Philippine Cuisine is not exactly known as a primary choice of health conscious eaters. Because of the many foreign influences, its flavor, presentation, and calories can be as rich as its history. This does not mean however that healthy cooking Philippines is not possible. Like in any part of the world, healthy eating is possible in households that purposely aim for it. So how is healthy eating achieved in Filipino households?
Opting for Natural Flavor Enhancers While Limiting Artificial Additives
One secret of healthy Filipino cooking is the extraction of flavor from natural ingredients instead of using too much artificial flavor additives. However, this process would usually require the luxury of time. This jives well with the traditional Filipino practice of enjoying the cooking process, sometimes with the family, as much as enjoying eating the food. One good example of this is juicing up the tomato while cooking “pinakbet”, a favorite stir-fry vegetable dish coming from the Ilocos Region. Another is the preferred slow cooking process of the “bulalo” or Beef Shank Soup, which facilitates the release of natural beef flavor.
Healthier Cooking Methods
While fried food is always a big favorite in almost all Filipino households, especially among children, Filipino cooking recipes provide for other healthier cooking options. Grilled food is a big hit in both adults and children. Stir-frying which makes use of less oil and results to less loss of food nutrients is also a popular cooking technique. Boiling meat and adding vegetables with minimal spices towards the end of the cooking process is another easy and healthy way of cooking.
There is almost no limitation when it comes to variety in Filipino food. It is one of the more flexible cuisine in the world which makes it easier for homemakers to come up with healthier food combinations as they see fit. Most Filipino dishes which can be considered too rich by general standards can easily be modified for healthier versions.
Healthy Eating is a Matter of Choice
It is worth noting that healthy eating is really a matter of choice. Homemakers can produce the healthiest food for their family if they want to regardless of where they are. Being in the Philippines just makes the task of preparing healthy food more exciting. There is no better time to taste Filipino food than during fiestas and special occasions like Christmas where Filipinos are known to go all out in food preparation. A fair warning though is in order since this is also the time that many elaborately rich food are served.