Best Way to Cook Vegetables to Maximize Their Nutritional Value

Steam Veggies To Retain Nutrients

Steam cooking or steaming as it is commonly called, has been known to be one of the most nutritious ways of preparing food for centuries. Thousands of years back, the Chinese. Indians and Africans used this method extensively wherein, food is cooked using steam and not water. Almost all foods can be steamed using a vented vessel, or in an electric steamer, bamboo steamer or in a microwave.

Steaming is an easy method of cooking but one has to be careful about the time for which a particular food is to be steamed, so as to avoid overcooking and nutrient loss. This practice allows us to retain plenty of the nutrients present in vegetables. Steaming preserves texture, water-soluble vitamins and the flavour of vegetables which are easily damaged by heat. Steaming vegetables is a good choice compared to boiling in water or frying, as it softens the vegetables maintaining its nutritive value and has a low calorie content since there is no use of fat, which is added when vegetables are fried.

Vegetables are a good source of vitamin C and vitamin B Complex which are soluble in water. Therefore, these vitamins are washed out if vegetables are immersed in water arid then cooked. On the other hand, steaming helps preserve these vitamins. Apart from this, steaming has also been proved beneficial in preserving antioxidants which help protect us from various diseases and improve immunity.

Vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower etc. which belong to the cruciferous family are rich in certain compounds which inhibit the formation of tumours and hence prevent cancer. Steam cooking helps retain these compounds. Steaming keeps the shape of the food intact and does not turn it into a mashed vegetable or puree. Also, it retains the natural colour, taste, flavour, juiciness and freshness of the food. Moreover, since steamed vegetables are easily digestible and rapidly absorbed they also help prevent bloating.

Steaming vegetables is a good choice compared to boiling vegetables in water or frying, as it softens the vegetables maintaining its nutritive value and also has a low calorie content

How To Steam Veggies to Retain Nutrients

In A Steamer

  • In the lower compartment of a steamer, gently boil a small amount of water and steam the vegetables till soft. It helps preserve vitamin content.
  • Make sure the vegetables don’t come in direct contact with the boiling water.

Without A Steamer

  • Place your choice of vegetables in a metal basket with small holes in a large pot with about two inches of boiling water. Steam until soft.
  • Place some forks in the bottom of a pot with enough water to boil but not enough to cover the forks. Put the vegetables on top of the forks and steam.

As it is correctly said, we are what we eat,’ therefore, a healthy diet today will lay the foundation for a healthy life tomorrow. It is wise to eat healthy vegetables before contracting any illness, rather than after contracting an illness. So, make steamed foods an integral pari of your daily diet.

Leave a Comment