Health Tips from Riesbeck Food Markets

Healthy Cooking Techniques

Nutrient-rich ingredients are only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to healthy eating. The cooking method you choose is just as important and can make or break a healthy meal.  Choose cooking methods based on your ingredients, cooking time and desired flavor profile.

• Sautéing or stir-frying is great for quick dishes where you’re layering flavors to create a unique final flavor profile. Both techniques also impart some level of browning to ingredients, since foods are cooked at medium to high heat, with only small amounts of additional oil or fat.

• Broiling and grilling are versatile techniques where no additional fat is needed.  Broiling is done in the oven with the heat source directly above the food. Broiling temperatures are extremely hot and meant for shorter periods of time. Grilling is when the heat source is underneath the food and can be easily adjusted for different foods and cooking times.

• Steaming is a great way to retain more nutrients when cooking because foods do not come into

direct contact with the cooking liquid, but are instead cooked by the steam of the heated liquid.  If you steam foods above plain water, the flavor can be bland. To amplify the flavor, try adding aromatics to the steaming liquid, like broth, juice, or dried herbs and seasonings. Another option is to reheat the steamed foods with a quick sauté in garlic, scallions, or shallots.

• Poaching, simmering and boiling are similar in that the foods are fully immersed in a liquid throughout cooking, but differ in their cooking temperatures.

  • Poaching: 160-180° F
  • Simmering: 185-200° F
  • Boiling: around 212° F

• Stewing and braising are when the main ingredients are gently simmered in a flavorful liquid, which is then used as the sauce. They are essentially the same technique, but stewing refers to bite-size ingredients completely submerged in the cooking liquid and braising refers to larger-cut ingredients only partially covered with the liquid. 

The Truth About Artificial Sweeteners

Are artificial sweeteners safe?

Many people rely on artificial sweeteners to cut sugar and calories from the diet.  Artificial sweeteners are several times sweeter than regular table sugar. Even though they are “man-made” they may contain ingredients derived from naturally occurring substances like herbs or sugar itself. They are popular alternates to sugar because they add virtually no calories. They are found in many foods and beverages marked “sugar-free” or “diet.”

The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for setting safety limits for artificial sweeteners. The limits are set to be about 100 times less than the smallest amount that might cause health concerns. There is no sound scientific evidence of any of the U.S. approved sweeteners to cause health problems. Numerous studies confirm that they are safe.

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