Whatever you do, make sure you have some vegetables in your meal every day. Cooking vegetables is not difficult and even amateurs can prepare a great vegetable dish that everyone enjoys. It is still important to ensure that whatever you serve packs all the important vitamins and minerals your body needs and also retains the taste that makes everyone enjoy their meal. It is easy to assume that you do everything right when cooking vegetables but these 10 mistakes don’t help your vegetables.
Putting The Best Parts In The Trash
It is normal to dump the stems, rinds and skins of vegetables into the trash and that is alright with some but not all the vegetables. Stems and pits of green vegetables are actually really nutritious so if you can just go the extra mile and wash them properly and then cook them, you will improve the nutrition of your vegetables. If you don’t like some of the parts, you can go ahead and remove them after cooking so that you retain the nutrients. Cooking whole vegetables is actually a great way of making them more delicious and nutritious.
Pre-Oiling Your Vegetables
Oiling your vegetables before they hit the pan helps prevent them from sticking which is good. However, you will notice that vegetables tend to burn or blacken most of the time when pre-oiled which makes them less tasty and affects their nutrition. It is better to put the oil on the pan and heat it before putting the vegetables and then turn in the first few minutes of cooking. That way, you will retain the green colour and still prevent sticking.
Washing After Chopping
Many people cut their vegetables and leave them to idle for long before cooking. You will realize that juices leave your vegetables once they are cut them leaving them dehydrated. You should also normalize washing your vegetables before cutting them because you get to preserve the soluble vitamins such as Vitamin C which will be washed away in the water.
Boiling The Wrong Vegies
Boiling is just not meant for vegetables. It leads to soluble vitamins including B1, Vitamin C, and folate leaking into the water leading to most of them being washed down the sink. The worst part is that the longer you boil, the more nutrients you lose. If you are going to drink the water in a soup, then you can boil but you should prefer eating your vegetables steamed or raw whenever possible.
Not Washing Your Vegies
Vegetables also carry dangerous bacteria just like other farm produce and though they may seem clean coming out of the store or open market, that is not always the case. Some of those vegetables are covered in harsh chemicals used to preserve and keep them fresh both from the farm and the store. You should therefore wash all your vegetables thoroughly regardless of where they come from.
Ignoring The Marinade
Grilled and fried vegetables are still very healthy as long as you cook them with standard heat and do not expose them to direct heat. The other important part of grilling vegetables is marinading them as it ensures they cook well and do not burn. The marinade also helps keep the juices and the micronutrients in the vegetable as it cooks.
As we saw earlier, the longer your vegetables stay on the fire, the more of their nutritional value you lose. Overcooking vegetables also makes them look soggier and probably lose their colour which is bad for taste when you finally serve them. You should just cook your vegetables long enough to kill the bacteria and induce flavour.
Frying In Excess Oil
Vegetables are healthy if you keep them healthy during preparation. Soaking vegetables in oil is one of the biggest mistakes that people make as it undermines the whole purpose of making the food healthy. Too much oil makes vegetables greasy and harder for your stomach to digest. You might also hurt yourself with too much cholesterol if you overuse the oil.
Using Excess salt and sauce
Some people choose to not salt their vegetables at all and that is alright if you prefer your vegetables without salt. There is no harm in putting a little salt to give vegetables the taste though. Some people overdo it and that removes the taste from vegetables. The same goes for the sauce and other dressings you use. You should stick with the healthiest dressings possible to get the most from your vegetables.
Dumping The Vegetable Water
The water you use to boil vegetables ends up with the bulk of the nutrients in the vegetable. You may think that the water is useless but you can still use it to boil or simmer other foods such as soup or rice. That way, you retain the benefits that the vegetables had from the beginning.