Did you know that most of us do not get the best out of our food? Because, food loses essential nutrients when it is not cooked properly. From overcooking a dish to boiling it, there are just some edible items that work best for our body when eaten in a raw state. However, if you prefer not to eat an item raw, there are several other cooking methods one can look into to make sure they are getting the best nutrition from their food.
The following list contains necessary tips to retain nutrients while cooking and how to preserve nutrients in food.
Boiling is a method people often employ to kill the germs and bacteria from their fruits and vegetables. However, plant based foods are made up of water soluble fibres and fats. Therefore submerging them in boiling water, it leeches off all their nutrients and vitamins which are then wasted as then the water is discarded. The concern of killing bacteria is valid but bacteria is killed as soon as it comes in contact with boiling water.
Reduction in boiling of vegetables and fruits is one of the easy ways to prevent nutrient loss.
Fruits, vegetables, pulses and other plant based foods contain fibre, important vitamins and minerals, that are easily removed by water. Washing them excessively or aggressively, washes off most of the minerals and vitamins. Therefore, there is no need to keep the fruits and vegetables submerged in the water for a long time, unless that water is to be consumed in the form of gravy.
Grains and pulses like rice, should also only be washed once or twice to remove any dirt particles or small insects. People often run rice and pulses under water for a long period, under the guise of cleaning them. That should be avoided as it is one of the easy ways to prevent nutrient loss.
You can also read “What are the Most Nutritious Foods? ”
Cooking methods like steaming or sauteing or stir-frying are quite effective in maintaining the nutritious quality of the food, as compared to boiling when cooking food. Steaming requires food to be cooked through water turning into vapour. While sauteing and stir-frying requires a minimum amount of oil and less time on heat to cook a dish. Moreover, the fatty minerals of a good oil aid in preserving the nutrients of the food item.
All three of these methods are more efficacious in cooking food while also maintaining the healthy components of the food.
Microwaving food is completely healthy and normal. If you’re cooking food or reheating it, using a microwave is a better option on how to preserve nutrients in food. Due to its short cooking times, it is safe and also avoids exposure of important vitamins.
It is a universally admitted fact, that roasting is one of the best ways to enhance the flavour of a dish by also keeping its mineral levels in check. When a dish is cooked on open fire, it is cooked quickly. This act of cooking does not give the food item enough time to lose its nutrients.
Another basic technique of cooking that people often get wrong is the usage of high flame during cooking. They are under the impression that high flame is directly proportional to cooking a dish quickly. Alas, it is not true at all. Most food items become more nutritious, tasty and their best selves, if they are cooked on a low flame.
Take the example of an omelette. Its cooking method involves the eggs cooking in a pan on a flame. Take two eggs and cook one on a high flame and the other on a low flame. Now, see the difference, the omelette cooked on the lower flame has better consistency, looks and will also taste light and plumpy. Unlike the one cooked on a high flame, which will be a little on the crispier side and be devoid of much of its nutritious value.
Did you know? That cutting fruits and vegetables ahead of their cooking time causes the food to go stale and lose important nutrients? If you didn’t, let us tell you!
You might have noticed after peeling or cutting a potato, that it starts turning brown. It is because of oxidation. Similarly, you might have noticed other fruits and vegetables looking dry and kind of wrinkly when they have been cut and not used for too long.
Therefore, make sure that you use up any vegetables or fruits you have cut or peeled as soon as possible. This should be followed especially during the preparation of a salad.
These are some of the easy ways to prevent nutrient loss. Remember, you don’t just need to follow these instructions diligently but also incorporate them in your lifestyle. Once you develop a habit of cooking food in a more nutritious manner, you’ll realise the food tastes better and is also healthier to eat! For more healthy tips, keep visiting our website.