THE ART OF COOKING HEALTHFUL MEALS
Food authorities are becoming more aware and attentive to people’s health and diet concerns. Majority of them are reexamining their menus and modifies their cooking practices adding new and healthful items on their list. Some of them have developed new menus which cater specifically to diet conscious people.
Increased health consciousness has affected the way we think about food and the way we cook. Professional cooks are making their foods more healthful in several ways.
Cooking healthful meals should not be complicated. Here are some of the modifications;
1. Using less fat in cooking.
Cooking methods such as simmering, poaching, baking, steaming and grilling can be considered most healthful. Non stick pans are also becoming more widely used since little or no fat is needed.
2. Using unsaturated fats.
When using fats, try substituting monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil or canola oil, for saturated fats when appropriate.
3. Emphasizing flavors.
Taste is the most important factor in preparing nutritious foods. It requires knowledge on the principles of cooking and not on nutritional information alone.
4. Using the freshest and highest quality foods possible.
Preparing nutritious and delicious foods with little or no added salt and with less reliance on high fat, high sodium sauces and condiments, it is important to use high quality natural ingredients at their peak of flavor such as fresh herbs, hot seasonings like chilies, ginger and pepper and flavorful ingredients like garlic and onions.
5. Storing foods properly.
Foods in storage lose nutrients as they grow older and this process can be minimized by proper storing such as packing and refrigeration.
6. Modifying portion sizes.
Huge slabs of meat are not necessary to serve satisfying meals. Smaller portions of well trimmed meats with an assortment of fresh vegetables and carbohydrates can be more healthful.
7. Giving customers a choice.
Offer a menu with a variety of well balanced foods that clients can choose from. A good chef should be willing to modify menu items to meet the dietary requirements thus satisfying the customer.