1. Simmer (Slow Cooking)
Cooking the vegetables on low heat, or simmering, is one of the best and gentle ways of cooking fresh vegetables. Cooking on low heat helps preserve most of the nutrients hence considered the best way to prepare food.
While some nutrients may be lost on the slow-cooker, you can always prevent this by adding some water to the dish. Simmering is also recommended when preparing stews and soups as it preserves and enriches taste.
You should also consider keeping the cooking pot covered to trap in steam and other vegetable nutrients.
Healthy fats such as olive oil and vegetable oils can also be added to the vegetables for added taste and flavor. Besides, these oils facilitate the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (such as Vitamin K, A, D, and E) found in vegetables.
You also never have to leave the vegetables in the cooker for too long. 30 minutes of slow cooking is enough for most vegetables.
Steaming involves cooking vegetables under very low heat while preserving their water content. Unlike slow cooking, it only takes around 15 minutes over low heat to steam the vegetables. This again helps preserve vitamins that are easily destroyed by heat, Vitamin C being an excellent example.
You also do not need to use or add cooking oil to the vegetables while steaming.
Experts, however, recommend adding some oil to the vegetables, as this is the only way your body will be able to absorb fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, K, and E.
If you however do not fancy oily foods, you can then use olive or coconut oil to facilitate vitamin absorption. These oils not only taste great but are also a healthy addition to your meal.
Although many people may not know this, frying vegetables is one of the healthiest ways to cook vegetables.
One of the reasons for this is that you never have to drain water from the vegetables, hence no risk of removing minerals and vitamins.
While frying requires lots of heat, you need to be very careful not to overcook or destroy the nutrients inside. This can be done by frying the veggies within the shortest time possible.
According to research, deep fried potatoes have almost the same vitamin C content as fresh uncooked vegetables. This is despite vitamin C being vulnerable to heat.
How well you will be able to preserve the nutrients (especially vitamin C) depends on the oil you use.
Hydrogenated or processed oils are therefore not recommended for they destroy nutrients at high heat.
Nonetheless, coconut or olive oil is mostly recommended it remains stable even at high temperatures. This means it doesn’t destroy vitamins and other nutrients in these vegetables.
None Of This Is Important If You Don’t Eat Enough Vegetables Regularly
While choosing the right cooking method may be a crucial way to help preserve vegetable nutrients, this does not really matter if you don’t consume vegetables regularly.
Ensuring almost every meal has vegetables, whether in salads or smoothie, gives your body more nutrients in the long run.
The few nutrients lost while preparing these vegetables, therefore, won’t make much difference. As long as you can make vegetable-diet part of your regular life and meal plan, you are then covered for a few more years ahead.
Many people however get lost in the details instead of focusing on the bigger picture ahead.
While determining the right foods may be daunting, you could use a few guides, such as the Paleo Hacks Cookbook, for help with getting started.
The Paleo Hacks Cookbook have detailed information on how to ensure all your meals are well balanced and nutritive.
Focusing on the same diet plans every day can however make it boring. Nevertheless, going for different recipes and food preparation manuals (while using almost the same foods) is recommended.
As many experts put it, you should have fun with the foods on your table especially when preparing a meal.
If you don’t know where to find healthy meal recipes that are delicious and also fast to make, we would recommend the Paleo Hacks Cookbook.
There are hundreds of different vegetable recipes that allow you to prepare hundreds of meal combinations: