- It is better to wash vegetables under running water.
- Wash vegetables before cutting. Some vitamins and minerals are lost if vegetables are washed after cutting.
- As far as possible cut vegetables just before cooking/serving (in case of salads).
- To preserve nutrients and minerals, cut vegetables into large pieces or cook them whole.
Peeling thick or thin?
- Most of the nutrients are just beneath the skin of the vegetables. If possible, cook vegetables without peeling or peel them thinly.
Best ways of cooking
- Best ways of cooking vegetables are steaming, roasting, sautéing, grilling and stir-frying.
- Add vegetables to boiling water. Cook them in minimum water. Tender vegetables like spinach, cabbage need no additional water. While cooking vegetables initially keep the pan open, and then cover it. This shortens the cooking time. Vegetables cooked in this way look better and the nutrients are better retained.
- Pressure cooking or steaming is better for solid vegetables.
- In healthy cooking you can’t add a lot of fat or salt to make foods taste better. Instead make use of herbs & spices to make things taste good.
- Serve vegetables hot after cooking, best is to avoid reheating them.
Broccoli should be microwaved or steamed on very low flame to retain its nutritional benefits. One should cook it for very less time to preserve its anti- cancerous properties. Broccoli should be cooked for approximately 4-6 mins only.
Eating carrots raw is fine, but their nutrients are actually best absorbed after very light cooking.
Green beans have been found to keep their antioxidants levels after most cooking methods, so feel free to steam, boil or microwave.
Spinach along with other leafy greens is rich in potassium and high in folic acid. It loses its vitamin C after cooking, so it’s best to enjoy spinach raw in a salad. Spinach should be boiled for approx. 2-4 mins and if steamed then 4-5 mins only.