3 Ways to a Healthier Kitchen with Parchment Paper
While many cooks might be satisfied using parchment paper to make a tray of cookies every once in a while, there are, in fact, many ways this kitchen pantry staple can help you to build a healthier kitchen every day.
From helping you cut back on cooking oil, to being your new lunchbox and leftover helper, making the most of healthy and versatile parchment paper will be the one kitchen hack from which you’ll never look back.
Here are three ways parchment paper can help keep you, and your kitchen, in top shape.
Cut back on unnecessary kitchen oils
Many recipes call for you to grease your cake pan or baking tray with some sort of cooking oil. For cakes this is often butter, and sometimes a dusting of flour, for cookies or baked dishes this could be olive oil or some kind of cooking spray. The purpose of this step is to help your food to keep from sticking to the surface of your cookware. The problem is that it often doesn’t work.
Nothing breaks a cook’s heart quite like turning a cake out and leaving half of it behind in the pan, or trying to serve baked potatoes while the delicious crispy outside remains firmly fixed to your baking tray. Moreover, the addition of oil can affect the flavour and healthiness of your dish. All in all, using oil is a pretty disappointing way to keep food from sticking.
Thankfully, this is exactly what parchment paper was made for. Coated with a layer of heat-resistant silicone, parchment paper provides excellent nonstick performance for all sorts of cooking applications.
Lining a cake pan with a round of parchment paper will help it turn easily out of the pan. Using a sheet of parchment paper to line a baking tray not only keeps your food from sticking, but also saves time on clean up.
Cook healthier food using the en papillote method
We love to eat leaner meats like fish fillets or chicken breasts, however it can be tricky to cook them without causing them to dry out, especially in an oven. Thankfully, there is one technique that helps keep lean meats succulent and tender while letting you make use of the convenience of oven-baking. We’re talking, of course, about cooking en papillote.
Also called al cartoccio in Italian, the French technique of baking en papillote involves wrapping the food in a parchment paper parcel, often with some sort of sauce or seasoning.
During baking, the parchment paper protects the food from the harsh direct heat of the oven while also capturing the moisture released by the food.
The food is effectively being gently steamed within the parchment paper parcel, preventing it from drying out while being cooked. The outcome? Tender, succulent, lean fish and chicken.
This technique also works for vegetables, enabling them to retain more of their vitamin content than other cooking methods, like boiling or microwaving.
Safe and healthy food storage
Parchment paper is also extremely handy for storing food in a healthy way. Certified as safe for food contact and with excellent nonstick and greaseproof properties, parchment paper keeps leftovers in good condition in your fridge or lunchbox. It's also an excellent way to separate portions of food destined for the freezer.
For anyone who likes to store leftovers in aluminum foil, parchment paper is an excellent substitute, especially since research has revealed that aluminum may not be as safe for food contact as we once assumed.
Parchment paper is naturally free from BPA and won’t affect the safety or flavor of your food. Food wrapped in parchment paper can also be reheated in microwave while wrapped. This can help the food reheat faster, while protecting your microwave from mess.
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