The consumption of refined foods and sugars around the world
are leading to obesity and poor health.Healthy cooking and
healthy eating habits go together, and there are many
different ways to make food tasty rather than boring. There
are cooking techniques to enhance flavors and improve
health simultaneously. Each type of healthy food has its
own benefits; for example, wheat germ and fiber are known
to fight illness and cancer causing agents.
Healthy eating habits can be cultivated at home by cooking
recipes that are full of the goodness of health. Choose to
serve fresh vegetables and fruits, fish and lean meat; make
salads, cook in olive oil and use herbs and spices rather
than store bought fat rich sauces and dressings. These foods
will help to fight illness and promote longevity.
Make sure to grocery shop for only the healthiest foods and
bypass all those tempting refined foods and snacks. Natural
foods are generally stored around the perimeter of the store
as you already know. Healthy cooking will help you reduce
the amount of time you spend in the kitchen frying stuff.

Select in-season fruits and vegetables and choose the ones
with rich colors; all the nutrients are in the color rich
fruits and vegetables. Use steaming and stir fry methods
to cook vegetables so that they don’t lose their rich supply
of vitamins and minerals. All it takes is a bit of creativity
and interest to mix and match foods to turn out some really
great tasting meals.

Try making simple substitutes to your cooking; for example, you can puree tomatoes in your food processor and do away
with readymade sauces that are rich in calories and
cholesterol. Forget all those fat rich, gooey salad
dressings, think of all the health problems you can avoid
by saying no to overly fat rich, calorie rich, cholesterol
filled foods. Salsa is a great topper from pizzas to salads
and so much more; the good thing about it is it does not
contain any fat and is actually a healthy alternative to
the rich salad dressings.
Why is there suddenly so much emphasis on healthy cooking?
The answer is very simple; it helps to keep you and your
family healthy. By reducing fat intake, you keep your
arteries healthy, thereby reducing the risk of heart
ailments and other problems. Healthy arteries mean the
blood flows cleanly through your body, enabling you to live
a life that is healthy and happy.

There have been many claims to fame for the humble garlic
pod; an ancient herb that has featured prominently in
various cooking styles around the world. Garlic is an herb
that is related to the onion, chive and leek family of bulbs.
Garlic grows underground with a leafy overgrowth found
above the earth’s surface. Making use of garlic in cooking
is a great way to ensure good health.
There are numerous varieties of garlic available the world
over, but the two common varieties of garlic are the hard
and soft neck garlic; t. Garlic has two primary ingredients
that contribute to good health – allicin and diallyl
sulphide. While there are many health benefits to consuming
garlic as part of one’s regular diet, there are many
unproven claims as well.
Modern science has helped highlight the powerful antibiotic
properties of garlic. Bacteria found in the human body
appear unable to combat the effectiveness of garlic and its
antibiotic properties. In other words bacteria are unable
to develop resistance to garlic.

Aged garlic has been the subject of study for its
antioxidant properties. Garlic helps the body fight against
the damage caused by free radicals. A large number of people
prefer to take garlic supplements to avoid the harsh taste
and bad breath of garlic. However, adding garlic to cooking
is one of the best ways to consume garlic in its natural
form.

Adding garlic to food may help in managing cholesterol
levels and blood pressure. It can also help to lower risk
of blood clots and maintain a healthy heart. There have been
studies conducted in America and Australia to show that
consuming garlic in food helps to prevent blood clots that
lead to heart attack and stroke. The allicin in garlic is
the agent that lowers cholesterol levels and blood
pressure.
During World War I the antibacterial and antiparasitic
properties of garlic were revealed to the full. Infections
and amoebic dysentery that plagued soldiers were
successfully treated with garlic thanks to the allicin
present. When garlic is chopped, crushed or chewed, the
allicin compound is released together with allinase, an
enzyme. Together they produce the allicin chemical that has
a variety of health benefits. More recently, modern studies
show the association of garlic in helping to destroy
potentially dangerous bacteria such as salmonella causing
food poisoning and other bacteria associated with urinary
tract infections and tuberculosis.
Tip: leave garlic to rest for 10 minutes after crushing or
chopping prior to cooking. This enhances the formation of
the chemical allicin!

