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What is the Healthiest Way to Cook Vegetables?
Whether you like vegetables or not, one thing is sure: they are incredibly beneficial to your health. You will make them even tastier by preparing them in a way that maximizes their nutritional value.
However, as with any meal, there are many ways to prepare them: raw, steamed, roasted, and even fried. However, some proponents argue that frying vegetables allows them to lose some of their nutritional value. Thus, in this article, we have come up with the best healthiest way to cook vegetables. Let begin!
What Is The Healthiest Way To Cook Vegetables?
Cooks have choices with a variety of delicious ways to keep vegetables nutritious and dinner-worthy. With so many different cooking techniques to choose from, it can be challenging to find the correct one. Or maybe you’re inclined to believe that they’re all made equal. That’s incorrect. Few cooking techniques, it turned out, are better than others for taking out the nutrients of some vegetables
Generally, cooking time, temperature, and liquid volume should keep to a bare minimum for cooking vegetables. As a result, steaming is one of the most effective methods for cooking most vegetables. It is particularly true for broccoli, which thinks to one of the best anti-cancer foods available. Since the vegetables aren’t in direct contact with the boiling water, steaming is a gentler cooking method.
Microwaving is not only a fast way to prepare, but it also has the potential to help foods hold more nutrients. According to studies, steaming vegetables in the microwave may be the best way to conserve most vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, which degrades when cooked in other ways.
Unlike grilling, which usually entails charcoal, “griddling” is done on the stove or in the oven. It uses a pan with distinct raised sides. Griddled vegetables with a slight amount of olive oil may produce intense flavor while still being very nutritious. Green beans, cabbage, celery, tomatoes, and onions are also excellent choices for griddling.
Sautéing vegetables is one of the most popular ways to prepare them because it is short, easy, and provides many flavors. Since it is such a quick way of cooking, vegetables keep a lot of their nutrients.
According to studies, fat penetrates the food during deep-fat cooking, causing vegetables to dehydrate. Yet, sautéing any vegetables in a good cooking oil like additional olive oil is a perfect way to prepare them.
Why using Olive oil?
Not only does the inclusion of olive oil enhance the taste. However, it also appears to improve the absorption of phytonutrients such as phenols and carotenes. Since many of the vitamins and nutrients in vegetables are fat-soluble, the body consumes them more readily.
4. Braising and Stewing
Simmering ingredients in a tasty sauce are the basis of braising and stewing. Braising can do on a low heat setting which can take several hours. Moreover, when vegetables cook in this manner, they become delicate, tender, and flavorful.
These approaches also allow you to take a break from the stove and do something else while the food cooks. Braising and stewing are better accomplished with heartier vegetables like root vegetables, potatoes, beans, squash, and celery. Vegetables can stew in water, broth, wine, or some other flavorful liquid.
Another healthiest way to cook vegetables is roasting. Roasting vegetables over extended periods can deplete vitamins, although not all nutrients can lose. Roasting vegetables brings out their most refined flavors, making them much tastier without adding too much salt to the diet. If you find steamed vegetables boring, toss in a few roasted vegetables to add flavor while still getting plenty of nutrients.
6. Boiling Veggies
Boiling is a quick and simple way to get crisp, colorful vegetables. However, if done incorrectly, they will turn grey and mushy, losing all their nutrients. The trick is to ensure that the vegetables are only in the boiling water for as long as they need to be. Broccoli, green beans, and cauliflower are excellent boiling vegetables. Put a pot of water to a boil, season with salt, and add your vegetables to a boil.
7. Slow cooking
Slow cooking is a gentler process than frying or boiling since it uses lower temperatures. However, there is no evidence of the nutrient content of vegetables cooked at a slow temperature. Yet, since the temperature is usually lower than the boiling point of water, it’s fair to expect that nutrient losses will be marginally lower.
Many vegetables can pickle like cucumbers. Veggies can be vacuum-sealed in canning jars and frozen for up to a year. Moreover, they can quickly pickle and store in the fridge for up to two months without canning jars. Pickling can do for almost any vegetable, but crisp vegetables that don’t break down in the brine are an excellent choice.
