It’s always good news when you actually commit to your plan to bring home some fresh veggies from the grocery store. It’s even better when you work up the motivation to actually prepare said vegetables for your meals throughout the week. After all, since vegetables are always so healthy for you, preparing them in any way will allow you to reap all the nutritious benefits they have to offer, right? Well, it turns out that certain preparation methods can actually reduce the nutritional value of vegetables, and unfortunately these are some pretty common methods you’ve probably used before. Here are the five most common mistakes we make when cooking vegetables.
Using Unhealthy Oils
You may be starting your cooking process off on the wrong foot if you choose to sauté your veggies in seed oils such as canola or sunflower seed oil. These types of oils are loaded with unhealthy fat that can oxidize at high levels, becoming potentially bad for your health. Switch these oils out for coconut oil, or even grass-fed butter.
Maybe you want to be extra cautious about killing off any potential bacteria that may be on your greens, so you keep the heat on for a little longer than you normally would. This is a fair concern, but unfortunately cooking your veggies for too long allows the heat to kill off a majority of the nutrients naturally found in the food. Since many of the nutrients found in vegetables are water-soluble, boiling water can easily drain these important nutrients out of the food. Try a quick steam for three to five minutes, or blanch them instead.
Microwaving For Too Long
Microwaving your veggies makes overcooking them easier to do, so only nuke them for small increments of time. Also besure to not microwave them in any sort of plastic wrap, as the plastic can seep into the food and become dangerous to your health. Always microwave your veggies in a microwave-safe glass dish, without any plastic wrap.
Using A Dangerously High Temperature
High temperatures can drain the antioxidants out of your produce. Veggies that have been cooked at too high of a temperature also become wilted, pale, and either very bitter or very tasteless.
Peeling Off The Skin
For some reason, it’s become a common habit to peel the skin off of potatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and many other vegetables before cooking them. As it turns out, the skins of vegetables contain high levels of essential minerals and vitamins that are not always found in the flesh of vegetables. Be sure to leave the peel on; it’ll save you time and effort, and you’ll get a more nutritious meal out of it.
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