2nd May 2021

It’s a fact that during the endless lockdowns many of us have had to resort to home cooking. Whether we’ve liked it or not, we’ve had to dust off the old apron, de-grease the cooker and make sure all the spices and ingredients were in for that fabulous home-cooked dish. 

How many of us were being mindful about our cooking though?  

Below we explore some tips on how home cooking can be healthy by making small changes to some of the more obvious steps in a recipe. 

Choose your oils wisely 

When it comes to cooking with oil a lot of us just reach into the cupboard and grab whatever’s there. But the truth is, the oil you choose to cook with has a great impact on overall health benefits. 

For example, olive oil has long been known for its antioxidant properties as well as its ability to reduce inflammation. Studies have also shown that olive oil consumption can have a positive impact on cardiovascular and brain health. 

Similarly, coconut oil has recently seen an upsurge in usage amongst those in the know. It has a high content of MCTs (medium-chain-triglycerides) which can play a big role in supporting cognitive function. 

The key is to do your research. Opt for oils which are suited to whatever you’re cooking (ie, low-heat, medium-heat, high-heat) and then look for the health benefits each oil can provide. 

Replace salt with global flavours 

The negative impact of adding salt to your cooking is well documented. So what should you do instead? Because let’s face it, bland food doesn’t excite anybody! 

Well, our advice is to go for global flavours.  

Think Mediterranean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai or Greek. A lot of these cuisines use fresh vegetables and grains in their dishes, as well as spices which are aromatic and flavoursome.  

By replacing your salt with these flavours, you could be doing your overall health a huge favour in the long run.  

Don’t fear fats 

A lot of us tend to fear produce which contains “fat”, but the truth is healthy fats are good for you. 

You need to be opting for unsaturated fats which includes monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. The latter your body doesn’t make, so it’s essential you get these fatty acids through your diet. 

This can be achieved through incorporating chia seeds, soybeans, fatty fish and walnuts into your cooking. 

Portion out your ingredients 

There are countless tips out there on how to control portion sizes. 

The key is to understand serving sizes, know what that translates to in your bowl or dish, make sure your crockery has been downsized to match that translation and then stick with it in a mindful manner.  

A lot of us eat way more than we need to, and once you understand what 50g of cereal or rice looks like, you’ll be surprised at just how little we need to sustain us and keep us full. 

Opt to stir-fry 

By stir-frying your dishes in a low amount of oil you’ll be ensuring your vegetables and other ingredients are seared in a way which is savoury and flavoursome.  

Your tender –crisp produce will retain more nutrients than if they were boiled and you’ll be cooking up your dishes in no time at all as stir-frying is quick and efficient. 

Remember

With indoor dining soon set to resume, it’s still worth your while to cook at home every now and then. Home cooking ensures that you are in total control of your ingredients and what goes inside your body!