Cooking Tips

Healthy Cooking Tips

Today’s guest post is sponsored by chef Jason Galletti. 

Eating healthy is hard! Especially when you also want to eat foods that you actually enjoy. So what should you do? You know you should eat healthy, you really want to try but the task of choosing foods that are good for you at every single meal can be daunting. Cooking healthy foods is also a huge challenge. But don’t worry, we are here to help! So get your chef hats on because with these simple cooking tips, you will be on your way to cooking and eating healthy delicious meals in no time!

healthy-eating2The first easy way to eat and cook healthier is to stay away from pre-packaged meals (opening a pre-packaged meal doesn’t count as cooking anyway!). Packaged foods are frequently loaded with salt and too much sodium can increase blood pressure, increase your chance of a stroke and also cause heart failure. Now that doesn’t sound like a good meal plan! The same holds true for restaurant food where salt, butter and sugar are loaded into the foods. The best plan, if you really want to try to eat healthier, is to cook your own food. This way, you can control what you are eating and use fresh, natural foods. So say goodbye to packaged foods and hidden additives!

The next great tip for healthy cooking is to choose the right fat. That’s right, you should eat fats but some are much better for you than others! Try to avoid using butter and other saturated fats in your recipes. Olive oil is great for cooking and is full of natural antioxidants, can help prevent heart disease and is full of mono unsaturated fats (the really good kind of fat that your body needs). So skip the butter and the next time you are cooking, pour some nice extra virgin olive oil into your pan.


The cooking method you use can also have a big impact on the nutritional value your food has. It’s no secret that deep frying foods is probably not the best way to cook when you are trying to eat healthy. However, even sautéing or pan frying can add a lot of unnecessary grease to your diet. Next time you are cooking, try baking, broiling or steaming your food. In the example of fish, a steamed fish is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids (which play a crucial role in helping brain function) while the high heat from deep frying that same fish will make these nutrients unusable in your body. Don’t ruin your healthy foods by frying them.

Adding any kind of fresh vegetable to your meal is an automatic great choice. Eating vegetables can reduce your risk of heart disease, protect your body from cancer and can help prevent diabetes. Sign me up for some vegetables! If you not a big fan of how vegetables taste, try sneaking them into your recipes. Throw some fresh spinach into your pasta sauce, puree beets into your smoothie or mix some peas into your pesto. Anyway you can incorporate vegetables into a meal is a guaranteed health win.

vegetables-copy

Fresh fruits are also health powerhouses and another ingredient that is easy to slip into recipes when you are cooking. Full of vitamins and minerals, fresh fruit will help prevent cardiovascular disease and help the body produce red blood cells. Try making muffins with bananas and applesauce for a healthy breakfast that is easy to take on the go. Blending fresh berries into your milkshake is delicious way to get fruit and dessert at the same time! If you are a big fruit lover already, there is nothing better than eating a plain apple each day (it seriously does help keep the doctor away).

Another easy switch you can make in your cooking habits is to choose unrefined grains over super processed grains. Whole grains (such as whole wheat or brown rice) have much more nutritional value compared to their more processed relatives. For example, whole grain pasta is made with the bran and germ of the wheat grain which contains more fiber, potassium and B vitamins (which are crucial to making energy for your body). In regular pasta, the bran and germ of the grain have been removed and therefore decreased the health benefits of the pasta greatly. Whole grain versions of pasta and rice are readily available and so easy to switch to in any recipe.

If you do a lot of baking or just like to eat a lot of baked goods, try to avoid high fructose corn syrup. Unfortunately, corn syrup can be found in so many pre made foods (ketchup, baked beans and peanut butter all frequently have corn syrup). Consuming high fructose corn syrup (especially when you are unaware it is in your foods) has been linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes. While limiting your intake of sugar is a good rule of thumb, try not to bake with corn syrup or add extra sugars to your recipes in general.

Now you are laden with many different ways to easily cook healthier meals at home. Simple choices can lead to big benefits especially when it comes to cooking and eating! So fire up the stove top, turn on the oven and start cooking to a more healthy version of yourself!

Easy Lemon Steamed Flounder

fishYield: 4 servings
Active Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients
4 large filets of Flounder
4 Cloves of garlic, diced
1 Lemon, sliced
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper

Directions
-Place each flounder filet on a large piece of aluminum foil
-Sprinkle one clove of diced garlic onto each fish filet
-Sprinkle each filet with salt and pepper
-Place two to three lemon slices on top of each fish filet
-Fold the aluminum foil around each filet so the fish is completely enclosed.
-Move the foil packets to a sheet tray and cook in a 350 ?F oven for 12-15 minutes
-Serve fish immediately with the juice from the packet.

Chef Jason Galletti’s passion for exceptional and unique catering experiences inspired him to bring together G`Day Chef to life in 2005. For over ten years now, Jason and his team has provided Melbourne with catering and event services that use the very best Victorian Produce, delivered with consideration of the newest and most delicious culinary trends.

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About the author

Shelley Seale

Shelley Seale is a freelance journalist and author in Austin who has written for National Geographic, USA Today, EAT Magazine, TravelFinder, The Guardian and Texas Monthly, among others. She loves food, travel, yoga, indie movies, wine, and books, though not necessarily in that order. Shelley has performed a catch on the flying trapeze, boarded down a live volcano and was once robbed by a monkey in Nepal. But, she doesn’t know how to whistle.

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