For the past 10 days I’ve been on a practically fat-free diet. This is really unusual for me because I typically eat a lot of really healthy fats (avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil etc) because they are vital for good health and glowing skin. However, I’ve been on a digestive cleanse, where for almost two weeks I’ve been eating a very simple, clean, fat-free diet. I’ve learned so much from doing this cleanse. I think that above all else, the benefits of a cleanse are more psychological than anything else. But here’s one really useful culinary tip that I’ve successfully put into practice:
It’s all about how we fry our food. If you need or want to lose weight, you are probably on the look-out for a healthy non-fat method of frying, but if like me, you love your cooking oils, you may not miss them as much as you think. The problem with frying foods it that when the oil is heated beyond a certain point, it begins to break down and form free-radicals, which are not good for your health. This is why you need to always fry with an oil that has a very high smoke point – grape seed and coconut oil are good choices. However, I’ve always steered away from sauteing with water because I’ve been afraid that without them, I won’t get as good a flavor.
For the past 2 weeks, I’ve made tons of fat-free soups. Normally the mere idea of a fat-free soup would have me running very fast. Granted, all those store-bought fat-free soups are pretty revolting. Actually, almost everything fat-free in the store is rather unpleasant. However, home-cooked fat-free food can be quite delicious. So, with my soups, I’d place the chopped onions, garlic, potatoes, corn or any other veggie in a sauce pan with about 1/2 cup of water. I’d clamp the lid on and let them sweat for a 5-10 minutes until tender, and then I’d add my stock, quinoa and whatever else was in the recipe. I was astonished by the beautiful flavors of these soups – unmarred by whatever oil I would have used to fry the onions in. I even water sauteed a succulent piece of fish.
I am so blessed to have a collection of 360 Saucepans, which are pretty much the best investment I ever made. They employ a water vapor technology, which locks in the small amount of water and blasts the steam through your food. It’s much healthier than either boiling or steaming your veggies because a lot of the nutrients get lost in the water/steam. With 360 cookware, you need only add a tiny amount of water (a couple of tbsps) and your corn on the cob or chicken breast will be ready in just minutes. If you don’t have the 360 pans, use a nice heavy stainless steel saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, or a stainless steel saute pan.
Once I get back to my lovely olive oils, I think I’ll continue to saute with water and then do as the Italians do, which is to finish off the dish with a drizzle of really good oil. Frying with beautiful cold-pressed olive oil is unhealthy (low smoke point), and a waste of money.
How do you fry your food?