Escalivada with bread

Preserve the Nutrients of your Vegetables

Preserve the Nutrients of your Vegetables is something that you might not pay much attention. If you are making an effort to eat healthy, make sure you get the best out of it with this simple tips.

When looking for your veggies, always look for dark greens, purples, and intense colors; they are likely to contain more beta carotene and vitamin C.

Cooking Time and Method

It is always better to keep cooking time, temperature, and water amount to a minimum.

That’s why steaming is one of the best ways to cook most vegetables.

Boiling vegetables causes water-soluble vitamins to leach into the water.

So unless you are going to make soups or stews with it, the vitamins will be put to waste.

Steaming is much easier on the vegetables and makes them preserve their nutrients better as they don’t come in contact with the boiling water. When you boil vegetables, you are likely to be losing 50% of their antioxidants or more.

Try Cutting cooking times. longer foods are exposed to heat, the more nutrients are lost. To reduce cooking times, cover the pot to retain heat and avoid evaporation; place vegetables in already boiling water, and learn to enjoy vegetables with a crunchier texture.

Also, cooking vegetables, whole or in big chunks is the best choice to preserve nutrients. Don’t wash your vegetables until just before you use them. Washing before storing can promote bacterial growth and speed up spoilage.

Preparation

Use the peel. Keeping peels on foods like sweet potatoes, yams and carrots preserves more nutrients that concentrate near the surface. Opt for a good vegetable brush and scrub vegetables thoroughly. I also roast butternut squash, onions and sweet potatoes with their peelings.

Use all parts. Many vegetables are entirely edible and rich in nutrients, so using the entire plant, from root to stem, is a sure way to add nutrients to your day. I use all parts of broccoli, cauliflower, beetroots stem in stews and curries.

Making mashed potatoes with the peals on, contributes to achieve a different texture and make it more nutrient-dense.

I also use the celery leaves in our salads or in our Morning Green Juice.

Celery Green Juice
Celery Green Juice

Storage

Fresh is best, frozen is next. Fresh, ripe produce in-season —freezing produce immediately after harvesting retains 95 to 100 percent of most vitamins and minerals, with the exception of vitamin C, which diminishes by up to 30 percent in frozen produce.

Store your fresh herbs such as parsley and cilantro in the fridge, put them in a glass of water (with the stems covered) and cover all of it with a plastic bag. This will extend its life for up to a week.

If you are curious about why Steaming vs Boiling, here is a good resource. Click here.

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