Quick tricks for healthier cooking

By easyFood

19 February 2018

Making a few little tweaks to the way you cook can add up into a healthier diet overall.

  • Choose your cheese. Using a sharp or strongly-flavoured cheese means you can use less and get the same taste impact. Try substituting regular mild Cheddar for a more mature one, or use a little Parmesan, Grana Padano or Manchego.
  • Be a veg-head. Get into the habit of adding an extra handful of no-fuss veg to every dinner. Place a layer of spinach at the bottom of every pie dish, throw a few handfuls of rocket into a curry or casserole and add frozen peas to sauces, soups and omelettes.
  • Less meat is more. Speaking of veg, try cutting down the amount of meat in a recipe and adding in extra vegetables. You’d be surprised at how a little meat can go a long way, and this is a great way to eat healthily and cut your shopping budget at the same time.
  • Cut the cream. When making creamy soups or pasta sauces, use light cream instead of any regular or double cream. The flavour difference is practically unnoticeable and it’s an easy way to avoid unnecessary calories.
  • Switch from salt. We all know that too much sodium is bad for us, so decrease the amount of salt you add to dishes and opt for other flavour-boosters instead; try lemon or lime juice, fresh herbs, chillies or spices.
  • Play dress up. Making your own marinades, dressings and vinaigrettes is incredibly easy and much healthier (and tastier!) than using shop-bought versions; it’ll also save you money. Go for vinegar and citrus combinations, mixing with olive or avocado oil to get those healthy fats in.
  • Wholegrain goodness. When baking, switch half of the quantity of plain flour for wholemeal to add a fibre boost.
  • Stick it out. Olive and rapeseed oils are full of nutritional benefits, but they are also high in calories. Using good-quality non-stick pans means you can use less oil when you’re cooking, so you get all the goodness without any guilt.
  • Ditch bad bread. Bread itself isn’t bad for you, but cheap, overly-processed versions do no good for anyone’s tummy. Opt instead for slow-proved loaves and baguettes, including sourdough, which contribute positively to the health of your gut.