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Healthy bites - Cook healthier meals

Eating right starts from your kitchen
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - October 14, 2010
By: Goh Mei Yi
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Healthy bites - Cook healthier meals

How do you prepare a healthy meal? One straightforward way is to cook your dishes with less salt or oil, or use natural ingredients and spices. Besides choosing healthier food options, it is also important to prepare the food in ways that maintain their nutritional benefits. You can do it by switching to healthier cooking methods and tweaking the quantity of ingredients in your usual recipes.

Steaming: This is one of the simplest and healthiest cooking techniques. All you need to do is add a small amount of water to a big pot or wok, bring it to a boil and place your food over the steam. Steaming is known to retain the nutrients of food very well.

Stir-frying: You don't have to use too much oil to cook your food this way. As the ingredients for stir-frying are cooked for a relatively short period of time, their nutrients, texture, flavour plus colour are preserved.

Poaching: This method is ideal for cooking fish, chicken, eggs, and other foods that would become too tough if boiled. To make the food more flavourful, add herbs and spices to the poaching water or simmer in stock.

Roasting: To roast your food in a healthy way, first coat it lightly with some olive oil; then use a roasting pan rack to drain the fat.  

Reduce the usage of seasonings or salt: Cut down on the amount of salt, or soy sauce or oyster sauce called for in a recipe. Do it gradually to allow the palate to get used to the change in taste.

Use healthier cooking oil instead: While some dishes or cooking methods cannot do without oil, you could use oils that are low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat such as canola. If you have to deep-fry food, drain the excess oil and use paper towels to absorb the grease.

Have more greens:
 There is no harm in adding more vegetables than what is stated in the recipe to help you meet your daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables.

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