Food is an important component of good health. You know what they say . . . youare what you eat. Home-cooked food is almost always better for you than the processed stuff in a package. And you can take lots of steps to make your diet even better, keeping you full of energy and muscle tone. Because you’re learning how to cook, you’ve already got a big advantage and you can use the cooking tips here to get a healthy life.
(1) A cool, dark storage area will preserve your herbs freshness for the longest period of time. Humidity, heat, and light all affect the flavor of your spices. Generally, ground spices and herbs keep most of their flavor for a year. Whole spices last longer, possibly as long as five years. The freshness can last longer if they are stored correctly.
(2) To increase the texture and quality of the pasta that you cook at night, make sure that you finish cooking with the pasta in the pan with sauce. This will help to absorb the sauce so that it blends in properly and tastes great when you sit down to the table and eat.
(3) If you feel that a piece of food you are about to cook does not look right or may be rotten, always error on the side of caution and throw it away. It is better to lose a few dollars than to cost yourself the next couple of weeks from food poisoning.
(4) To cook healthier, try replacing highly refined goods with whole-grain alternatives when you bake. Enriched white flour and other such refined grain products are low in nutritional value. Even replacing a fraction of them with natural whole-grain products will improve the healthiness of the finished dish. Consult packaging directions for specific replacements; whole-grain products do not always replace refined ones at a 1:1 ratio.
(5) Fresh foods are always a better choice than frozen or dried ones regardless of what type of food you are cooking. Fresh ingredients will give your dish extra flavor, and can turn out to be less expensive over time. What’s more importance is it is healthier to eat.
(6) Sometimes it can seem like a good idea to pile on all of your ingredients into the pan to save you time from having to cook them all separately. However, this can only prolong the cooking process since most foods need room to breathe in the pan to cook properly while soaking up the spices. Take the extra bit of time to cook them spaced out properly in the pan and you’ll have a better tasting dish.
(7) Smoking is always better than grilling. While grilling may impart some flavors to meat, smoking imparts much deeper, more intensive flavors to meat that can only be attained over a long, slow cook. Additionally, the compounds in wood smoke — specifically, phenols and phenolic compounds — act as antimicrobials that slow bacterial growth and prevent meat from turning rancid. Wood smoke also contains antioxidants that help preserve proteins.
Please remember that the best foods are those made with the best ingredients, prepared with loving care at home, and enjoyed with friends and family (or in peaceful quiet, all on your own). That’s how you cook and eat for good health without sacrificing even a fraction of good taste.