Health & Nutrition
Preparing healthy food does not mean just buying fresh, nutritious foods. The cooking equipment you use can also aid in preparing healthy food. Understanding how to use common kitchen appliances will help you prepare nutritious meals for yourself and your family. For example, the following small appliances are great additions to any kitchen and will allow you to make healthy meals in a snap.
Microwave cooking is a convenient method for making quick meals and allows you to cook food with a minimum of nutrition loss. Foods such as potatoes can be baked, vegetables steamed, and rice cooked in minimal time.
A food steamer cooks food by steam. A steamer boils water and produces steam. The steam is then released into a container with food. Steaming helps food retain more of its nutrients during the cooking process. A food steamer can be used to cook a variety of foods, such as vegetables, meat, seafood, and even some desserts.
Nonstick cookware is not only good for easy clean up, but it will allow you to cook food with less added fat. This makes it easier to prepare nutritious foods without diminishing their nutrient benefits by adding additional fat and calories.
An air fryer is a way to go if you are looking for a healthier alternative to frying foods. Air frying chicken, for instance, gives you a healthier option than frying foods in oil. It works by circulating hot air around the food providing a crispy texture found when deep frying. This process eliminates the need to fry foods in oil. As a result, you do not add additional fat to your meals.
Using a blender is a great way to consume more fruits and vegetables. Blenders allow you to whip up good food, such as juices and smoothies using fruits and vegetables. Blending also adds nutritional benefits. Depending on the blender, you can also make other foods such as creamy soups, vegetable dips, and sauces.
Using a pressure cooker allows you to cook food faster at a higher temperature compared to other methods of cooking food. Pressure cooking can help you prepare moist and tasty meals in minutes, and preserve vitamins and minerals. Also, since foods are done in a shorter cooking time it’s less likely to lose their color and flavor.
Consider using an electric grill for easy grilling indoors or outdoors. Electric grills heat up easily and quickly and do not require the use of charcoal or gas like more traditional grills. Electric grills also require less preparation for a faster cooking time.
A slow cooker allows food to simmer all day. A delicious home-cooked meal could be done by the time you return home in the evening. A slower cooking process allows food, particularly meat, to become tender and easier to digest. It’s great for cooking a variety of foods including one-pot meals, casseroles, soups, veggie dishes, and desserts. This method is great when you need to prepare a meal but have other activities away from the kitchen. Just add your ingredients and let it cook.
Using any of these kitchen appliances will allow you to spend less time cooking meals. These appliances also help to make food more flavorful and nutritious.
Try an easy, tasty, and affordable way to make hummus using a blender. Visit www.aces.edu for additional information on healthy cooking.