Health and fitness has boomed as an industry in recent years and people are constantly looking for new ways to boost their metabolism, lose some weight, and improve their overall health. For many people, the simple solution of creating healthier meals is often overlooked yet can be achieved easily by making some changes in the kitchen.
5 tips to supercharge your cooking
They are often everyone’s fall-back options, but starchy foods such as pasta and potatoes can be very calorie dense. An easy way to combat this is to substitute these foods with cauliflower. This vegetable is much lower in carbohydrates and will happily mix well with all the flavours that go with your favourite carbs, such as Bolognese sauce, shepherd’s pie, or mashed as a side serving with your sausages. Cauliflower is also filling, so you won’t be left with an empty tummy. There are plenty of bread free options for lunches too
Use Whole Vegetables
Incorporate more vegetables into your meals by tweaking some of your favourite recipes. Use large slices of vegetables (zucchini, eggplant etc) instead of pasta for your lasagne layers, or scoop out the insides of a capsicum or eggplant and stuff with meat and more vegetables. Bake eggs in avocado halves and use more cruciferous vegetables to help cleanse your liver and create and maintain homeostasis in your body.
Keep It Naturally Natural
When purchasing beef go for grass fed rather than grain. There are more and more brands becoming accessible in mainstream supermarkets such as a gem I found in Coles for red meats or eating kangaroo. Generally speaking, grass-fed cows eat (mostly) grass, while grain-fed cows eat (mostly) an unnatural diet based on corn and soy during the latter part of their lives. This of course is what we are consuming in the end so it makes sense to eat the healthiest animals possible.
Hormone free/organic chicken is widespread as are free range organic eggs. After the recent frozen berry spate in Australia, it really does pay to check the labels and get cluey on just where your food is originating from. Be your own detective and take your health into your own hands.
Barbequing your food rather than slaving over a stovetop is a great way to create healthy and fast meals, with a renewed attitude towards cooking. All you need to do is whip up a salad and add some sweet potato to grill and you have a complete meal. It is amazing how by simply moving your cooking space to the outdoors can make whole process less monotonous. Just be sure not to char or burn your meats on an open flame as this will introduce carcinogenics into your meal. The cooking implement you need to do this can easily be found at a store like Barbeques Galore. Barbeque recipes include grilled prawns with chilli and oregano, and a lemon dill snapper; try these ideas from Ziegler and Brown to start working towards being a gourmet BBQ ‘er!
Use smart fats
When you’re cooking at a high heat, you want to use oils that are stable and don’t oxidize or go rancid easily. When it comes to high heat cooking, coconut oil is your best choice.
Butter was also demonized in the past due to its saturated fat content. But there really is no reason to fear real butter. It’s the processed margarine that is the truly awful stuff. Real butter is good for you and actually fairly nutritious.
Olive oil is well known for its heart healthy effects and is believed to be a key reason for the health benefits of the mediterranean diet. It can raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and lower the amount of oxidized LDL cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream. Avocado, palm and fish oil are also good choices for cooking. Lard is even making a comeback!
Health should be a high priority for everyone. However, due to an often overabundance of general commitments, health takes a back-row seat for many people. Simple tips such as the ones above can be adopted by just about anyone no matter how busy their life schedule is. Adapting them to your own cooking style will quickly get you on the road to healthier living.
This post was kindly bought to you by Barbeques Galore