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Health

Top 5 best cooking methods to keep nutrients

We all take care of what we eat! If it is bio, organic, fair-trade, and more, we are happy. Because we want the best, with the best nutrients and trace elements, do we?

Do you know that cooking the wrong way can ruin all those great nutrients, you seek for? And you probably do it wrong!

Yes, cooking can be bad! And following a survey I did for you, most of the people are getting it wrong. We don’t know what is the best way of cooking vegetables while keeping nutrients. Because yes, microwaving has a bad reputation and yes slow cooking is so trendy. AH! And why don’t we eat raw, then?

You don’t need to watch Jeff Goldblum in his show “Cooking with Jeff” to improve your cooking method 😉

 

Let me break it for you, with the 5 best ways of cooking:

Before I start with the ranking, let me explain what makes the nutrients like vitamins go away. There is, in fact, 3 factors to take care of. Temperature (and exposed surface), time and humidity are the 3 actions that are impacting the way vitamins and trace elements stay in vegetables. Why? Because principally those nutrients are water soluble and can be separate from vegetables in no time. You can read this excellent article about the healthy way of cooking.

 

5. Boiling is the worst one!boiling

Boiling is like washing nutrients off the vegetables. Vitamins are water-soluble (vitamins A, B, C, for example), so here you are immersing vegetables in active and hot water, which will rinse the vitamins out of the vegetables. Except if you drink the water and even here, no chance,  because the steam, has probably brought them to air.

 

4. Frying is too hard

The problem with frying is the high temperature and the surface of the vegetables in contact with the heat, which breaks and expulses the nutrients. Too hot, too fast for the vitamin E, sensitive to extremely high or low temperature, for example. Then the others are washed by oils, and again the surface exposed to the heat. More Info here

 

3. Slow cooking, is too long

That’s a real trend nowadays. I almost bought a slow cooker, before I found out that longer you cook, more you have a chance to break the protection from vegetables and liberate all the nutrients in the air. And when you read the description on Amazon, it says, it is the healthiest way of cooking. Really? I am not sure anymore…

 

2. Steaming, almost the best

Arff… Steaming is my favorite! It tastes good, it looks good. But here again, the steam will carry away the nutrients after some time. It is still the second best way of cooking, following my research, if you cook not too long, the chance is that vegetables are still strong enough to keep the nutrients under their skins. So, cook not more than 20mn, and that will do for most vegetables and you are quite fine. The other key is not to pill the skin or not to cut them in too small parts, like this, the steam can’t wash the nutrients away easily.

 

1. Microwaving, surprising, but the best!

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SEE how affordable is a microwave today

Yes, microwaving is the best. It’s fast, and cook the vegetables from their within, from their own water, with almost no evaporation. Let put on the side the wrong reputation from radiation of microwaving (read this excellent article to be convinced) because this NASA invention for cosmonauts originally, is surely the true innovation, in the way of healthy cooking.

Me being vegetarian, I am know persuaded and I need to buy a nice Microwave, to cook my vegetables. Thanks to its unjustified bad reputation, you can find really nice and nonexpensive Microwave for 50€, but after some research, I will probably go for a serious one, like this one from Samsung.

 

 

But what about not cooking at all? 

Here again, it is wrong. With our modern evolution, to make it short, we don’t have the tool anymore to digest correctly the vegetables raw (problems with certain enzymes). It’s not at all a bad option, but not the best one, I am sorry to say.
Read more here

 

Are you surprised? Me too! 

Leave me your reactions!

 

 

28 Comments

  • Rachel

    Great nutrition and cooking advice here. I often boil my veg and then remember how its not good for keeping in the good stuff – will try some other alternatives in the future!

  • Blair Villanueva

    Thanks for your tips! But we prefer steaming over microwaving. That can rarely happen in an Asian homes :D

    • Ben_C

      Sadly the pressure cooker is also bad like steamed, since the vitamins are water soluble and are washed from steam or water… difficult

  • Evelyn Hernandez

    I agree boiling is not the best method as it destroys most of the nutrients. I do not like the microwave but that is a great options for those that do not have to much time to cook.

  • Ellen

    I must admit, I’m pretty guilty for using the boiling and frying more often. I can see why microwaving is the best, my mum always use the microwave for microwaving the vegetables!

  • Grace

    Very informative! Lately I’m been cooking for my family and this really helps a lot for the health of everyone.

  • Wandering Waffles

    I’ve heard before as well, that microwaving is better than other thermal cooking, as it is way faster, but still… don’t you think the food tastes worse when cooked in a microwave?
    Great and very informative post! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reginald Page

    You have made a wonderful point here. This days we hardly preserve nutrients because we are trying everything possible to avoid a contaminated food and that is why boiling, frying kills nutrients.

  • TessaG

    While some foods are obviously not meant to be consumed raw, eating raw veggies is NORMALLY safer than eating cooked meat or fish. Unfortunately, people get very sick eating undercooked chicken, pork, and fish, because the bacteria, etc. in these meats are very dangerous. Raw veg should be thoroughly washed, and anything you grow yourself is pretty safe (unless you fertilize with manure). There have been cases of salmonella from bean sprouts and other veg, but for the most part, raw is best with fruits & veg :)

  • Laura Dove

    Wow I wouldn’t have guessed that at all! I would have thought it was steaming!! That;s really interesting actually, I will try to microwave more!

  • stacey

    I would have never expected the best way to be microwaving. But it makes some sense since you are cooking vegetables from inside out.

  • Cris

    Microwavable vegetables are quite popular here in the US. Still, I prefer my veggies fresh and raw though I do cook them into meals often, such as steaming and with stir-fry.

  • Monidipa Dutta

    Thank you so much for all these amazing tips. I always thought that microwaving food is very unhealthy, turns out I was totally wrong. Steaming is another good method to cook food. Thanks for sharing..!!!

  • Monidipa Dutta

    Thank you so much for all these amazing tips. I always thought that microwaving food is very unhealthy, turns out I was totally wrong. Steaming is another good method to cook food.

  • Ruth Shapter

    Thank you so much for all of these tips !! I will definitely be sharing your wisdom. A lot of these I had no idea about and they are really handy to know :3

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