Part IV of the Good Food Series. Start here, if you missed a segment.
Why is stir-fried food healthier than other cooking options?”
It is all in the “not”s.
Stir-fried food is healthier not only for the fresh ingredients in the recipe but also for the things it is not. There is a positive side to the negatives.
~ Not overcooked
Stir-frying is a very quick way to cook. Since nutrients are lost through the cooking process, quick cooking preserves the most vitamins and minerals. More nutrients is always healthier.
~ Not boiled
Stir-frying requires no pre-cooking. Boiling reduces nutrients by at least 50%. Double cooking (parboiling, then baking, grilling, roasting or frying) increases the exposure to fat, on top of reducing nutrients. More Nutrients + Less Fat = Healthier.
~ Not over-exposed to fats
Stir-frying require little or no fat. Lower fat is always healthier. Traditional stir-fry uses peanut, safflower or soybean oil. All three are healthier than their fat-laden, high calorie animal equivalents.
~ Not sugary white
Typical stir-fry glazes use fruit juices (lemon, pineapple and orange) and brown sugar for sweetness. The natural choice of juice is the healthiest. Brown sugar is healthier than white sugar, every day.
~ Not over-salted
Stir-fry is made with pungent spices, like garlic and ginger: Both are heart healthy. Adding onions, chives or shallots, red pepper flakes and/or vinegar eliminates the need for salt. Less salt is always healthier.
~ Not a by-product
Stir-fry’s star ingredients are vegetables. Nature’s fruit is healthiest by far. Stir-fried meats are lean cuts. Vegetarians often substitute tofu in place of the meats, lowering the fat even more. Less Fat = Healthier.
Showcase some great veggies without loading them with salt and fat. Toss in some pungent spices for flavor. Reap the benefits of a lot of “not”s.
What is your favorite type of stir-fry?
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2011
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