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Healthy Cooking Techniques

4 Skills That'll Make You a Healthy Home Cook

The first step to eating healthier is to nix the three-times-a-week delivery habit. But the second step is a little more difficult; if you're not used to cooking your own meals, knowing how to whip up a healthy meal in your kitchen takes effort. Master these four skills and you'll be a healthy home cook in no time.

  • Keep the nutrients in: Boiling, peeling, and steaming can strip those veggies of their nutrients. Instead of peeling potatoes and carrots or throwing away the leaves of your radishes, scrub your veggies until they are clean and use them with skin and leaves on to keep vitamins intact. And when you are done boiling or blanching a pot of vegetables, save the nutrient-rich water to use later in stocks, stews, or sauces. Get more tricks on how to keep the nutrients in your food here.
  • Stay well stocked: A kitchen well stocked with healthy supplies will ensure that you have practically all you need for a quick and healthful meal. Keep this printable poster of healthy pantry staples on your fridge and take it with you to the store when it's time to restock.
  • Swap the fat: Sautéing in butter and oil can make even the most vegetable-filled dinner high in calories or fats. And even if you're cooking with healthy fats like olive oil, there can be too much of a good thing. Instead of dumping more butter and oil into your pan, use one to two tablespoons of low-sodium broth when you sauté. You can also invest in a quality cast-iron skillet to cook without the need of a potentially chemically laden nonstick pan or too much butter or oil.
  • Ditch the butter in baking: It can be even harder to cut the butter when you're baking, but with a little thought (and math) you can make the swap without anyone knowing you've cut it out. The secret? Simple, lower-calorie options like applesauce, Greek yogurt, and prune puree ensure that your baked goods stay moist without all that saturated fat. You can also replace butter or oil with pumpkin puree; learn the ratio here.
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