We have included five super easy, low-fat cooking techniques you can master in your journey to your new lifestyle. Whether you choose to grill/broil, microwave, pressure cook, steam or stir-fry, you’ll be pleased to know that each method is not only naturally low in fat (because they require little or no oil) but brings out the zest in foods. And because these are quick-cooking techniques, you’ll need to become a cook who does watch the pot – to help keep it from boiling (or burning, sticking or charring).
Steaming is, simply, cooking food in an enclosed environment infused with steam. You can steam in a variety of ways: with a covered, perforated basket that rests above a pot of boiling water; with a parchment wrapper or foil; with Chinese bamboo steamers that stack on top of a wok; and with convenient electric steamers. Steaming cooks and seals in flavor, eliminating the need for added fats during preparation. It also preserves nutrients better than any other cooking method except microwaving. It’s perfect for fish and shellfish because it doesn’t dry out the delicate flesh. Halibut, cod and snapper steam particularly well..
Cooking at a very high heat for a very short time is the essence of stir-frying. Because food is cooked so quickly, it should be cut into small, uniform pieces to ensure every ingredient is cooked thoroughly. This is another method that requires your full attention, as continuous stirring and sometimes tossing of the ingredients are necessary to prevent food from sticking to the pan. The best way to stir-fry is in a wok. The sloping sides and rounded bottom are specially designed so food can be quickly browned in the “belly” of the pan and then moved up to the sides, where it finishes cooking more slowly. Traditionally, Chinese woks are cast iron and take a while to heat up. Most woks today are made of carbon steel, which heats up and cools down more quickly. The wok is placed on a metal ring which sits over the burner. When it’s very hot, coconut oil is added, followed by the food.
One of the simplest of all cooking methods, grilling/broiling cooks by exposing food to direct heat in an electric or gas stove, broiling usually happens in the bottom drawer of the oven. It renders the same results as grilling, but in grilling the heat comes from below, while in broiling it comes from above. Because the heat is constant, all you really need to do is move the food closer to or farther from the elements depending on how you like your food cooked. That means the thinner the cut of food, the closer the heat source should be so it quickly sears the surface of the food, leaving the interior less done. Because grilling and broiling are dry-heat methods of cooking (which means no additional oil), lean cuts of beef and chicken work best when marinated first or basted during cooking.
Microwaving cooks essentially by steaming. And like steaming, it lends itself to low-fat or no-fat cooking. The foods that do well this way are vegetables, which retain their colour along with their nutrients, and fish and chicken, which plump up well compared to beef. You should use a 750-watt model with a carousel that turns food, helping to cook it more evenly. The power of the microwave depends on the wattage, the higher the wattage and smaller the oven, the more powerful.
Food cooked in a pressure cooker requires very little water and time, which means that vitamins and minerals are kept intact. The cooker seals in steam created by the boiling liquid, which intensifies the flavors. This means that you won’t need to add any oil or fat for taste or richness. You barely need to season the food either. Soups and stews that would usually take hours to simmer on the stove or a whole chicken can be ready in 15 minutes, rice in five and most vegetables in about three.
An air fryer is a countertop kitchen appliance that uses convection to circulate hot air (and, in some cases, oil) around food in order to cook it. Most models come in a two-liter to six-liter capacity. If you buy an air fryer, you’re likely to use less oil overall, and still end up with results that taste good
These healthier ways of cooking will help you during and after your weight loss transformation. Not part of the Shrinking team yet? Click here to start now.