It is not sufficient to supply healthy and appropriate food; it must also be prepared in a way that will boost rather than decrease its nutritional worth. Both poor cooking and poor material selection can contribute to the unwholesomeness of meals. Good food is more digestible when it is cooked properly. Cooking breaks down the meal by dissolving the soluble portions, making its elements more easily acted upon by the digestive fluids. Cooking alters each of the dietary elements, with the exception of fats, in much the same way as do the digestive juices. However, cooking frequently falls short of achieving the desired result, and even the best ingredients might become unhealthy and useless via faulty preparation.
It is uncommon to discover a table where no meal is unwholesome in some way, either due to faulty preparation or the inclusion of some harmful ingredient. This is probably because food preparation is so commonplace that its important connections to health, the mind, and the body have been overlooked. Instead, it has been seen as a menial task that can be completed with little to no planning and without paying attention to anything other than the aesthetic and gustatory pleasures. When using taste as the only criterion, it is so simple to employ flavors and condiments to mask the effects of careless and bad food preparation and to dump all manner of subpar material on the digestive system. As a result, poor food preparation has become the norm rather than the exception.
Techniques for cooking.
Cooking is the practice of seasoning or applying heat to food in order to prepare it for consumption. After securing an appropriate heat source, the meal must now be heated in some way. Roasting, broiling, baking, boiling, stewing, simmering, steaming, and frying are the main techniques frequently used.
When food is roasted over an open flame, it cooks in its own juices. Cooking with radiant heat is known as broiling or grilling. This technique only works with thin food bits that have a lot of surface area. Foods that are bigger and more compact should be baked or roasted. In theory, roasting and broiling are similar. Although some heat is transmitted via the hot air surrounding the meal, the work is primarily accomplished in both by the radiation of heat directly onto the surface of the food. The rapid searing of the food’s exterior surfaces caused by the extreme heat application stops the juices from escaping. The interior of the mass is cooked by its own fluids if care is made to turn the meal frequently enough to affect its full surface.
Food is cooked by dry heat in a sealed oven for baking. Only foods with a high level of moisture are suitable for cooking with this technique. The hot, dry air that fills the oven is always thirsty for moisture, and it will draw moisture proportional to the heat it generates from any moist object to which it has access. Foods with only a tiny quantity of moisture emerge from the oven dry, hard, and disagreeable unless shielded in some way from the heated air’s action or provided with moisture in some other way throughout the cooking process.
Cooking food in a boiling liquid is referred to as boiling. The typical medium used for this purpose is water. As the temperature of the water rises, little air bubbles that have been dissolved by it are released. At the bottom of the jar, steam bubbles will start to form as the temperature rises. As the heat builds, the bubbles will rise higher and higher before collapsing, and in a short period of time, they will pass completely through the water, escaping from its surface, causing more or less agitation depending on how quickly they form. At first, these will condense as they rise into the cooler water above, producing a simmering sound. When these bubbles reach the top and release steam, water begins to boil. Rapid bubbling increases the mechanical action of the water but not the heat; boiling something vigorously does not speed up the cooking process other than the fact that the mechanical motion of the water breaks the food into smaller pieces that are therefore more easily softened. However, vigorous boiling results in a significant loss of fuel and reduces the food’s flavor to almost nothing by removing the volatile and tasty components in the steam. Heat intensifies water’s solvent qualities to the point that it permeates the food, making its fibrous and fibrous components soft and easier to digest.
Water and milk are the two liquids that are most frequently used for cooking food. The majority of meals can be cooked with water, however for farinaceous foods like rice, macaroni, and farina, milk, or at least half milk, is preferred because it increases their nutritional content. It is important to keep in mind that milk boils more quickly than water because it is more thick than water and releases less steam when heated. Additionally, because milk is denser than water and is used alone in cooking, a bit more liquid is needed than when water is used.
As the name suggests, steaming is the process of using steam to cook food. There are a few different methods for steaming food, but the most popular one is to place the meal in a perforated dish over a pot of boiling water. This method is preferred than boiling for meals that don’t require the solvent properties of water or that already have a lot of moisture in them. Another method of cooking, known as steaming, involves placing the meal, with or without water, depending on the situation, in a closed vessel that is positioned inside another vessel that is filled with boiling water. Double boilers are used to describe such devices. It’s common to refer to food as being “steamed” or “smothered” when it’s prepared in its own juices in a covered dish in a hot oven.
Stewing is the process of slowly cooking food in a little amount of liquid that has a temperature slightly below boiling. Stirring, which is a gradual, consistent boil, should not be confused with stewing. The use of a double boiler makes it the easiest to maintain the ideal temperature for stewing. The water in the outer vessel boils, but the water in the inner vessel does not because it is continuously evaporating at a temperature just below the boiling point, which keeps it slightly below the temperature of the water from which it receives its heat.
Frying, which is the process of cooking food in hot fat, is not advised. Cooking reduces the digestibility of fat, in contrast to all the other food components. It is likely because of this that nature has designed meals that require the longest cooking times to prepare them for usage. This would seem to suggest that any food that will be exposed to high heat should not be blended with or composed mostly of fats.