A few small changes in the preparation and cooking of vegetables can prevent vitamins and nutrients from being leached out and washed down the sink. Wash fresh vegetables quickly under a running tap instead of soaking, and use the minimal amount of water necessary for cooking. To maintain nutrients and colour use a steamer, pressure cooker, or microwave for faster cooking time. A rapid boil is better than simmering for a long time. Vegetable water can be used as stock for soups and gravies.
Copper saucepans destroy vitamin C.
Start meals with soup. Soup is nutritious as well as filling, and you can make large quantities and store in a freezer. Once cooked, serve vegetables as soon as possible. Keeping them warm will destroy vitamin C.
Choose lean meat or trim off fat. You need low fat ingredients if you want a low fat meal. Fish and seafood are low in fat.
Most people consume more meat than the amount recommended to maintain a healthy diet. Nutritionists recommend 125grams of meat or fish a day.
Cook casseroles a day ahead and refrigerate. Any unwanted fats can be removed before reheating. The flavour will also be richer.
Use herbs to add flavour to your meal, they’re also rich in vitamins, potassium and phosphorus.
Herbs can be preserved by freezing in ice cubes. Just drop the ice cube containing the particular herb/s you want, into the soup or dish being prepared.
To keep quantities of parsley, chop first and then place in a plastic bag in the freezer.
When you juice lemons, try wrapping and freezing the left over skins. Later when a recipe requires only the lemon peel you won’t have to use a whole fresh lemon.
Peeled bananas will not change colour if you coat with lemon juice.
Store peeled potatoes by covering with cold water and adding 3 drops of vinegar. Place in a refrigerator where they keep well for 4 days.
Serve toasted bread wedges or triangles with dips and pates. It’s a lot cheaper than buying biscuits, and a lot lower in fat and salt.
Cheese is a valuable source of vitaminB2, protein, and calcium.
Cook rice, buckwheat and barley by the absorption method to prevent vitamin B from being lost.
Wholemeal or wholegrain bread, rice and pasta, add extra fibre to your diet.
You can maintain a diet and still enjoy ‘something sweet’. An occasional portion of chocolate or ice cream with topping is unlikely to have much effect on a well balanced diet. Better still, choose baked custards, crème caramels, gelato or fresh fruit.
Most recipes can easily be changed to use less fat, sugar, or salt, without any loss in flavour, allowing you to continue cooking your family favourites knowing they’re a lot healthier.