9. Add Citrus
Iron is abundant in vegetables like lettuce, broccoli, and kale. But it’s in a shape that our bodies can’t use, and most of it goes by undigested. Vitamin C, which is abundant in citrus fruits, reacts with iron, converting it to a more readily absorbed form by our bodies. To put it another way, it makes the iron more user-friendly. So squeeze any lemon, lime, olive, or grapefruit juice into the stir-fry or sauté.
10. Pressure Cooker
.Another cooking technique that seems to be regaining popularity is pressure cooking. ‘Many people were hesitant to cook food in a pressure cooker because they thought the high temperature would consume more nutrients. Pressure cookers, on the other hand, cook at a lower temperature than most other cooking types. Thus, it is a good choice for the healthiest way to cook vegetables.
11. Make Soup
Another healthiest way to cook vegetables is by making soup. If you have broth on hand, you can make a tasty soup out of almost any vegetable or group of vegetables. Sauté the firmer vegetables in oil or butter until they are soft, then add stock and season to taste.
Types of Vegetables and Their Cooking Method
1) Leafy Green Vegetables
What they are:
- Mustard Greens
- Collard Greens
Many enjoy these leafy greens in their raw form. They hold a lot of nutrition that way and provide a nice addition to our lettuce and green salads. However, there are benefits to lightly cooking them to release oxalic acid.
Oxalic acid, an organic compound found in raw, leafy greens, inhibits the body from storing the beneficial calcium and iron. On the other hand, cooking breaks down oxalic acid, allowing the body to absorb certain nutrients. However, leafy greens are a good source of water-soluble B vitamins C, all of which can deplete at high temperatures.
Way to cook them
Steaming is your best method to cook these kinds of vegetables. Enable chopped greens to wilt for seven to ten minutes in a steamer over boiling water. To help absorb fat-soluble carotenoids and vitamins A, E, and K, finish with sautéed garlic. If you like, add a flavorful drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or walnut oil for deeper flavor.
2) Purple colored Vegetables
What they are:
- Red Cabbage
- Red Onion
Purple vegetables contain anti-inflammatory phytochemicals called anthocyanin’s, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Way to cook them
Boiling should avoid at all costs since the pigment and vitamins in them leach into the broth. Though steaming helps to retain nutrients, roasting and stir-frying are both acceptable options. And don’t peel the eggplant—as with other vegetables, because the skin contains most phytonutrients and fiber.
3) Red, Orange/ Colorful Vegetables
What they are:
- Bell Peppers
- Sweet Potatoes,
- Butternut Squash,
These vibrant vegetables are a great source of carotenoids. This potent antioxidant is vital for eye protection and can withstand high-heat cooking. Heated carotenoids become more absorbable in our bodies. Another excuse to crank up the heat: You can’t get the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene from tomatoes by heating them.
Way to cook them
Over medium-high heat, sauté the vegetables until they are tender. Alternatively, bake in the oven, which could be a safer choice. You can use less oil when roasting than when sautéing, which saves calories. It also enhances the sweetness of vegetables, making them more appealing.
4) Cruciferous Vegetables
What they are:
- Brussels sprouts
Sulforaphane and indole are two potent compounds found in cruciferous vegetables. They can help protect against cancer. Unfortunately, heat reduces sulforaphane, while indole thrives in heat.
Way to cook them
Steaming cruciferous vegetables decreases heat-sensitive nutrients such as sulforaphane while increasing indole benefits. Moreover, dress with a tablespoon of oil to help the body consume the fat-soluble vitamins contained in the vegetables.
There is no way to ensure that all of the nutrients and beneficial phytochemicals in vegetables can preserve. So don’t restrict yourself to a single cooking process or a salad-only diet.
Vegetables may be baked, fried, steamed, cooked in soup, microwaved, or eaten fresh. They can consume both fresh (when possible) and frozen. You’re more likely to eat them if you have a wide range. So, pick up above mention healthiest way of cooking vegetables. If you liked this article, do share it with others!