Eating vegetables is a challenge, especially for young children. Even though vegetables have numerous health benefits unless they are prepared in a delicious manner, you will most likely find your children frowning at the sight of them. However, here are some suggestions for cooking your veggies that will not only boost the nutritious value of your food, but also your children will gobble up the veggies. Longevity Live Partner Content.
It is crucial to understand that the way you cook your vegetables has an impact on the amount of nutrition you get from them. Along with that, to get the full nutritional values of different types of vegetables, you need to know how to cook them.
Once you have mastered all of that, the bowl of veggies on your table should be empty in a jiffy. Here are some healthy ways for cooking veggies to get the highest nutritional value possible. If you’re cooking for a family, don’t worry; these recipes will be enjoyed by both children and adults. If not, you can certainly eat healthy food on your own.
The Best Ways To Cook Your Vegetables
Steaming The Vegetables
The greatest way to begin a healthier lifestyle is by making small adjustments to your eating habits. For example, if you like boiling your veggies, you have been eating them wrong. Health experts have proven that the best way to cook vegetables is by steaming.
When you boil vegetables in water, it takes away the majority of the nutrients present in the vegetables and dilutes them in liquid. Hence, we find many people using the broth after boiling veggies. However, when you eat vegetables, you will not get the expected amount of nutrition. Therefore, restricting the temperature, time, and amount of liquid used, at a minimum level, is the key to cooking vegetables without losing their nutritional value. That is why steaming is highly recommended.
Additionally, studies have shown that steaming vegetables can help retain the anti-cancer properties of broccoli, carotenoids of carrots, and polyphenols (antioxidants that can remove free radicals in the body) in many vegetables in comparison to other cooking methods.
Though most of us are reluctant to use a microwave for cooking, it is the best and quickest way to make nutritious vegetables.
Using a microwave means the vegetables will be cooked under low heat and for a shorter period of time, thus sustaining most of the nutrients such as vitamin C and B, which are mostly removed when vegetables are boiled.
While steaming vegetables on stovetops may not be as quick and easy as using a microwave, it is still very effective in preserving nutrition. Using a bamboo or metal bowl to steam is a great option.
Sautéing The Vegetables
Sautéing, also known as stir-frying, is also a popular method of cooking veggies. In the Mediterranean, sautéing is quite common, especially with vegetables such as eggplant. Stir-frying is very effective as the method involves cooking at high temperatures. This means the food will be cooked fast, therefore retaining its nutrients.
Instead of deep-frying your vegetables in fat-rich oil, stir-frying them in olive oil will help sustain many of its properties. Besides, it will also enhance the flavor of your dish. As olive oil is rich in antioxidants, it will add to the nutritional value of your food.
Many studies have shown that using olive oil has substantially increased the presence of nutrients such as vitamin C, and phytonutrients (these are compounds naturally produced in plant-based food) such as phenols and carotene that are extremely beneficial to the human body.
Even though roasting is considered a bad way of cooking since it involves cooking on high heat for a longer period of time, it is still beneficial in many ways.
For instance, if you mix in some roasted veggies with your steamed one, it adds great flavor to your food without adding unnecessary amounts of salt and fat. Many vegetables such as tomatoes work in an excellent way when roasted and probably taste way better than when cooked in any other way.
The Worst Method Of Cooking
Whether you eat meat substitutes or vegetables, frying them is the endgame. Frying is the worst way of cooking any type of food. When it comes to vegetables, frying completely destroys their nutritional content.
The reason why potato fries are a big no, yet that seems to be the yummiest dish on the planet. This is because frying adds flavor to food. However, it also adds saturated fats and trans fats which are harmful to the body.
Saturated and trans fats are solid at room temperature. They are not simply broken down by the body, and they can also increase the amount of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol in the body. LDL is considered as bad cholesterol. It can deposit in the walls of blood vessels causing blockages and heart disease.
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Choose Your Method Wisely
It’s fine if you don’t like steamed or stir-fried vegetables, every person has their own unique taste. Just remember, whatever method you go for, try to use the least amount of water, cook for shorter periods and cook at low heat.
If you prefer boiling your veggies, preserve the nutrition-rich broth. You can use this later to make other dishes such as soup. Otherwise, it would be a waste to throw it away, as you will not get enough nutrients from boiled veggies.
Eating enough vegetables is challenging for many of us. However, if you put some effort into preparing and cooking vegetables, you will enjoy them. And it figures, when you enjoy eating vegetables, you will want to eat more. Which is healthy for you and your family. Don’t be afraid to try something new!