There are two perspectives from which we can view how to
cook healthy foods. One refers to cooking healthy foods made
up of healthy ingredients and the other is about the healthy
methods by which food can be prepared. Healthy cooking
really involves both perspectives and it would be
interesting to take a quick look at both of them.
Healthy cooking is really all about cooking healthy foods
in a healthy fashion so that the end result continues to
remain healthy rather than ceasing to be healthy.
Overcooking healthy foods is the surest way to ensure that
the foods cease to be healthy. Vegetables for example, often
bear the brunt of our over-zealous efforts to cook healthy
food. Take Brussels sprouts or broccoli, and imagine in your
mind’s eye the vivid green colors, which by the way
represent the vegetable’s nutritional value. Excessive
boiling will make the vegetables lose color, which
translates to the vegetables losing their nutritional value and texture. All of the goodness of the vegetables actually
ends up being poured down the kitchen sink when we boil them.
Finally, over boiling vegetables will only put the family
off eating so unappetizing a dish.
The other extreme of over-cooking is under-cooking and the
result will be foods that can end up harming the person.
Take meats like pork that need to be thoroughly cooked to
kill all the harmful bacteria in them. Lightly frying pork
chops in a pan will not do any good. Then you have pulses
like kidney beans that can cause an awful lot of digestive
problems when undercooked. It is always possible to find
the right cooking times in either a good cookbook or online
at reliable foodie websites.

Saturated fats can be a killer and using the least possible
amount is always the best approach. Try to substitute them
for vegetable based oils, olive oil or canola oil. Try to
poach, grill, steam or bake foods as often as possible.
Avoid any kind of deep frying and also shallow frying – avoid
frying foods in oil. By abiding by these suggestions, it
means healthy cardiovascular systems for the whole family.
For many people the very thought of healthy cooking is
anathema because they conjure up images of uninspiring
dishes that are bland and taste like cardboard. A little
effort and imagination will go a long way in ensuring true
healthy cooking in your kitchen.

A successful kitchen not only depends on the cook, but the
tools used to prepare meals. In the interests of helping
people prepare healthy meals that translate to healthy
lifestyles, we will explore some of the essential kitchen
gadgets available on the market. Having great kitchen tools also means faster and easier food preparation, so let’s get started.

The following ideas for ‘must have’ kitchen gadgets will
help even newbie cooks get oriented faster with the kitchen
and all it should hold. Favorite gadgets are really a matter
of personal choice, so while it is good to know what other
people use in their kitchens, you need to decide based on
usage, what you want to have in your own kitchen.
• Very good quality knives and a chopping block are vital
for any kitchen. If you don’t have a chopping block set in
your kitchen island then buy a block or a few different sized
chopping boards. You can buy a set of knives either set in
a block or individually. Victorinox or Wüsthof are a very
good brand, but pricey. You need to consider buying knives
as an investment. You will need a chef’s knife, paring
knife, cleaver and fillet knife. Make sure to get a knife
sharpening block while you are at it. From personal
experience not all the electronic sharpeners work as well
as the block.

• Skillets are very handy for frying and you will
probably use one almost daily – get them in different sizes.
• Measure jars for measuring different liquids, flours
and grains; Pyrex for example has some very handy glass jars
marked with different liquid and other measurements.

Steamer basket for quick steaming of vegetables.

If you do a lot of cooking for a large family including
baking breads and cakes, you may want to consider investing
in a weighing scale. You can get one that weighs quantities
and provides nutritional content analysis.
• A gas or charcoal grill is a handy gadget because
healthy cooking is all about grilling food rather than
frying it.
• Non-stick cooking dishes in different sizes.
• Other gadgets may include stuff such as an apple corer,
egg slicer, grater and spatulas among others.
• Most people cannot survive without a microwave oven.

You may also want to have an electric kettle handy for making
water hot quickly when cooking.
* A slow cooker is also a good tool for healthy cooking.
Whatever you choose, it should help you in the quest for
healthier meals.

The common consensus among food experts is that grilled
foods are a healthy cooking option. However, here is
something to ponder over – foods cooked at very high
temperatures can be a health hazard. Second, charred food
does not taste good – it is bitter and unpleasant to eat.
So how can grilled food be considered healthy cooking? We
need to explore the subject in some detail to provide the
answers.

In order to cook healthy food by the grilling technique,
we need to consider various factors and add a liberal dose
of good old-fashioned common sense to the cooking process.
• Use a cooking thermometer: this is a gadget that you
stick into the meat to take a temperature reading. It is
better to follow recipe instructions for grilling meats;
they generally provide the right cooking temperatures.
Anything above 270 degrees is considered bad.

• Selecting meat: selecting the right cuts of meat is one
way to enjoy healthy food. Sausages and other processed
foods are not the advisable healthy option. Avoid these
foods and choose lean meats without much fat. Remove the
skin from chicken before marinating and substitute turkey
meat if you are making homemade burgers.

• Grilling meat: when you marinate meat, it reduces the
chances of it charring and burning. It is also a good way
to tenderize the meat and add flavor to the cooking.

Maintaining the grill: clean the grill thoroughly
every time you are done cooking even though you may not feel
like it. Empty out the charcoal and ash; get rid of all the
oil, grime and charred bits by giving the racks a good scrub
and polish up the grill ready for the next cooking session.
Never let charred food bits remain in the grill, they are
cancer causing and will certainly give you the works if you
end up eating a few bits.
With these simple strategies, it is possible to enjoy
healthy cooking by grilling food.