Once you’ve made vegetables part of your diet, you’re healthy, right? Not necessarily. Just because you eat vegetables regularly doesn’t mean that you’re benefiting fromall the nutrients they have to offer. There’s a possibility that you’ve been cooking your vegetables all wrong and absorbinglittle or no vitamins and fiber. Hi viewers and welcome back to Bestie! Apart from impacting their nutritional value, the way you cook your vegetables can also have an effect on their flavor — and not in a good way. If you want to get the most nutritional bang for your calorie buck, how you prep and cook your vegetables will make a big difference. And in today’s video, we will tell you mistakes to avoid from not cooking them at all, boilingthem too much, cooking when they’re wet, underseasoning them, to overcrowding the pan and more, watch till the end to learn about all of them.
Oiling the vegetables: Smothering your veggies with oil before you start cooking them mayseem like a foolproof way to avoid them sticking to the pan. Unfortunately, adding oil to them increases the chances of the veggies getting burnedbecause the oil will get extremely hot. Instead, add a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil to the pan and then add the veggiesin after. You won’t have to worry about everything sticking to the pan or gross burnt vegetables. Which vegetables would you love to make a part of your daily diet? Which ones do you avoid at all costs? We would love to know down below in the comments section! Not cooking them at all: While it’s true that many vegetables are healthier in thei rraw state, it is not true for all of them.
Beets, broccoli, onions and bell peppers have more nutrients when raw, but others actuallybecome more nutritious when heat is applied. Asparagus has cancer-fighting properties that get turned on when steamed. Mushrooms give you more potassium when they are sauteed, grilled or roasted. While raw spinach tastes great in a salad, eating it cooked will let you absorb morecalcium, iron and magnesium. Likewise for tomatoes – you absorb more cancer-fighting lycopene when they are cooked. It’s a good idea then, to eat lots of raw veggies but enjoy some cooked in amazing recipesas well. Prepping veggies too early: Some people like to get ahead and do tasks in advance ratherthan at the last minute. While that is a good trait for some things, it doesn’t always work with vegetables. Once you wash and cut them, oxidation and nutrient loss begins as does wilting and spoilage. It is better to cut your veggies right before you use them. If you need to chop them in advance, do it no earlier than that morning or the night before.
The same goes for washing and prepping greens. Once you wash greens, they will begin to wilt, so you should not wash them until you plan to use them. If you simply must wash them in advance, put them in a bag with a paper towel around them to absorb excess moisture.Boling them too much: Boiling may be a quick way to prepare veggies, but it’s also aquick way to rid them of nutrients and flavor. When you boil them, the water soluble nutrients seep out of the veggies and into the cookingwater. Boiling can also lead to overcooking, which will make them soft, gray and mushy. The only time veggies should swim in boiling water is when you are making soup and even then, only for a short time.
If you blanch them in boiling water to soften them, do it only for a few minutes and transfer them to an ice bath before they lose their bright color. Use other methods of cooking vegetables such as steaming, sautéing, stir-frying or grilling. Not only will the veggies be exposed to heat for a shorter period of time, but also the semethods allow ample opportunities to add flavor and seasoning. Overcrowding the pan: Sometimes when you’re in a hurry, you may put way too many vegetableson the pan for cooking. Crowding the pan results in the food steaming rather than caramelizing, searing or gettingcrisp. Plus, when you add food into the oil, it drops the temperature of the oil, so it isn’teven cooking at its optimal temperature. When you put the entire bunch of string beans in the pan or wok at once, they are going to be soggy. Only put as many veggies as you can fit in a single layer with some room to spare around the pieces.
If you have more veggies than that to cook, do it in several batches or use the largestpan or wok you have. Smoking out the veggies: While you may love the slightly-burnt flavor that your grilllends to veggie kabobs, the hot and dry environment can deplete your produce’s nutrients. What’s worse, if you leave them on the grill long enough that they develop a blackened, charred appearance, that’s a sign the veggies could have been exposed to benzopyrene, acarcinogenic chemical found in cigarette smoke. Next time you’re barbecuing outside, ditch the kabobs and cook your vegetables in a grillbasket instead. This tactic eliminates the risk of eating dangerous char, while helping the veggiesretain their moisture, vitamins, and minerals. Whipping up dinner indoors? Stick to medium-high cooking heat and skip the olive oil drizzle before heating your veggies. Cooking them dry and adding the fat after will help cut back on antioxidant-depletingsmoke.
You’re tossing out the good parts: How many times have you chopped the stalk and leaves off your broccoli and tossed them into the trash? Or peeled off cucumber and potato skins? Don’t be embarrassed if you do it quite often—it’s a common error. But now’s the time to change your ways and stop throwing out the healthiest parts ofthe veggies. Skins, leaves, and stalks have unique nutrients not found in other parts of the vegetables. They also have higher concentrations of vitamins than parts more commonly eaten. Step away from the peeler and chill with the chop-n-toss. Use broccoli stalks and leaves in stir-fries, soups, and salads to get a hefty dose of health-boostingnutrients. You’re roasting at too low temperature: Perfectly roasted vegetables have the power to turn even the biggest haters into a number one fan. But if what you’re pulling out of the oven isn’t brown and crisp outside, tender and creamy inside, something’s gone wrong, and it’s probably the cooking temperature.400-450 degrees is the sweet spot for most vegetables to obtain that delicious caramelizedexterior while ensuring the inside is cooked through. Optimal oven temperature isn’t the only factor to pay attention to when roasting veggies. You also have to have the right pan.
Baking sheets are the perfect pan for roasting veggies because of their low sides. Anything too high will prevent water from evaporating, which could lead to soggy veggies. Cooking vegetables when they are wet: You may not even realize that you are making this common mistake. Washing your veggies is great, but not patting them dry before cooking can ruin a dish. When they are too wet, the water creates a steam which results in mushy food. By thoroughly drying them, your veggies will remain bright and crisp. Wet food can also be a danger when placed in a hot pan of oil. Before cooking your vegetables, place them on a clean dishtowel or paper towel and pat them dry.
This will help you get the most out of your meal and is worth the extra bit of time. Cooking them the same way every time: When we are hungry, the easiest thing to do is cook food in the best way we know how. This is good for a while, but then it starts to get boring. Veggies can be cooked in so many ways. It will also help kids who don’t like veggies too much, decide how they like their producecooked best, and get used to a diverse menu. Underseasoning the vegetables: Each vegetable has its own unique flavor. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add more. Salt and pepper are great, but they are not enough. Vegetables can be marinated in flavorful combinations of tamari, liquid aminos, broth, vinegar andspices.
They can be tossed in a mix of your favorite herbs and spices. By changing the flavor profile of the seasoning, you can take one vegetable such as spinach and cook it a dozen different ways and each dish will taste unique as well as amazing. Not washing them properly before cooking: Conventionally-grown, pesticide-laden vegetableslike celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, and tomatoes, all made appearances on the Environmental Working Group’s annual Dirty Dozen List. If you tend to quickly rinse these veggies—or not wash them at all—you’re likely ingestingchemical residues that can cause stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea. The worst part is, these chemicals don’t just come and go. They hide out in your fat cells until you go on a diet and start losing weight. According to researchers, when the pounds start to come off, the chemicals come out of hibernation and shoot into the bloodstream, slowing energy expenditure and metabolism.
Even if you always buy organic, soak your veggies in a pot of water for 10-15 minutesbefore eating them. Then give them another quick rinse under some running water to make sure they’re clean. So now that you’re aware of the mistakes you have been making when cooking vegetables,it is important to know which ones are the best for your health, as not all vegetablesare created equal. Get your answers here.