With the hectic working hours and tiresome schedules, there is often no extra time to cook an elaborate and nutritious meal. For the working couples who spend hours in commuting,preparing dinner becomes a tedious task. Many among us are then compelled tolook for other alternatives like ordering takeaways or making an instant meal; Some, if not most of these alternatives do put your health at stake.
A reason to worry, isn’t it?
It doesn’t have to be, as here we present 10 simple cooking tricks that shall not compromise on your high standards of taste while providing fitness and health benefits.
- The nutritional value and colour of the vegetables can be preserved, if cooked quickly by steaming or stir-frying.
- For those who have health issues like high blood pressure or high cholesterol, salad dressings and low fat or fat free sauces must be included in the diet. You can also increase the content of onions, herbs, tomatoes and vinegar in your cooking recipe for better health.
- There are times when we are too tired to cook a meal that involves extensive preparation. So when you cook once, prepare enough of it and quick freeze it so as to make it lasts longer for other meals.
- Prepare a smoothie by blending your favourite fruits with fat free or low fatyoghurt. You can use banana with frozen berries, kiwis, oranges or whatever fruit or fruit juice is available. It can stay frozen for weeks. When needed, simply defrost the Smoothie on the microwave and the readymade Smoothie will come in handy.
- Avoid prepared seasonings as they may contain high concentration of salt (sodium) which can be critical for high blood pressure patients. Replace the premixed seasonings with herbs and spices or any salt free variants. Lemon or citrus juice extract with hot chillies can be added in it for extra flavour.
- Canned food has high sodium content, so pay extra attention to the Nutrition facts while using canned or processed veggies. Again, low sodium content is the key. Another way to reduce the content of sodium in preserved vegetables is to rinse it under cold water.
- Instead of using ½ cup butter, lard or oil to prepare muffins and quick breads, use three ripe, well- mashed bananas or a cup of apple juice. You cannow relish your favourite muffins and quick breads with less fat and fewer calories.
- Whole grains like oatmeal, wheat and cornmeal are very nutritious and can be substituted for the white bread and highly refined/processed products. Interestingly, whole wheat flour can be substituted as an ingredient up to half of the other flours. So if you have to prepare a meal with 2 cups of flour, substitute one cup of whole wheat flour for the other flour.
- For baking purposes,use fat free/low fat cream or yoghurt.
- To reduce the fat and calorie content, replace your regular milk with fat free or 1% milk.