5 Calorie-Slashing Cooking Methods (30+ Recipes!)

Sep 20 2017
Question@2x Hi HG,

I'm trying to make healthier meals at home, but I don't know where to start. (My mom fried everything or cooked it with loads of butter!) Can you suggest some cooking methods that'll save me some calories in the kitchen?

Cooking Rookie
Answer@2x Hi Cooking Rookie,

When it comes to saving calories, it’s not just the ingredients that matter... It’s the way you cook them! Here are my go-to cooking methods for calorie slashing.

Faux Frying

You can have that crispy, crunchy taste without all the calories. The secret is baking the food in an oven set at a high temperature. Crank that thing up, spritz your food with nonstick spray, and let the magic happen. You can also coat your food in egg whites and panko breadcrumbs for a breaded creation. Yes!

Air Frying

Air frying is like the younger, hipper sister of faux frying. It involves a fancy (yet reasonably priced) gadget, a.k.a. an air fryer, that blasts food with high-speed hot air rather than submerging it in sizzling oil. And in the HG kitchen, we've discovered that you don’t even need to add the recommended small amount of oil to get that crispy finish. Bonus: The air fryer preheats AND cooks faster than a regular oven. Here’s a fantastic air fryer at a nice low price!

Cooking in an Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is another miracle appliance. (Get yours here.) This thing can cook, sauté, pressure cook, steam, and slow cook! And the pressure-cook function is CRAZY fast. Cooking healthy food is so much easier with this countertop appliance. Plus, the Instant Pot doesn’t require any oil or butter because the pot itself locks in the flavor and moisture.

Indoor Grilling

Grilled food is the best… That char, that flavor, those juices! YUM. Combine veggies with chicken, shrimp, or salmon, and you’ve got a delicious and healthy dinner! And grilling can be a year-round cooking method: Whip out your grill pan for an indoor grilling experience that’s just as tasty and more convenient. Here's a great grill pan courtesy of Amazon.

No Cook

Sometimes the healthiest cooking method is not cooking at all! I’m talking about salads, slaws, overnight oats, and more. After all, people tend to use the whole "I don't have time to cook" excuse as a reason to forgo healthy food. With these recipes, there's no excuse...

Chew on this:

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SmartPoints® value* not what you expected? We follow the same method as Weight Watchers when calculating the SmartPoints® value* for a recipe: We add up the SmartPoints® values* of the individual ingredients. (Many foods have a value of zero and remain zero in recipes.)

*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints® trademark.