Cooking Your Veggies

February 16, 2012

In a recent study about cooked vegetables, researchers cooked two cups of broccoli along with ten tablespoons of water using various methods -- steaming, pressure cooking, boiling and the microwave. They then compared the differences of the flavenoid content in the cooked broccoli. Flavenoids are anti-oxidants that are proven disease fighters. The final results were pretty amazing, steamed broccoli lost eleven percent of it's flavenoids. Pressure cooking resulted in a fifty three percent loss while the loss after boiling was eighty one percent! The microwaved broccoli lost a stunning ninety seven percent of it's flavenoid content! They found that water exposure is a key factor. The less exposure the broccoli had, the more flavenoids remained. Frozen broccoli usually requires little or no added water and retains high levels of most nutrients. Additionally, the length of time vegetables are cooked affect the nutrient content, especially water-soluble vitamins such as B vitamins and vitamin C. The longer you cook a vegetable, the more heat-sensitive vitamins are lost. At the same time, water-soluble vitamins leech into the liquid if the vegetables are cooked in water. Use cooking methods that re-uses the cooking liquid such as soups, or uses very little liquid such as steaming or microwaving to preserve nutrients. Try roasting your vegetables with a couple teaspoons of olive oil to retain nutrients and flavor!

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