If words like “Healthy Eating” or “Healthy Cooking” terrify and daunt you, don’t be scared!
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up all your favorite foods or go on a diet.
There are many ways to make your meals healthier and most of them are quite simple and inexpensive too!
So stick till the end of this post to discover some tricks that you can use in order to easily adapt your favorite recipes and provide a healthier alternative. Try them and you’ll be surprised how your cooking will actually turn out to be much tastier!
1. Steam your vegetables instead of boiling them
This way you’ll be able to minimize the loss of valuable nutrients. Furthermore, steaming your vegetables will make them crispier and better tasting.
Tools: You can use a Vegetable Steamer Basket that fits into your cooking pots.
2. Reduce the use of oil while cooking or preparing your meals
One way to achieve this is by using nonstick kitchen cookware sets that are safe and durable for all kinds of everyday cooking activities and easier to clean! This way you will need little oil or butter to cook.
Another way to limit the use of fat is by spraying or applying a small amount of oil while cooking or preparing meals (e.g. grilling, making an omelet or a salad). This reduces the amount of oil that your food absorbs during cooking.
Tools: Use an Oil Sprayer that you can fill with the fresh oil of your choice (e.g. olive oil)
3. Spiralize your vegetables and fruits
Spiralizing veggies like zucchini, carrots, cabbage, raw beetroot, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cucumber and apples will make you eat more vegetables – without even noticing it! It’s so easy and fun and your kids will love it.
Recipes: There are tons of tasty recipes that you can prepare with spiralized veggies and fruits. You can find them online (check out our “Ultimate Guide to Cooking Zoodles”) or buy a specialized cookbook.
4. Use fresh herbs for salad dressings, sauces and more
Fresh herbs like parsley, mint, oregano, cilantro, rosemary, sage and mint can add flavor and color to your meals and help you reduce the use of salt and oil. Use them in soups, breads, mustards, salad dressings, vinegars, desserts, drinks and more.
Tip: As soon as fresh herbs start to wilt, chop them up and put them in ice cube trays with extra-virgin olive oil. Once frozen, pop out the cubes and store them in resealable plastic bags. This way you can use them anytime to add flavor to your meals.
5. Choose to bake instead of frying
Many fried foods, like french fries, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, donuts are equally delicious and crispy if you prepare them in the oven. This way you reduce the amount of fat in your diet.
Tools: All you need to bake is a baking pan and parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
6. Choose reduced or low fat foods
When shopping try to choose real foods such as nuts, seeds, fish, soy, olives and avocado, that contain essential long-chain fatty acids, since these fats are accompanied by other good nutrients, and try to limit processed foods in order to minimize hidden fats.
For example, choose lean meats, skinless chicken breasts and fish. Buy reduced or low-fat version of dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, as well as salad dressings and gravies. Limit fast foods such as chips, crisps, processed meats, pastries and pies, which all contain large amounts of fat.
7. Reduce the amount of salt in your meals
Too much salt in your diet is unhealthy and could contribute to a range of health problems including high blood pressure. So remember, always taste your food before you add in salt. In order to enhance the flavor of your meals consider adding alternatively a splash of olive oil, vinegar, some herbs or lemon juice.
Avoid or limit foods that contain larger amount of salt, such as canned and pickled vegetables, processed meats such as salami, ham, corned beef, bacon and smoked salmon, breakfast cereals, processed foods, such as flavored instant pasta, noodles, canned or dehydrated soup mixes, chips and salted nuts, soy sauce, tomato sauce and processed sauces and condiments etc.
8. Plan and prepare your meals in advance
Planning and preparation are the keys to healthy eating, especially if you are a busy person and/or you don’t want to spend much time cooking your meals. This way you won’t fall for unhealthy choices just around the corner (e.g. prepackaged food or take-outs). While cooking, you can prepare larger portions of your food with different variations (i.e. flavor your chicken breasts three different ways – with bbq sauce or honey & mustard or spicy tomato sauce) and store them in your fridge. This way you have different meals without having to cook every day!
You can also chop or spiralize raw vegetables in advance and keep them fresh in your fridge. Prepackage and freeze your daily smoothie portions and preassemble your salads in mason jars so that you have them handy during the day.
9. Use healthy alternatives in your cooking
You might think that foods get their taste from ingredients such as butter, heavy creams and cheese and that without them your food will just be boring. Well, the truth is that you can make a much healthier version of your beloved meals without giving up on taste! For example you can use unsweetened almond milk and roasted garlic to make your meal rich and creamy, you can make healthy salad dressings with olive oil, avocado and herbs, you can switch sugar with honey or agave syrup in your cakes and you can use pesto, salsas, chutneys and vinegars in place of sour creams, butter and creamy sauces.
Recipes: There are so many healthy alternatives that you can use in your cooking and so many yummy recipes to prepare.
At Altercooking you will find the Best Selections of Healthy Video Recipes and you will discover that eating healthy is so easy and fun!