The healthy cooking methods described here best capture the flavor and retain the nutrients in foods without adding excessive amounts of fat or salt. Use them often to prepare your favorite dishes.
Besides breads and desserts, you can bake seafood, poultry, lean meat, vegetables and fruits. For baking, place food in a pan or dish surrounded by the hot, dry air of your oven. You may cook the food covered or uncovered. Baking generally doesn’t require that you add fat to the food.
Braising involves browning (searing) the ingredient first in a pan on top of the stove, and then slowly cooking it partially covered with a small quantity of liquid, such as water or broth. In some recipes, the cooking liquid is used afterward to form a flavorful, nutrient-rich sauce.
3. Broiling and grilling
Both broiling and grilling expose food to direct heat. To grill outdoors, place the food on a grill rack above a bed of charcoal embers or gas-heated rocks. If you have an indoor grill, follow the manufacturer’s directions. For smaller items, such as chopped vegetables, use foil or a long-handled grill basket to prevent pieces from slipping through the rack. To broil, place food on a broiler rack below a heat element. Both methods allow fat to drip away from the food.
To poach foods, gently simmer ingredients in water or a flavorful liquid, such as broth, vinegar or wine, until they’re cooked through and tender. The food retains its shape during cooking. For stove-top poaching, choose a covered pan that best fits the size and shape of the food so that you need a minimal amount of liquid.