DON’T KILL YOUR VEGETABLES
Yep – that’s right. Don’t kill your veggies. Please. Exposing your veggies to high temperatures for extended time will destroy important nutrients.
Those who follow the principles of a RAW diet will argue that cooking vegetables is completely unnecessary. But of course, as a chef, I am always trying to come up with creative ways to incorporate veggies into every dish.
So what are some of the best cooking methods for maintaining nutrient density of these delicious gifts of nature?
STEAMING cooks vegetables without submersing them in water, so they are more likely to retain vitamins and minerals. This method requires no use of oil. The best vegetables for steaming include broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, leafy greens like spinach, and other relatively tender vegetables. I love to add aromatic herbs to the mix to enhance flavors.
GRILLING can add a tremendous amount of flavor to any product. Grilling locks in flavor and caramelizes the surface of vegetables, giving them a crispy sweetness. I even put romaine lettuce on the grill!
SAUTEING is a quick and easy way to cook vegetables with minimal amount of oil. Sautéed vegetables retain their vitamins and minerals, as well as taste and color.
I always recommend BLANCHING a big batch of green veggies. Then taking as much as you need at a time to sauté for a specific dish. Blanching will preserve the beautiful green color of your broccoli, peas, asparagus, etc.
STIR-FRYING is a technique similar to sautéing. The main differences are the higher temperature and constant movement of the product inside the wok to prevent from burning.
ROASTING vegetables such as asparagus, squash, or onions is as easy as putting them on a baking sheet, drizzling them with a little olive oil, and placing them in a 400-degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Roasting helps to preserve not only vitamins and minerals, but also flavors.
I guess you can see the common thread here is preserving the maximum nutritional value.
Interested in learning more? My beginner level cooking classes will begin in the fall. Learn more HERE