The Best Food Prep, Cooking and Storage Ideas 

Sue Stevens

Sue has been in clinical practice for over 20 years and in that time, she has consulted and guided 1000’s of people through their healthcare journey. After studying for over 15 years, acquiring 3 post-graduate qualifications, Sue works to understand the nature of your health concerns, using traditional thinking and the best evidence-based information to create a holistic, manageable, and individualised treatment plan. Call today to step into the healthy, energetic version of yourself! Learn to live your best life!

The Best Food Prep, Cooking and Storage Ideas

Cooking methods

Different food preparation and cooking methods can alter the nutrient content we derive from our food, and some have also been shown to be associated with the creation of certain carcinogens that are harmful to health.
The best approach to safe cooking is to cook ‘low and slow’. Avoid cooking at temperatures over 100° Celsius. Cooking methods known to deplete nutrients or affect the quality of food we are consuming that are best avoided are outlined in the Table below.
While certain cooking methods are best avoided, our circumstances may occasionally require us to bake or microwave our foods. If so, follow these guidelines to minimise the impacts:
  • If baking, keep the oven temperature as low as possible to cook thoroughly (low and slow).
  • Avoid dry heat – baking animal protein and vegetables in dry heat can result in harmful inflammatory compound formation. Baking with liquids helps to reduce this.
  •  Remove any portions of browned, charred food before consuming. Browning food can also form harmful inflammatory compounds, particularly at higher temperatures.
  • If you have to use a microwave, avoid using plastic containers, as chemicals may potentially leach from the plastic into the food. Using glass cookware is desirable. Avoid cooking with non-stick cookware as this contains a chemical known as Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).

Ideal cooking methods

• Braising • Poaching • Sautéeing • Simmering • Steaming • Stewing

Avoid or minimise these cooking methods

• Stir-frying with water • Overcooking and losing nutrients in water
• Boiling • High-temperature cooking*
• Baking (if food becomes browned or crisp)
• Barbecuing • Frying • Grilling • Stir-frying with oil • Toasting
Food Storage
  • Washing and storing food properly is essential to maintaining the nutrient quality and longevity of food. If food is stored properly, it remains fresher for longer. This prevents you from having to throw away food unnecessarily, which may be kinder to your budget.
  • It is always a good time of year to do an audit of your fridge and pantry, clearing out any unhealthy or out-of-date items. When you go to your fridge or pantry, what do you see?
  • Are all the packaged or bottled items in date and sealed properly?
  • Are your organic vegetables stored in the crisper after being washed? Washing vegetables and fruits before consumption is essential to remove potential toxic residues that may be resting on the surface, especially for non-organic foods.
  • Store fresh produce in the crisper to prevent it from wilting; wrapping in unbleached paper towels or a clean cloth may help absorb extra water.
  • Don’t pack your refrigerator to the brim. Leave some breathing room to allow the air to circulate.
  • Avoid storing foods in plastic containers or polystyrene containers and covering food with plastic wrap. Instead, opt for non-porous storage options such as glassware, ceramic or stainless steel. Use a plate to cover food if needed, instead of plastic wrap.
  • Keep spices, onions, potatoes and oils stored in a cool dark place to prevent spoilage.
  • Thawing is most safely done in the refrigerator in a sealed package.
  • Freeze foods using glass or enamel containers, butcher’s paper, parchment, foil or number 4 freezer bags for freezing. Make sure hot food has cooled before placing it in storage bags.
Hope these suggestions help you to organise your healthy meals!
Published on:7 Mar, 2024

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