While selecting healthy foods is the first step to healthy eating for proper dieting and weight maintenance, the way that you cook them is just as important as what you are cooking in the first place. For instance, there is a big difference between taking eggplant – which is considered to be quite a healthy veggie – and quickly sauteing it in a light olive oil or battering it and deep frying it. While both taste great, the difference in fats and calories is tremendous. If you want to slash calories, it’s important to know what these differences are.
Learning the right techniques for preparing foods can make all the difference in the ease with which you lose weight in a healthy way as you slash calories. Use the following tips to keep you on the right track and to make sure that you’re eating all of the foods that you love, while promoting a healthy, fit body.
• Steam and sauté – these are fantastic techniques for cooking your food in a way that is flavorful, that produces beautiful aromas and textures, and that won’t spike your calories. If you’re going the sautéed route, just be sure that you’re using a light olive oil or a no salt added broth.
• Learn to puree your veggies – by cooking down your veggies and pureeing them, you can use them in sauces and in soups instead of butter, cheese, heavy cream and evaporated milk. This will not only cut the bottom out from under your calorie count for the recipe, but it will also skyrocket the fiber and nutrients that it provides. Get creative and try many different things, and don’t stop at just veggies. Chickpeas work as a great puree, too!
• Learn the benefits of cottage cheese – this is a greatly underestimated dairy product that is very low in calories and fats but that is huge in healthy proteins. When you would usually crumble cheese such as ricotta or feta, use only half the amount of that cheese, and replace the rest with reduced fat cottage cheese. This will keep up the flavor and texture, and take away the unwanted calories and fats. It works in everything from baked pasta to stuffed peppers.
• Marinade – many people hesitate to use the leanest cuts of meat to slash calories because taking all of the fat away does reduce the flavor from that cut. However, marinades made up of healthy ingredients can jam that flavor right back in again. Use only a touch of light olive oil with combinations of vinegar and freshly squeezed citrus juices. Wine and unsweetened fruit juices can also work well as marinades. Add spices and herbs to draw out even more flavor, without ever needing salt.