We’re often told that home cooking is the best way to ensure our meals are as healthy as possible, and this can be true, but only if you are cooking in a healthy way to begin with. It’s just as easy to eat too much salt, sugar, and fat when you’re cooking for yourself as it is when you’re ordering out if you aren’t careful, and most of us are guilty of it from time to time.
The good news is, I’ve put together some healthy cooking hacks that will make it easier for you to cook food that is as good for you as it is tasty…
Use an air fryer
The air fryer si undoubtedly one of the best kitchen gadgets to have been released in recent years. It allows you to create the same tasty fried dishes that you have always loved while using a fraction of the oil, which means it’s easier than ever to cut down on your fat intake, as this excellent air fryer meatloaf recipe can attest. Things you can cook in the air fryer include fries, wings, fish, cookies, and even lava cakes, and while they aren’t all totally healthy to start with, cooking them in the air fryer will make them at least a little 9and often a lot) healthier for you to consume.
Make open-faced sandwiches
This one might seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people simply don’t think of it! If you’re looking to lower your calorie and/or carb intake, but you love your sandwiches, a good way to do just that is by removing one slice of bread and eating an open-faced sandwich instead. This means you get a little of the bread taste you love while making the filling the main part of the meal, and cutting a few calories all in one fell swoop.
Reheat your pasta
This one may sound strange, but it has been shown that if you cook carbs like pasta and white potatoes, leave them to cool and then reheat them again before eating, you can significantly lower their glycemic index which means they won’t spike your blood sugar as severely and you will hopefully feel fuller for longer. If you have the time to do this, it really is worth making the effort.
Leave potatoes chunky
If you cut your potatoes into larger chunks before boiling them, you will seal in more nutrients because, as you might already know, many of the vitamins contained in potatoes are water-soluble, which means they will leach out when cooking, If there is less surface area in contact with the water, then, fewer nutrients will leech out and more of them will make it into your body where they can do you some good.
Grate your cheese
If you’re adding cheese to sandwiches or other dishes, be sure to grate it instead of slicing. Why? Because when you grate cheese, a little goes a long way, which means you end up eating less of it overall. While still benefitting from the same great taste.
Bulk out with lentils
When you’re making things like spaghetti bolognese and meatloaf, a good way to lower the calories and increase the number of nutrients in the dish, while also saving money, is to bulk out some of the meat with lentils. Most people won’t notice the difference because lentils have a very bland taste, but they may notice a difference in their waistline if you do this regularly.
Bulk out mash with cauliflower
In a similar vein, if you’re a family who enjoys your mashed potatoes, but you’re watching your waistline, or you simply want the kids to eat more veggies, cooking up some cauliflower ad replacing some of your potatoes with it is a great way to do that. Most people, again, won’t notice, so it won’t change the flavor of your dish, but it will add some extra nutrition into the mix.
Make your own stocks and sauces
It may be easier to get your stocks and sauces out of a jar, but pre-made stocks, and especially sauces tend to have a lot more sugar and salt than is ideal for the average person, and actually, stocks and sauces are really easy to make once you know what you are doing, and you can make them in big batches and freeze until needed, so why not give it a go?
I hope these hacks will help you to make your home cooking even healthier for you and your whole family!
This is a contributed post