How to Cook With Fruits and Vegetables and Keep Their Color and Nutrients

Published: 25th July 2012
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Very often when we cook with vegetables, we end up cooking them so that they lose both their color and with it, their essential nutrients. One of the harder things about cooking meals is to have it look colorful with fruits and vegetables, but make sure the vitamins and minerals are still there after they are ready to eat. Below are some simple tips to make sure that most nutrients are still in the food after you prepare them.

You should not soak fruits and vegetables that have a thick skin. This causes them to lose some of their vitamins as they dissolve in the water. You should instead use a soft brush and some water to scrub them. It is a good idea to leave the skin on carrots, potatoes and pears, and take off as little skin as you can. Most of the vitamins in these fruits and veggies are in the outside skin and the leaves. The peel will help to keep you from losing the nutrients of the food.

Also, it is a very good idea to steam as many of your vegetables as you can. Steaming will keep most of the essential nutrients in your food. The vegetables will not contact boiling water, which really causes the vegetables to lose nutrients. Veggies also just taste better when they are properly steamed, rather than boiled to death into mush. This not only tastes bad, it is not nearly as nutritious.

On a related note, you also can cook veggies in your wok. The big secret of cooking with a wok is that it cooks fast and at a high temperature. This means that your vegetables keep most of their flavor and their nutrients. You also get vegetables that are crisp and full of color. Cooking with a wok is one of our favorite ways to cook vegetables. One of the best recipes you can try is to cook these veggies in a wok - broccoli, carrots, and snow peas in a sauce made from garlic. The vegetables will retain their flavor and crispness. You can toss in just about any type of meat you like.

If you have vegetables that need a longer cooking time, try to cut them into bigger pieces if you can. There are fewer inside surfaces of the vegetable in the open air, so you will not lose as much of the nutrients.

Another good idea is to try to eat your fruits and veggies raw when you can. And, you should cook your vegetables as fast as you can - just until they are tender but still crisp. You will lose a lot of vitamins B and C if you overcook them. In general, the less you cook them, the fewer essential nutrients you are going to lose.

If you must use canned vegetables, do not cook them. Just warm them up a bit on the stove or in your microwave. If you re-cook them,, you are going to lose even more of the flavor and the essential nutrients.

Next, you should try to save the liquid that you get when you are cooking veggies for your soups and sauces. You can just freeze it and use it later. This is one good way to get the benefits of the vitamins and minerals from the water from the vegetables. Also, if you are cooking beets and cabbage, you can add some lemon juice or even some vinegar to the water in which you are cooking them. This will help to maintain the color. It is not a good idea to use baking soda, as it will destroy some of the vitamins.


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Lawrence Reaves writes for Hamilton Beach, a kitchen appliance company that is offers a selection of kitchen products ranging from slow cookers to toasters and coffee makes. For more information about these products visit this site.

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