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Healthy cooking tips

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Choosing healthy, lower-fat cooking methods is a practical way of ensuring we get the nutrients we need without the added kilojoules. Nutritious meals can be easy and delicious - all it takes is a little modification to an ingredient or a method - and even your favourite recipes can be revamped.

Here are some ideas:

  • Instead of frying food in fat or oil, use a non-stick pan with vegetable oil cooking spray or sauté in vegetable stock
  • Roast or grill lean meat on a rack so that the excess fat can drip off the meat
  • Always remove skin and fat from chicken before preparing a stew or a casserole 
  • Extend meat in recipes by slicing it thinly and combining it with legumes or vegetables
  • Instead of cream use low fat evaporated milk in recipes
  • Replace  sour cream in recipes with plain yoghurt
  • When making a white sauce, instead of using butter or margarine, use low fat milk and add flour before heating. Mix well with seasoning and a little mustard powder for flavour
  • To make lower fat mashed potato, mash the cooked potatoes in 100ml of the water it was cooked in. Fat free milk can then be added optionally.
  • To add moisture to your food, use oil-free dressings, cottage cheese, chutney, tomato sauce or a home-made vegetable-tomato sauce instead of adding extra margarine or butter.
  • Refrigerate stews, curries, soups and gravies after preparation and then remove the hardened layer of fat from the surface before reheating and serving
  • Prepare a fat-free gravy from stock and thickening,  rather than with meat juices
  • For a lower fat dessert choose a sorbet
  • Some healthier snack options - fat-free yoghurts, dried or fresh fruit or extra lean game biltong
  • Ideas for lower fat sandwich and baked potato fillings include: 
    • Cottage cheese mixed with parsley, chopped chives and gherkins
    • Cold cooked chicken mixed with a little low-oil mayonnaise and plain yoghurt
    • Tuna (in brine) mixed with chopped tomato, onion and a little low-oil mayonnaise 
    • Baked beans (mixed with a little chopped chilli for extra zing!) 

This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. For more information please contact Pick n Pay Health Hotline on 0800 11 22 88 or healthhotline@pnp.co.za

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