Healthy cooking with vegetables and fruits

Cooking fruits and vegetables the right way

The recommendations with regards to what to include and what not to include in the diet keep changing. One thing that is a constant though is that the human system requires a balanced diet for growth and for every organ to function well. Fruits and vegetables are important constituents of the diet as a whole.

Efforts should be made to include these in the diet and to use methods of cooking that help retain the nutrients in fruits and vegetables. Use of improper techniques for cooking food makes it lose vital nutrients. Some cooking methods enable us to preserve the nutrients in food without compromising on taste.

Healthy cooking methods for vegetables

1. Steam

This method helps in quickly preparing a meal while retaining the taste, texture, flavor and color of the vegetables. It also preserves the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in the veggies. The cooking time and amount of water used varies for different vegetables. Steam and serve artichokes, green beans and cabbage to give your family a balanced diet.

2. Stir fry

Unlike deep frying, stir frying does not destroy the heat sensitive nutrients in foods. Also, it requires lesser amount of oil. This technique helps keep the oil content to the minimum as compared to deep frying. For instance, you may stir fry zucchini, diced tomatoes and mushrooms and serve. This is quick and nutritious.

3. Sauté

When using this technique, you need to take a small amount of oil in a pan, add the vegetables and heat over flame. Shake the contents or stir with a spatula. After heating, cool quickly. This method will help you quickly do up the veggies knowing very well that you have not destroyed the nutrients in the process. Sautéing is generally done for spinach and garlic or cauliflower after a bit of steaming.

4. Microwave

For steaming you may also use a microwave instead of a pan placed over a flame to put water to boil. This helps you save on time. Also, microwaving is a quick and easy way to cook. You can prepare a healthy meal by just keeping chopped vegetables in the microwave for a few minutes. You can also add a few eggs to make this tastier and more nutritious.

5. Grill

Marinade and grill vegetables for a delicious serving in a meal. Eggplant, corn, tomatoes, button mushrooms are some of the veggies that you may pick for grilling. Place the vegetables on the medium hot grill wrapped in foil pouches or place these directly on the skewers. Potatoes and carrots require more time for grilling than other vegetables.

6. Roast

Even those who shy away from having too many servings of fruits and veggies appreciate roasted turnips, beets, potatoes, Brussels sprouts for the taste and the nutritional value. The low preparation and cooking time allows you to prepare a great meal without having to spend hours in the kitchen.

Cooking fruits while preserving their nutrition

1. Bake

For those who do not take their fruits raw, baking is a healthy option. Also, you can use recipes that will make the fruits taste even better. Bake apples, sweet potatoes or peaches for dessert or snacks between meals. These are undoubtedly nutritious and will leave you asking for more.

2. Poaching or Stewing

Poaching pears has for long been known as the perfect way to give your family the much required serving of fruits. Serve these with pomegranate, ginger bread or perhaps with cake as dessert. Not just pears, using this method you can serve fruits like apples, plums, apricots and pineapples.

3. Stir fry

In case you are running out of options when it comes to toppings for desserts, using fruits is undoubtedly a great option. Pineapple and mangoes are generally used for the purpose.

4. Sauté

To prepare dessert, sauté some cut fruits and add marmalade.

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