Being healthy should be both physically and mentally, and the way we think and what we can do to improve our health, plus the determination and consistency to do or change something, say your habit, the food you eat, the way you prepare or cook the food also part of the healthy lifestyle.
There are many ways and many articles on how to cook simple tasty healthy foods, and you may have read some of them before, and I would like to suggest that healthy foods should be cooked using good kitchen cookware or utensils, such as sauce pan, frying pan, pot, steamer, roaster, skillets, etc. should be made of stainless steel, not aluminum and avoid using non-stick pan which is coated with Teflon, unless you are one hundred percent sure it is totally free from fine and tiny scratches, because any small damage on the pan surface will allow toxin to come out and contaminate your food.
Recently there are some cookware or frying pans which have marble-like surface inside, but I still wonder what exactly the material is used, and there are some layers of the pan are made of aluminum or alloy, and some are also coated with non-stick coating similar to teflon, so I would rather not to take the chances.
Here are some tips to prepare the healthy foods:
1. Choose fresh vegetables (or fruits), if possible go for organic veggies, otherwise select those which with less pesticides from your reliable farms or markets, or look for some veggies which have tiny holes or something which indicate the present of veggies eating worm, and some web inside the cauliflower or broccoli should not scare you away. Besides, you can also grow your own sprouts or microgreens at home .
2. First wash away the dirt or any impurities on the vegetables under running water, then soak them in salt & lemon water (2 liters of water + 1 tablespoon of sea salt + 2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice) for 5-6 minutes, then rinse them with fresh clean water twice , by this way we can get rid of worms, bacteria and chemicals which comes with the veggies.
3. if you prepare vegetables for more than one day meals, and would like to keep some of them for later use, then keep them in an airtight container or wrap them with food grade plastic wrapper. Some veggies can be stored in chiller or freezer to keep them fresh for several days.
4. Prepare a clean stainless steel pan or pot to cook the food, try to cook the food as less oil as you can, such as stir-fry, sautee are better than deep frying, and cook, boil or simmer can be done without oil or margarine. As nutritional expert always recommend to use water to “fry “ the foods without using cooking oil at all, or otherwise steam the food, it is not only good for your health, and help your body to detox, but it can also decrease dark spots or freckle on the skin, and make your skin look cleaner and brighter.
5. Raw food – some experts say we have to eat raw food (or at least 80% raw) instead of cooked foods, because cooking or heating the vegetables or any food will cause the loss of most nutrients ad sometimes even no benefit at all. You can prepare easy and simple salads using lettuce, bean sprout, alfalfa sprouts, kidney beens, large cucumber, or even apples, pineapples, chick peas, beetroot, almonds, cashew nuts, or any combination you like, make your own dressing by using lemon juice ,olive oil, and a few drops of sesame oil, olive oil gives you monounsaturated fat which your body needs. The grown veggies which are to be eaten raw should be cleaned thoroughly, see point 2 above.
6. Cooked food - do not overcook the food, the nutrients, especially vitamin C and water soluble vitamins will reduce significantly or totally disappear if the food is cooked too long or with high heat. So the best way to cook leafy greens or broccoli or cauliflower is: put some water in the pan or pot with cover and heat it, before the water boils, put the veggies into the pan (pot) and stir a bit to let the water cover the veggies, and once the water is boiling, cover the pot and turn off your stove and wait for about 7-8 minutes, and then serve it after adding some salt, cayenne pepper, one table spoon of olive oil and a few drops of sesame oil if you like. By this way the heat inside the pan(pot) will cause the veggies cooked evenly without causing the loss of nutrients. Otherwise, cook the vegetables or leafy greens by steaming for about 6-7 minutes, and take them out from the steamer while they still look greenish or about 70% cooked.
7. For fresh salad dish, it is better to make a fresh one for every meal, squeeze some lemon juice just before you are going to take it and finish it within 20-30 minutes after preparation. Some cooked food can be store in the fridge a bit longer, but be sure not to heat it over and over again as the nutrients will be gone under the process of heating.