[dropcap]C[/dropcap]ooking low calorie meals is easy if you keep your kitchen stocked with these 10 ingredients. Not only will you find yourself using less salt, sugar, oil and grease, you’ll find that each dish tastes better as well.
So here’s the 10 best ingredients for low calorie cooking in the Pakistani Kitchen:
Cinnamon: We know cinnamon as dalchini, and use it to add flavour to Pakistani curries. But grind those cinnamon sticks, or better still just buy ground cinnamon, and you’ve got a great natural sweetener for baking, teas and snacks.
Coriander: Loaded with vitamins and minerals, coriander is ever-present in Indian kitchens. Use coriander to lightly flavour dishes after cooking, without relying on greasy spices to do the job.
Olive oil: Replace your ordinary vegetable oil with Olive oil and you would already have taken the first step toward low calorie cooking. Olive oil helps you keep the dish’s overall calorie count low.
Honey: While honey is still a type of sugar, it is infinitely healthier than white and powdered sugar. Lower the calorie count in each dessert and sweet snack by using honey as a substitute for unhealthy sugar.
Brown rice: This is an excellent alternative to fried cereal accompaniments, white rice, and refined flour cereals (readymade dosas, idlis, etc). Not only will your overall calorie count go down, brown rice will also add extra fiber to your meals and help in better digestion.
Powdered spices: Cutting down on salt will also help cutting back on unnecessary calories. Powdered spices help you do just that. Another plus point lies in the fact that you no longer need to stir any whole spice in oil. Just add vegetables or leant meat and add powdered spices on top.
Fresh greens: All vegetables are great for low calorie cooking, but fresh greens win hands down. They reduce bulk and therefore reduce calories. Add a handful to every dish and you’ll feel yourself getting fuller on fewer calories.
Fresh lean meat: Smoked and cured meat in cans and store-bought packages are usually high in calories. Replace these with lean meat cuts. Invest in a steady supply of chicken breast fillets, fish fillets, meat strips, and other such options.
Cooking spray: A good nonstick cooking spray can save you many calories in the kitchen. Invest in one that is easy to reload. Many first time cooks make the rookie mistake of buying one-time-use cooking sprays. Make sure what you buy is a dispenser that you can fill on your own.
Ginger: When trying to cook low calorie dishes, potent spices that pack a punch with flavour are your best friends. In this department, ginger wins every time.