Design and Technology GCSE: Healthy cooking methods

The way food is prepared and cooked affects its appearance, taste, texture and whether people want to eat.

Healthier cooking limits or avoids oil and fat, and can also mean reducing ingredients such as fat, sugar and salt.

Moist methods of cooking like steaming, poaching and boiling do not use any added fat. Grilling, roasting and baking - as an alternative to frying, (e.g. baking Samosas or Burgers) are ways of cooking in or under dry heat.

Very little oil or fat is required and any excess from cooking can be drained off.

Dry frying does not use any fat at all and stir-frying only a small amount.

A range of small electrical appliances such as microwave ovens, halogen ovens and air fryers can help to reduce the amount of fat needed for cooking.

Herbs and spices can enhance the appearance, texture and taste of dishes.

Techniques such as oil-misting boiled potatoes and baking them until crisp and golden, adding a teaspoon of Parmesan cheese to fresh breadcrumbs, sprinkling on poached fish and grilling, improves the appearance, taste and texture of an otherwise bland dish.

This clip is from the series Food Preparation and Nutrition.

Teacher Notes

Students could prepare a simple two course meal using healthier cooking methods and apply some techniques to improve the taste, texture and palatability of the food.

Why is the meal healthier? Discuss the outcomes.

Students could use their knowledge of healthier cooking methods and, explaining their reasoning, could apply those methods to create a healthier version of a traditional fried breakfast.

Make healthier alternatives to fried bread, fried egg, fried sausage, fried tomato, fried potato and mushrooms.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Food Technology and Modern Studies at GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC KS4/GCSE in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland

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