- Seasonal food is fresh, tasty and nutritious
- The healthiest way to cook your food is steaming
- Cooking option which helps preserve the nutrients of the food is baking
We all are very well aware of the fact that eating a balanced diet which comprises all the nutrients(proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fiber) is extremely essential for your overall well-being. But amidst this nutritional fact we seem to know less about seasonal foods and their importance, local foods and their health benefits and the local produce. Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar in her recent Instagram post talks about the same. Her post said, "The more we know about carbs, protein and fat, the less we seem to know about what's growing around us is in season and how it gets cooked in our kitchens."
What are seasonal foods and why is it important to eat them?
Seasonal food is the produce that is purchased and consumed at the time that it is harvested. The reason why we should eat them is because it is fresh, tasty and nutritious as compared to the food consumed out of season. For instance, we all like to eat mangoes and strawberries all year round, but the best time to eat them is when they are purchased directly from a local grower soon after they are being harvested. Seasonal fruits and vegetables produced on local farms tend to be fresher, as they do not require long distances for transport.
Healthiest ways to cook these seasonal foods:
The healthiest way to cook food is steaming. Steaming is, simply, cooking food in an enclosed environment infused with steam. However, there are a variety of ways by which you can steam your food. You can steam food with a covered, basket that rests above a pot of boiling water; with bamboo steamers or with convenient electric steamers. Steaming seals the natural taste and flavour of the food. It also eliminates the need for added fats like oil or sweeteners used during preparing the dishes. It helps in retaining the nutrients better than any other cooking method.
The other cooking option which helps preserve the nutrients of the food is baking. Besides breads and desserts, you can also bake seafood, poultry, lean meat, vegetables like potato and even some fruits. For baking, you can place food in a pan or dish, covered or uncovered. In addition, baking generally does not require you to add any fat to the food.
Similar to baking, but generally at higher temperatures, the process of roasting involves using an oven's dry heat to cook the food. You can roast foods on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan. Roasting helps enhance the flavour of food and retain the nutrients as well.
Healthy cooking method sautéing quickly cooks relatively small or thin pieces of food. You can use just a drop of oil while sauteing or even better vegetable broth or cooking spray. Sauteing vegetables like mushrooms, peas, carrots and chicken can make an amazing dish all together while healthy at the same time.