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Healthy Cooking Tip: Alternative Ways to Trim Fat From Your Food

Serving food is good; serving good food is even better; but serving healthy good food that is flavorful is the best.

To cook healthfully, you do not need to cut the flavor; you just have to modify the traditional cooking methods.  Chefs say that the secret to cooking a healthy meal is by knowing the best culinary techniques.  Here are ways to lessen fat from your food.  Let us compare the two methods for each technique.

Traditional method:  Brown meat in fat; then cook, covered, with a little liquid for a long period of time.  Braising seals in moisture and makes tougher cuts more tender.

Alternative method:  Skip the browning step.  Use a cooking bag to lock in moisture without adding calories.  Dust bag with flour, which combines with juices for a low-fat sauce.

Traditional method:  Oven-roasting meat ensures even browning and rich flavor.   Baste tender meat frequently with fatty pan drippings to keep it from drying out.

Alternative method: Baste meat with fat-free broth, wine, or juice to lock in moisture without losing flavor.  Chill pan juices, skim off fat and use the juices to make low-fat gravy.

Traditional method:  Cook food in hot oil in a skillet over high heat.  Remove food and make sauce in same pan.  Stir food back into pan and coat with sauce.

Alternative method:  Use a non-stick pan and substitute any flavorful liquid—juice, wine, broth—for the oil; sauté as usual.

Traditional method:  Cook food directly above or below the heat source.  Since food is cooked under intense heat, apply basting sauce or oil often to maintain moisture.

Alternative method:  Use a cooking spray—instead of brushing on too much oil—for a light, even coating.  Food still caramelizes, but with a fraction of the fat and calories.