Kitchen Clues: Make It Delicious and Nutritious

Families, Food and Fitness January 06, 2011 Print Friendly and PDF

Author: Annrose M. Guarino, Ph.D., Human Nutrition and Food, Louisiana State University, Louisiana Cooperative Extension


Nutritious food is important in good health. Most foods are eaten cooked, but some, like fruits and vegetables, are eaten raw, too. We cook food for three main reasons:

  1. to make it easier to digest,
  2. to destroy harmful bacteria,
  3. to make it taste good.


Know these terms, and you will be a better cook and your family will have better meals.

Beat Combine two or more ingredients well. Use a spoon, fork, hand beater, wire whisk or mixer. The mixture is lifted over with each beat. Beating takes muscle or an electric mixer.

Blend Mix everything thoroughly, until smooth.

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Chop Cut in small pieces with knife.

Combine Mix to combine or unite ingredients.

Cut In Cut solid fat into dry ingredients by chopping with two knives or pastry blender until fine.

Flour Dust food or greased pans with flour until well coated. Shake off extra flour.

Fold Combine gently, bringing rubber spatula or spoon down through mixture, across bottom, up and over top until blended.

Grease Rub a thin film of cooking fat or oil over surface of pan, griddle or cookie sheet.

Melt Heat until liquid.

Knead Work dough with your hands in folding back and pressing forward motion.

Saute Cook in a small amount of fat.

Sift Put through a flour sifter or fine sieve.

Soft Shortening Butter, margarine or solid shortening left at room temperature, so that it can be measured and mixed easily.

Steam Cook in steam, with or without pressure.

Stir Mix round and round with a spoon.

Stir-fry Cook in a very small amount of fat (1 tablespoon) or broth; flip the food, using two spatulas, until crisp-tender.

Whip Beat rapidly to get air into product. Use a wire whip, rotary eggbeater or electric mixer.



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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.