Saturday,16 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1301, (23 - 29 June 2016)
Saturday,16 December, 2017
Issue 1301, (23 - 29 June 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Entre Nous: Ramadan cooking tips

Let’s talk about better living! Our interactive family corner aims to expand our lifestyle horizons with practical little pearls of wisdom from the editor and input from our readers

Fasting during Ramadan can cause some people to gain weight, especially if they eat oily or fried food with lots of sweets and drinks for Iftar. So, if you want to lose or maintain your weight during the holy month, try to reduce the amount of fat when cooking your favourite recipes.

Instead of deep frying your food, cook it with a little bit of vegetable oil or bake, roast, steam or grill. You can also enhance your dishes by using fresh vegetables, herbs and spices to add taste without adding calories.

Rather than avoid the food you love during Ramadan, try these cooking tips to help you lower your fat intake and avoid the risk of gaining weight.

* Use low-fat cheese or a small amount of strong-flavoured cheese with skimmed milk instead of whipping cream to add a creamy taste to pasta and other dishes.

* Opt for unsaturated fat like olive oil instead of butter, and use in moderation.

* Avoid overcooking pasta. Experts believe that the longer you boil pasta, the quicker your body converts the carbohydrates it contains into fuel. Al dente pasta or noodles take longer to digest, delivering a steady stream of energy.

* Replace whole-milk dairy products with low-fat or non-fat ones.

* Use a wok to cook vegetables, poultry or seafood in vegetable stock or a small amount of oil instead of deep frying.

* Use a rack in the pan when roasting meat or poultry to prevent the meat from sitting in the fat drippings.

* Steam vegetables in a basket over simmering water. This way they will retain more flavour and won’t need any salt.

* Use a pan made from a non-stick metal or a coated non-stick surface, so you will need to use little or no oil when cooking.

* Chop potatoes and vegetables at least half an inch thick and then pat them dry. This helps prevent the oil from being absorbed by the food.

* When roasting or baking, lightly coat pieces of meat with oil instead of drizzling from the bottle.

* When deep frying, make sure the oil is as hot as possible, as this means the food will absorb less of it. If the oil is not hot enough, the food could turn out to be soggy rather than crispy and you also risk eating a lot more of the fat.

* Go for low-fat yoghurt instead of cream in soups.

* Use a non-stick vegetable spray to brown or sauté foods, or a tiny bit of vegetable oil rubbed onto a pan with a paper towel. As an alternative, heat a few tablespoons of chicken broth in a pan, stir in vegetables, and add more liquid as needed until they are cooked through.

* Dry frying is a good method to replace deep frying and involves frying without oil in a good non-stick pan.

* When roasting, try to add minimal fat before cooking and baste the roast during the cooking progress to keep it moist.

* Use yoghurt and a little lemon juice as a salad dressing rather than mayonnaise.

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