Healthy Cooking Tips for the Holidays
The holiday period is fast approaching, and it’s never too early to plan your festive meals. Of course, enjoying delicious holiday treats and delicacies won’t hurt, but you don’t want to overindulge in unhealthy meals. If you want to be more conscious of what you eat, it’s best to make your meals as healthy as possible while keeping them delicious. This way, you and your family can indulge as much as you want without worrying about the health consequences. So, if you’re planning to do your own cooking this holiday, here are some ways to make your dishes healthy.
- Plan ahead
The first thing you want to do is plan your meals ahead of time. Decide what dishes you want to prepare at different times during the holiday. For example, plan your holiday dinners, home party dishes, and breakfast meals, to name a few. This way, you will have enough time to get your ingredients and other essentials ahead of time. Also, planning allows you to decide on the best and healthiest recipes you can try, giving you more than enough time to change your mind. If you live with a family, it’s important to get every family member involved in the decision-making. This way, none of your meals will take your family members by surprise in a bad way.
- Avoid cooking at very high temperatures as much as possible
Cooking at very high temperatures has many disadvantages. For example, frying your meat at very high temperatures can lead to the formation of unhealthy chemicals. These include heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the meat. Such chemicals can cause DNA changes linked to cancer. Instead of deep frying your meat under high temperatures, opt for healthier alternatives. For instance, you can slow-cook your meat using a slow cooker or crock pot. A good example is choosing a slow cooker pork chops and onions recipe over deep frying your pork.
- Find creative ways to work fruits and veggies into your meals
You’ve probably heard all about the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, and it’s important not to leave them out of your meals during the holidays. Eating vegetables does not have to be frustrating, especially for your kids. You can find creative ways to add them to your meals and keep your dishes yummy. For example, you can consider adding some roasted vegetable kebab to your meals or find delicious additions that can go well with your vegetable and fruit salads. You can also replace your alcoholic drinks with smoothies and natural fruit juices.
- Reduce unhealthy vegetable oil and animal fats
If you need to add fried dishes to your meals, it’s best to avoid using vegetable oil. Vegetable oil has been shown to cause inflammation, hormone disruption, impaired fertility, heart diseases, and other health issues. Instead of cooking with vegetable oil, choose healthier alternatives like coconut oil, olive oil, or canola oil. For example, research has shown that olive oil is linked with lower obesity and cardiovascular risks. You might also want to reduce the use of animal fat.