Are you a fan of eating vegetables? Are vegetables on your menu list every time you cook? If yes, you have to find the healthiest ways to cook with vegetables you probably don’t know about. Obviously, one way to enjoy eating vegetables is to cook them first.
Yes, most cooked vegetables become more delicious to be consumed. And yet, some vegetables are tasty too, when we eat them raw or fresh. Most certainly, when you cook with vegetables, this provides many benefits, but can also be unhealthy.
It is said to be unhealthy and harmful because the heat produced while cooking vegetables can eliminate their nutritive compounds. Thus, it especially eliminates the nutrients of some vitamins and minerals. Some of the vitamins are known to be resistant to heat, such as vitamin C and vitamin B. Both of these vitamins are included in water-soluble vitamins which can also dissolve with water in the cooking process.
Top 10 Healthiest Ways to Cook with Vegetables
This next discussion will get more in-depth about how to cook vegetables healthier. Thus, your body will absorb healthier vegetables much easier. Because, when you cook with vegetables in the best possible ways, that will boost their nutrition. Therefore, cooking with vegetables will add other important minerals, such as calcium, iron and magnesium that our body needs. Enough said, these are 10 top healthiest ways to cook vegetables you need to know:
Steam Your veggies
Vegetables that are good when steamed are broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables. Plus, steaming is proven to maintain the nutritional content of vegetables more than any other cooking method.
Stir-frying is a quick-cooking method for small pieces of food in a frying pan. It’s healthy and results in tender-crisp vegetables and absorb more nutrients than if they were boiled. Stir-frying requires a small amount of oil, which makes the fat content low. And for a large amount of stir-frying, a wok is the best option.
You can bake vegetables in the oven or on the stove. Vegetables are given oil before the baking process. The vegetables are ready when they change color and the texture becomes crispy. Vegetables that can be cooked in this method are asparagus, pumpkin, beans, string beans, carrots, or onions.
Boil your vegetables
This is probably the method you use most often when you cook with vegetables. You can use this method to boil beans, potatoes, beets, and other root vegetables that take longer to cook.
Sauteing is done with less oil. Sauteing can also maintain the number of vitamins and minerals, as well as keeping the natural taste and color of any vegetables. Hence, sauteing is perfect for cooking vegetables, mainly asparagus, baby artichokes, peas, peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
Roasted vegetables are also healthy and tasty at the same time. Roasting can make crunchy cauliflower, crispy Brussels sprouts and more.
Grilled vegetables are also one of the healthiest ways to cook with vegetables. It is safe because there’s no sign of any health-risk potentials can form on grilled vegetables.
Stewed vegetables include carrots, beans, peppers, onions, mushrooms and potatoes. This cooking method is slow and results in dishes such as thick soups.
Cook with Vegetables in the microwave
Microwave your vegetables are also a top cooking method for vegetables. You just need to wrap a bowl of vegetables with plastic wrap. Set the microwave time, then serve.
You can also use the blanching method, which is to boil vegetables in a fast time at low heat temperature before the water boils. Then, plunge the vegetables into iced or cold water to stop the cooking process.
Four Vegetables Cooking Tips
Hence, what are the healthiest ways to cook with vegetables so that the nutrients don’t go away? As already mentioned, there are many ways to cook vegetables, from boiling, steaming, to sauteing vegetables with a little bit of oil. Each of these cooking methods certainly has different effects on certain types of vegetables. Before we get on to that, consider some vegetables cooking tips so that their nutrients don’t fade are as follows:
- Washing— Before you cook with vegetables, you need to wash them first. Even when you’re eating them raw for salads. Washing vegetables are beneficial for removing bacteria, germs, and pesticides attached to vegetables. To do this, wash vegetables in running water and never soak them. Because, soaking vegetables will only make them lose nutrients, like vitamin C. Keep in mind that vitamin C is very susceptible to heat, water and air.
- Cutting— For vegetables that contain water-soluble vitamins, mainly vitamin C, cut the vegetables into large chunks. Or else, you can also cook with vegetables as a whole or in their full form. This is done so that not a lot of their nutrient compounds are lost during the cooking process. Also, if you want to get smaller chunks of vegetables, you can chop them again. Right after you cook the vegetables, chop them again into smaller pieces.
- Time, Temperature and Water— When you cook with vegetables, you should also pay attention to the time, temperature, and also the amount of water used for cooking. When you cook the vegetables for too long, under high temperature, and too much water, will result in nutrients lost in vegetables. The less water used for cooking, the more nutritious they are. So, vegetables that contain water-soluble vitamins should be cooked with less water. Therefore, it is recommended for those vegetables that are water-soluble vitamins (vitamin C and vitamin B), steaming, are proven to be the best cooking method. Studies have shown, broccoli cooked by steaming can maintain its vitamin C content up to 80%.
- Cooking Methods— Choose the appropriate cooking method for specific vegetables. By using the right cooking method when you cook with vegetables, you can minimize the number of nutrients lost due to the cooking process. So, you still get optimal nutrition from the vegetables you eat.
So, was this article useful for your everyday vegetable consumption? Hopefully, these tips to the healthiest ways to cook with vegetables will change the way you use them for cooking, for the better.
Asma Sheikh helps to write the post who is the Founder and Editor of Cookware Ninja. She writes on the blog to help people to find the right cookware and utensils for their kitchen.