Sunday, October 18, 2009

Healthy Food Preparation

· Instead of frying foods, try the four B's: Baking, Broiling, Barbequing, and Braising.

· Cut the fat out of creamy vegetable dips. Substitute non-fat plain yogurt for sour cream.

· Instead of using mayonnaise in dips or spreads, combine yogurt with low-fat cottage cheese and add flavorings.

· Instead of cream soups, use vegetables or potato to thicken soups.

· Choose leaner meats: beef round, sirloin, tenderloin, and flank steak. Trim off any visible fat.

· If you order short ribs or lamb shank at a restaurant, eat 1/3 and take the rest home. The next day, cut out the humungous amount of fat before reheating.

· To lower the fat content of your salad dressing, add water, vinegar, lemon juice, fruit juice or stock to your oil. This will increase flavor without extra fat.

· If you can’t find fresh fruit and vegetables, buy frozen and canned. Frozen qnd canned vegetables can have more vitamins than fresh because they are picked when ripe and packaged soon after. Buy when on sale.

· Whoever said you have to peel carrots? Just scrub them well. This saves time and adds a little more fiber.

· Add a little lemon juice to your fruit salad to prevent apples, bananas and other fruits from turning brown.

· Steaming and microwaving vegetables keeps in more nutrients than boiling.

· Freeze bananas that are turning brown to use in a smoothie for a summer dessert.

· In the hospital, people complain about pureed and liquid foods. Now it’s fashionable to eat your meals (smoothies) through a straw.

· Keeping the skin on chicken while cooking adds more flavor and prevents chicken from becoming dry. Fat from the skin isn’t absorbed during cooking, but make sure you remove it before eating.

· When baking chicken, ensure a tender and juicy result by pre-searing it in a hot pan for about one minute (skin-side down). This will allow some of the meats fat to escape but will lock in its natural juices.

· Match chicken with complimentary seasonal herbs. In summer try using lavender and basil; thyme and sage in fall; rosemary and marjoram for winter; and tarragon and mint for springtime.

· When grilling or frying meat patties, cook through to kill bacteria, but do not burn or overcook. Burning produces cancer-forming heterocyclic amines.

· Cook hot dogs until steaming hot to prevent risk of a foodborne illness from Listeria bacteria. The elderly, pregnant women, newborns and people with compromised immune systems are especially at risk for foodborne illnesses.

· Vegetables don’t always have to be raw. Cooked, pureed carrots have higher levels of beta-carotene and phenolic acids (antioxidants) than raw carrots.

· Add a little fat to your vegetables with dressing or stir-frying. The carotenoids (antioxidants) found in vegetables need some fat for better absorption.