How to cook for a Healthy Heart, Veg Homemade
Tasty, nutritious ‘cooked-at-home’ meals can be a nice reward at the end of an active day instead of opting for quick take away meals. By getting organized, filling the shopping cart with wholesome foods, and then cooking wholesome low-fat meals in quantity, you'll be making a sound investment in your health and fueling your active lifestyle. The way you cook is just as important as what you choose to eat. The fact is, some cooking methods are better than others for cutting cholesterol, fat and calories while enhancing the nutritional value of your diet. As a rule of thumb, avoid all cooking methods that allow food to cook only in fat. Instead, try some of the following healthy cooking techniques discussed below…
Top 5 Cooking Methods for a Healthy Heart
1. Steaming : Steaming is a fat free method of cooking food, which keeps the natural flavour, colour and texture intact. It involves cooking food in a steamer basket over boiling water. The moist environment prevents the food from drying and hence no oil is required for cooking. Vegetables steamed only for a few minutes (until they are tender but still crisp) will retain more nutrients than those boiled in water for a longer time. Since the food does not come in contact with the water, more vitamins are retained. Try adding herbs to the steaming water to add more flavour to the food.
You can try these recipes : Cabbage Jowar Muthias, Palak Chola Dal Idli, Sprouts Dhokla
2. Pressure Cooking: This is one of the most effective ways of cooking. Food can be pressure cooked without the necessity of adding fat. Also, pressure-cooking decreases the cooking time by half, thereby reducing the loss of nutrients. Pressure-cooking traps the steam inside the utensil because of the tight lid and as the pressure builds up, the temperature rises and forces the steam into the food. Season the pressure-cooked food with a good combination of spices, to compensate for the flavours usually lent by fat. The dals given in this book are an excellent example of this.
You can try these recipes : Hyderabadi Baingan Subzi, Bean and Tomato Soup, Whole Wheat and Vegetable Khichdi
3. Boiling: Boiling entails cooking the food in hot water over a high flame. Boiling in most households is used as an alternative method to pressure-cooking, especially for vegetables. As this method does not make use of oil, it is a healthy option, but it leads to a loss of water-soluble vitamins like vitamins B and vitamins C. So if you happen to choose this method of cooking, the best way to preserve these nutrients is to cook them in a large volume of ready boiling water. This will help to speedup the process of cooking, leaving less time for vegetables to leach out valuable vitamins. The remaining water can be used to make soups, stocks or gravies.
You can try these recipes : Low Calorie Spinach Soup, Quick Green Pea Snack, Sprouted and Boiled Moong
4. Stir-Frying: Done in a Chinese wok, this method relies on the same principle as sautéing. However, if you do not have a wok, do not panic. Use a broad and flat bottom non-stick pan for stir-frying. It is a technique of browning foods quickly over high heat in a very small amount of hot fat. High temperatures and constant movement of the food keeps it from sticking and burning.
You can try these recipes : Broccoli, Mushrooms and Bean Sprouts Stir Fry, Sprouts Stir- Fry, Spicy Stir-fry Soup
When stir-frying, it is important that:-
• The pan is very hot so that the food browns well without absorbing the fat.
• The pan is shallow and large enough to hold the food without crowding, so that the food browns quickly.
• The food to be cooked is completely dry, to prevent it from stewing.
5. Baking: Baking involves the cooking of food by dry heat in an oven. Baking converts the water content of the food into steam, which combines with the dry heat of the oven to cook the food. A word of caution here! Mind you, baking for healthy heart does not include calorie and fat laden cakes, pastries, pies and other sweetmeats. Baking can be made healthy by avoiding the use of fatty ingredients like oil, butter, ghee, nuts, sugar etc.
You can try these recipes : Palak Methi Puris, Flax Seed Shakarpara, Baked Ribbon Sev
Enjoy our collection of Healthy Heart Recipes below.
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