Changing to a healthy diet doesn’t have to mean missing out on your favourite meals. There are many simple changes you can make when cooking healthy recipes in Australia that can increase or retain the nutritional value of your ingredients without compressing their taste. Whether it is using organic cooking oil, steaming vegetables instead of boiling them or reducing the amount of fat and sugar you are using, here are some of the best tips to ensure you are cooking healthy and delicious food:
Lowering the fat content
If you want to cut down on how much oil you are using, you can switch to cooking recipes that use liquids instead of oil such as vinegar, lemon juice, stock, water and wine. For recipes that require butter, sour cream or creamy sauces, switch to vinegar, salsas, chutneys and pesto when possible. Another way to replace cream when making soups or sauces is to replace it with soy milk, low-fat yoghurt, cornstarch or low-fat milk.
Reduce your intake of salt
Salt is used in almost every recipe as a seasoning. However, consuming high amounts of salt in your diet can lead to health issues such as having high blood pressure. You can reduce the need for salt to a dish by adding a dash of vinegar or extra virgin olive oil to cooked vegetables to enhance the flavour without needing salt. Use salt-reduced butter and iodised salt whenever possible. Also, reduce the amount of cheese you use because most cheeses can be high in salt.
Buy from health food suppliers
An easy way to ensure you are cooking healthier recipes is to purchase your ingredients and food products from organic health food suppliers. They will offer a vast range of healthy products such as organic cooking oils, organic noodles and organic sauces that have a higher nutritional value.
Don’t lose the nutrients
When cooking ingredients such as vegetables, they contain vitamins which can be easily lost during the cooking process. A good tip is to steam vegetables whenever possible instead of boiling them, and when boiling, only use a small amount of water. Instead of peeling vegetables like potatoes, scrub them under water and cook with the skin still on. This is because many beneficial nutrients are contained in their skin. Cooking more stir-fry dishes is a great way to include more vegetables that are cooked quickly.
- Consume more legumes and fresh vegetables in your diet.
- Bake, braise, steam or boil ingredients whenever possible as an alternative to frying in oils.
- Always trim the fat from any meats you are cooking with.
- Incorporating more fish into your diet is ideal. This is because fish is low in fat, high in protein and contains omega-3 fatty acids.
- Use plenty of vegetables and side salads whenever possible.
- Consume plenty of soy beans and fresh herbs as they contain phyto-oestrogens.
Keep these tips in mind when cooking healthy recipes in Australia and ensure you are getting the most nutritional value out of your dishes.