There’s only one rule of thumb to abide by when it comes to keeping the nutrients in your vegetables. The less you do, the more you get!
By being healthy and adding some freshly boiled veg to your meal, you might not be getting all the goodness that you think you are. Boiling vegetables leads to the loss of water-soluble vitamins (C and B Complex Vitamins like folate), as they leach into the cooking water and become unstable in hot cooking temperatures. Follow these guidelines to ensure you’re getting everything you deserve from your food:
- Most vitamins and fibre are in the skin and leaves of your veg, so no need to peel carrots or potatoes. To get rid of any dirt just scrub them with a dry cloth or brush using little water. The outer leaves of veg such as onions and radishes will also add lots of vitamin A, calcium and iron to your meal.
- Remember, the less cooking time and less water used in cooking, the more nutrients retained. So, believe it or not, research has shown that the microwave is the best way to cook veg in terms of preserving the goodness. Using a steamer comes a close second to the microwave as the cooking time is kept right down.
- Studies have also shown that vegetables lose less water-soluble vitamins when cooked from frozen. Frozen veg may also contain more nutrients! When vegetables are picked they are frozen straight away, so they haven’t had to withstand the transit time of getting to the supermarket as fresh veg (which can take days). All this travel time equates to nutrient loss, something that frozen veg avoids as they are frozen as soon as they’re picked.
- By keeping vegetables in large chunks and not chopping them up so small, keeps surface area minimal and, therefore, less surface areas for nutrients to be exposed to and less chance of escape.