Cooking and Preparing Food for a Healthier You
When it comes to healthy eating, sometimes how you cook is just as important as what you eat. There are definitely healthy, and less healthy, ways to prepare the healthy foods you buy.
When it comes to cooking vegetables, it is always best to use as little water as possible. That is because over cooking, especially when boiling, can destroy some of the important nutrients that make vegetables so important.
The best way to cook most vegetables in the microwave, preferably in a special microwave vegetable steamer. Vegetables can also be lightly cooked in a microwave safe bowl, using as little water as possible.
Vegetables can be cooked on the stove top as well, but it is important to use as little water as possible when boiling vegetables. Vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts are particularly susceptible to losing important nutrients.
Microwave ovens are also great for making other vegetables, especially baked potatoes. Baked potatoes get great in the microwave, with the skins getting nice and crispy and the flesh being very tender. Of course this means that less high fat toppings may be needed, so the microwave is a great way to make nutritious and delicious baked potatoes.
Grilling is another great way to make healthy, delicious meals. Grilling meats is a great, low fat way to prepare meats, and it is a great way to make vegetables and fruits as well. Vegetable kebobs are great on the grill, whether combined with lean cuts of meat or made into a meal of their own.
Your oven's broiler is another great way to create low fat meals. Broiling is a great way to prepare all kinds of meats and seafood, and broiling is a low fat cooking method as well. Broiling fish is a great, fast and easy way to prepare this staple of a healthy low fat diet, while broiling steaks and chops keep fat at a minimum while keeping taste at its highest.
The handy kitchen blender is another great way to create delicious snacks using healthy fruits and vegetables. Blenders are great for making fruit smoothies, and most recipes call for little more than crushed ice, fruit juice and fresh fruit.
Some great, high nutrition, low fat, low calorie meals require no preparation at all. For instance, it is possible to make a wonderful, and easy, fruit salad with just a can of mandarin oranges, an apple, some strawberries and a banana. Simply open the can of mandarin oranges, empty it into a bowl, along with the juice it is packed in. Then add banana slices, apples slices and strawberries. For extra color and taste, add some blueberries, raspberries or raisins. The total prep time for this great creation is all of five minutes.
Fruit skewers are another creative, healthy and easy meal or snack. Simply take shish kebob skewers and stack them full of melon slices, strawberries, red grapes, white grapes and chunks of pineapple. Plain nonfat yogurt makes an excellent and low fat dip.
In addition to the above ideas, making your own homemade salsa is a great way to create a low fat alternative to sour cream and other high fat dips. Salsa can be made using healthy ingredients like tomatoes, mangoes, avocados, onions, cilantro and lime juice.
In addition, perking up a plain salad is a great way to add even more fruits and vegetables to an already healthy diet. For example, use broccoli florets, carrot slices, slices of cucumber, green peppers, red peppers, and bean sprouts to add color, zest and flavor to any salad.
Cucumbers, green peppers, broccoli and carrots are also great additions to pasta salads and potato salads. Adding extra crunch and color is a great way to add zest to any meal or snack.
Even a plain green salad of lettuce and tomatoes can be enhanced through the use of colorful fruits and vegetables. Adding vegetables like carrots, bean sprouts, and spinach leaves, and fruits like mandarin oranges, apple slices, nectarine slices, grapes, apple slices, pineapples and raisins, adds both beauty and taste to any salad.
Of course salad dressing is always an important subject for those trying to follow a healthy lifestyle. High fat dressing can sabotage even the healthiest salad, but there are many excellent, low fat and healthy choices when it comes to topping a salad. Using flavored vinegars, herbs and fruit juices are novel approaches to salad dressing, in addition to the many nonfat and low fat versions of commercial salad dressing.
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