Stacey Antine, M.S., R.D., Founder/CEO of HealthBarn USA in Wycoff, NJ, says many people dislike vegetables because of the way the food is prepared. She explains that women tend to learn how to cook from their mothers and long ago, many people cooked vegetables until they turn soft and mushy. Overcooking changes not only the texture, but the taste as well. More importantly, overcooking breaks down the natural fibers and reduces the nutritional value of most vegetables.
Antine says most vegetables taste best when they are eaten raw. Children, especially, tend to prefer to eat raw, rather than cooked, vegetables. For people who prefer their veggies cooked, Antine suggests flash blanching. Place the veggies in a heat-proof bowl and pour hot water over until the food is covered. Let the water bath sit for two to three minutes, then drain. This method is faster than steaming, which requires extra equipment and isn’t very precise.
Roasting and stir frying are also good ways to cook vegetables. However, Antine cautions to use a low heat when stir frying with olive oil so the oil doesn’t smoke or burn.
Cooks who are looking for less clean-up in the kitchen can try the one-pot method. Place the vegetables into a pot of hot cooked rice or pasta and let the heat warm and cook the veggies. Antine says spinach maintains some of its crunch with this method of cooking.
Chefs who prefer the microwave should use only enough water to steam the veggies. If boiling is still your favorite way to make vegetables, save the water for soups or drinks. At least you’ll still get some use of the nutrients that have cooked out of the veggies.
To find out how much veggies and fruits you need every day, go here .