Healthy Cooking Tips
Experts at Banner Health and the American Heart Association have developed a number of ways to make healthy cooking delicious and nutritious.
The key "ingredient'' is education: learning how to incorporate more healthier choices into your family's longstanding favorites. There are a number of ways to do this so that tastes are enhanced and every member of your family is happy at the dinner table.
Here are some of our suggestions:
- Use herbs instead of salt as seasoning and other healthy substitutions.
- Use spray butter or spray oil when you saute foods.
- Cook with spices or seasonings instead of salt and butter
- Use herbs and spices instead of salt.
- Reduce the amount of salt in a recipe by half, and then reduce that amount by half the next time you make it.
- When using canned vegetables, beans and shellfish drain and rinse them in water before cooking.
- Read food labels carefully and look for sodium in the ingredient list.
- Whole Milk (1 cup) = 1 cup fat-free or nonfat milk + 1 Tbsp. unsaturated oil.
- Heavy Cream (1 cup) = 1 cup evaporated fat-free milk or 1⁄2 cup low-fat yogurt and 1⁄2 cup plain low-fat cottage cheese.
- Sour Cream = Low-fat cottage cheese plus low-fat or nonfat yogurt. Fat-free sour cream is also available.
- Cream Cheese = 4 Tbsp. margarine blended with 1 cup dry low-fat cottage cheese. Add a small amount of fat-free
milk if needed.
- Butter (1 Tbsp.) = 1 Tbsp. polyunsaturated margarine or 3⁄4 Tbsp. polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oil. Use 11⁄4 Tbsp. margarine for 1 Tbsp. oil.
- Shortening (1 cup) = 2 sticks polyunsaturated margarine (choose margarine low in trans fat or trans fat free).
- Eggs (1 egg) = 1 egg white plus 2 tsp. of unsaturated oil, or use a cholesterol-free egg substitute.
- Unsweetened Baking Chocolate (1 oz) = 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder or carob powder + 1 Tbsp. polyunsaturated
oil or margarine. Carob is sweeter than cocoa, so reduce sugar in recipe by 1⁄4.
Using Vegetable Oils: Use liquid vegetable oils that have no more than 2 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon when cooking requires using fat. For example:
- To brown lean meats and to pan- or ovenfry
fish and skinless poultry
- To sauté onions and other vegetables for soup.
- In sauces and soups made with fat-free milk.
- In whipped or scalloped potatoes
- For popping corn.
- In casseroles made with dried peas or beans.
- When cooking dehydrated potatoes and other prepared foods.
- Bake, grill, roast or steam foods instead of frying them.
- Food seared or caramelized will taste better without adding a lot of fat or calories.
- Roast vegetables in a hot oven to caramelize their natural sugars and bring out their full flavors.
- Warm desserts before serving because the heat increase their sweet flavor.
- Another simple trick to make food look better: Serve it on an attractive plate rather than paper or plastic.