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Healthier Alternatives to Frying

June 14, 2012 Le Cordon Bleu San Francisco 0 Comments

Healthier Alternatives to Frying

From French fries to chicken, fried food has become a staple of American dining but with obesity, diabetes and heart disease all on the rise; it’s a great time to discover the culinary techniques behind some healthy alternatives to frying. Baking, grilling and broiling are just three of the ways in which you can prepare healthy meals at home without sacrificing any of the flavors you and your family enjoy.

Grilling is hands down one of the healthiest ways to prepare a meal. From delicately browned vegetables to the perfect BBQ chicken, this favorite San Francisco culinary past time is the perfect way to cut down on fat and calories while still enjoying your favorite foods. Try picking foods that are low in fat and high in nutrients such as chicken breast or pork tenderloin. Potatoes can be wrapped in tin foil and thrown on the coals and corn on the cob can be soaked in water and placed on the grill for healthy flavorful side dishes.
When it’s cold or raining and that trek to the backyard grill just isn’t possible, try heating up your broiler for another healthy alternative to fried food. Like grilling, broiling is a culinary technique that relies on intense direct heat to cook your food. Using a broiling pan will allow oil and grease to drip away from cooking meats leaving all of the flavor without all the fat. Always preheat your broiler and broiling pan as this culinary technique requires high temperatures to properly sear meats and keep in moisture. Tender cuts of meat, poultry, ham and fish are perfect for broiling. Try to find pieces no more than one inch thick and trim off excess fat before cooking. Because of the intense heat involved in broiling, food will cook very quickly, just a few minutes on each side, so keep a close eye on your broiler to avoid burning or catching fire to your dinner. Though most often used for meat, the broiler is also a great way to give a crispy brown finish to breads and cheese topped pasta dishes.

Perhaps the most versatile of all these methods is cooking in your oven. Baking foods is a great way to prepare healthier versions of your favorite dishes. Love French fries? Try making oven fries instead, just toss potato wedges with a little healthy olive oil and some Cajun spices and you have a new healthy side dish to compliment any meal. Another great oven option: coat lean chicken breast in crushed corn cereal or bread crumbs and bake. You get the same crispy coating as a fried chicken without all the extra fat and calories. Unlike broiling, baking is just as friendly to vegetarian dishes as it is to meat. Try tossing a variety of root vegetable like beets and turnips in a low-fat Italian salad dressing and cooking in the oven for a side dish as flavorful as it is colorful.

If you don’t mind sacrificing the convenience of the drive-thru a few nights a week, your kitchen can produce a wealth of healthy delicious deep- fryer-free meals. If you would like to learn more about preparing healthy foods and enjoy cooking, perhaps a San Francisco culinary school would be just the place for you to continue your culinary education.

This article is presented by California Culinary Academy. California Culinary Academy offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in San Francisco, California. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/San-Francisco for more information. 

Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures.  
Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.


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