As consumers try to become more health-conscious, they find it often involves much more than buying organic fruits and vegetable. Home cooks may also fear that recipes for healthy food will taste less satisfying than their comfort foods. If you find yourself struggling to make healthier, better-tasting meals at home, try these nine tips from top chefs.
Shop at the Farmer’s Market
Not everyone has the ability or space to grow a garden, but shopping at a farmer’s market is nearly as good. You can select seasonal fruits, vegetables, honey, and sometimes home-grown meats from local merchants. As you shop, you may discover different types of produce you have never seen before.
Experiment With the Allium Family
Chefs claim that one of the most flavorful changes you can make in your new healthy cooking routine is to try different plants from the allium family. Although onions have been a cooking favorite for decades, chives, leeks, garlic, and scallions are becoming more popular as top chefs stress that the pungent flavors differ between plants and can add a new depth of taste to recipes you have made for years.
Organize Your Cooking Area
If your counters are stacked with the latest gadgets, chances are you won’t want to battle for space in order to cook a healthy meal. Why not clear the area so you have room to pull out all the necessary ingredients at one time? Top chefs believe when you have a visual of the items, you can become inventive and add your own healthy twist to any recipe.
Use Fresh Herbs
Many home cooks are not sure how to use fresh herbs, so they shy away from purchasing them. Chefs suggest trying them because they can add flavor to your dishes without the need for extra oils. Try adding fresh basil, chives, mint, parsley, and cilantro to enhance your recipes. Additionally, herbs are known for their medicinal and antioxidant properties. Just store them in a dry paper towel in the fridge in a sealed bag and use within a week or 10 days.
Change Your Cooking Style
Baking and boiling have been the home chefs go-to style of cooking for hundreds of years, but top chefs suggest changing your cooking style for health reasons. Broiling and steaming can help food retain some of their nutrients, taste, and color that other cooking methods often remove. Cozymeal offers healthy cooking classes nationwide that can help you learn a thing or two when it comes to healthy cooking hacks.
Experiment With Cooking Oils
Soy-based vegetable oil, corn-based oil, or olive-based extra virgin olive oil are the most popular fats use by home cooks. Top chefs suggest adding different oils to your recipes. Some oils, like walnut, avocado, and flaxseed, can supply essential vitamins and fatty acids to your diet, and at the same time, they can add a nutty flavor to your dishes.
Substitute in Baking Recipes
Top chefs realize many baking recipes call for lard, butter, or oil. They propose that you substitute applesauce, fruit puree or a healthier fat for at least one-half of what the recipe calls for. If you don’t like the results with mashed bananas, try applesauce. The chefs claim it is when a recipe fails that you learn the most, so keep trying.
Keep Your Comfort Food Recipes
Don’t try to remove your comfort food from your diet, instead simplify the recipe to make it healthier. Replace heavy creams with milk products, change out sugar for honey, or use stock instead of butter. If you crave mac and cheese, top chefs suggest using a whole grain pasta and adding a vegetable such as broccoli.
Keep Your Favorite Stock on Hand
Top chefs note that many healthy recipes start with stock. Whether your favorite is vegetable, beef, or chicken, experienced chefs suggest keeping an easily available supply of stock on hand. With an onion, some celery, and a few other vegetables, you can have a delicious soup in just an hour; or add the stock to rice with a few herbs for a savory side dish.
Using these tips from top chefs can help you start on your way to a healthier lifestyle as you create tasty, health-conscious recipes. By using fresh vegetables and fruits in your cooking, and trying different types of oils, you can enhance your cooking style. With the suggestions from top chefs, you can cook healthy food; it is easier than you think. Why not give it a try?