How to make meals healthier with these 6 easy cooking tips


Mother and daughter having fun with the vegetables in the kitchen.
Mother and daughter having fun with the vegetables in the kitchen.

Do you want to cook healthier versions of your favourite recipes without losing the taste? Try these 6 healthy cooking tips that will keep the flavour without all of the fat.

Get crispy “fried” food without the fat

Skip deep-frying and try oven-frying. Dip chicken, fish or vegetables in milk, buttermilk or egg, dredge in seasoned flour or breadcrumbs, then coat with canola or olive oil cooking spray. Place on a wire rack set on a baking sheet and bake until crispy.

Creamy cooking without the cream

Replace mayonnaise in salads with natural yoghurt. Or replace cream in pasta sauces with a thicked white sauce (using flour and milk).

Bake, don’t boil

To get the most flavour out of your vegetables, cut them, toss with a bit of olive oil, garlic and herbs of your choice, then spread into a single layer on a baking pan and roast at 180 degrees. This cooks them quickly, intensifying their flavour and helping them keep their texture with minimal added fat. Best of all, the high heat creates tasty, crunchy toasted edges. With boiling, a lot of flavour and goodness is lost.

Cheese that packs a punch

Using less cheese gives any dish an easy health upgrade. Opt for bold-flavored cheeses, such as extra-sharp Cheddar, goat cheese and Parmigiano-Reggiano, to give more flavour impact with fewer calories and less fat.

Add some texture

To make vegetables more exciting so you’ll want to eat more of them, combine different flavours and textures. For example, toss greens with vinaigrette and add sliced avocado and slivered almonds. Sauté fresh zucchini and summer squash, and top with Parmesan cheese and crushed lightly salted pistachios. The appeal of your food is just as much in the taste as it is in the look and feel – just remember that.

Brown is better

Use brown alternatives of rice, pasta and bread to increase the fibre content of recipes which will help you feel fuller for longer. Instead of using all plain white flour in recipes, use a mix of wholemeal and plain flour when baking, e.g. when making apple crumble – you can also add porridge oats to make the top crunchy and add more fibre.


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