniques out there.  Gently simmer your ingredients in a flavorful liquid (like broth, tea, some wine, etc) until they’re cooked through and tender.  Poaching will give you some of the most tender and moist proteins ever!
  • Roasting – probably one of my all time favorite cooking techniques.  Roasting gives foods a unique flavor – especially veggies – all their sweet beautiful flavors come out!  Slow roasted meats like a roast are great as well!
  • Sauteing – as long as you’re not using copious amounts of butter or oil, sautéed foods can be very healthy.  And if you have a good nonstick pan, the tiniest amount of oil is all you need.  It’s great for a quick vegetable side for dinner!
  • Stir-frying – this is a traditional Asian method of cooking – quickly cooking small pieces of food in a large nonstick frying pan.  You only need a small amount of liquid or oil for this method.  It’s great for getting browned veggies while still leaving them crisp and crunchy!

Remember, if you’re trying to incorporate healthy foods and cooking techniques, find something you love!  That way you will look forward to and truly enjoy eating healthy foods everyday.

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