How we prepare our food is as important as what we eat. You can buy the best piece of organic, grass fed steak, but if you char it on the grill, the carcinogens created offset the health benefits. Here are some tips to better cook your food, and what to use to cook it (via: maryvance.com)
CHECK YOUR COOKWARE
This is a great spring cleaning project! Do you see teflon and non-stick pans? Get rid of those: the coating contains toxins that leech into your food when heated. No thanks. Use cast iron pots, stainless steel, or Le Creuset enamel cookware.
AVOID MIRCO WAVES
I’ve seen a lot of information out there confirming the microwave’s safety, saying it doesn’t emit *that much* radiation, and that they don’t lessen food’s nutrient value, etc. The fact is, microwaves use radiation and cook your food from the inside out, scrambling the nutrients and denaturing the protein. Plus, if you’re microwaving in plastic, you’ll get a double dose of endocrine-disrupting dioxins.
DON’T OVER COOK, OR CHAR
It takes longer, but slow cooking at lower temps is much preferable to help food retain its nutrients. For example, I slow roast salmon at 250 degrees, which takes a bit of time, but it tastes heavenly and is healthier. Invest in a slow cooker! Time saving and healthy food prep. Same with greens and with steaming foods: don’t over-cook.
Charring food creates cancer-causing carcinogens. Also, our preference for “well done” is not the most healthful. Cook your food medium rare or even rare. The exception here is chicken & pork. Invest in a meat thermometer. Worried about food poisoning? Buy your meat organic and local. You have much less risk of getting a bug from this type of meat than from factory farmed unhealthy feedlot meat. Gross. Let the meat come to room temperature before cooking–it’ll cook more evenly. Let it rest after it’s done so the juices redistribute and you get moister meat.
EAT MORE RAW
This doesn’t require any cooking! Raw foods to avoid: broccoli, kale, cabbage, and other members of brassicae family. They contain constituents that can hurt thyroid function. Eat raw fruits and raw veggies on salad, raw nuts, and even raw dairy cheese + butter whenever possible.
Soak nuts in water and sea salt overnight, then dry out in 150 degree oven. Soak grains in water only.
SKIP PROCESSED OILSUse coconut oil, or real butter for high temp cooking. Olive , avocado + sesame for medium temp cooking, or as a base for salad dressings/marinades. Flax + hemp for dressings only.
It’s so easy to make your own, and the ones you buy at the store almost always have canola or soy oil, or other silly ingredients.