- How to preserve nutrients in vegetables
(1) Cook food QUICKLY and (2) Don't use too much heat.
PREFER:Steaming/Sauteeing/ Waterless Cooking
THENBoiling/ Baking (<~400°F).
AVOIDPressure cooking/roasting (>~400°F) /frying/grilling;
( Cooking methods more likely to reach the decomposition temperatures of vitamins)
Steam Cooking - best way to conserve nutrients, color and taste - faster than other methods; Decreased water contact with food surface decreases nutrient loss;
Distribute cut up vegetables loosely in the steamer to allow vapor to circulate.
Place vegetables that need less steaming on the top layer, those that need longer steaming on the bottom. Alternatively, add vegetables needing less steaming later on, after the coarser, denser veggies have partly cooked.
Sauteeing / Stir-frying – cut up vegetables small enough to cook quickly; use minimal fat;
Water-less Cooking - rinsed leafy vegetablesE.g. spinach, cabbage will have enough water clinging to them to be cooked at low-heat in a covered pot/pan without additional water.
– Use minimal water to prevent water-soluble vitamins (E.g. B, C) and minerals leaching into cooking water – water-soluble vitamins are contained in watery part of fruits and vegetables and easily leaches into cooking water (along with minerals); Soups, stews and casseroles retain vitamin C. Broccoli is relatively leach resistant.
Combs GF, The Vitamins, Fundamental Aspects in Nutrition and Health, 2001
– Add the vegetables AFTER the water has boiled - the high temperature helps to inactivate enzymes that would otherwise destroy the vitamin C.
– Keep lid on pan
✔To speed cooking
✔Protects light-sensitive nutrients: vitamin C,folacin, Riboflavin (B2), Pyridoxine (B6), B12