Are you one of those people who start out with noble intentions…wanting to eat vegetables but ending up dousing them in lots of oil and totally destroying any chance of the survival of any nutrient with the excessive cooking? Well these tips are for you. Listen up. Here are our top five tips for handling and cooking our vegetables in a healthy way.
- When you buy vegetables in the market, buy them whole. Do not have them cut in the market. When you do this, you are exposing the very fragile water soluble vitamins in the vegetables to the air and denaturing them. And then you still have to wash them before use…this leads to bleeding out of the essential nutrients through the cut ends of the vegetables.
- Then do not fry or over cook the vegetables. Just lightly steam them in a pot with some spices as desired. Heat can actually break down and destroy 15-20% of some of the vitamins in vegetables.
- Research has shown that for vegetables like carrots, boiling is the best way of preserving the nutrients in carrots and sweet potatoes. Be sure to leave their skins on until after cooking. The anti-oxidant effect of tomatoes are also more pronounced after cooking.
- Stir-frying. As the name suggests, this involves lightly greasing a pan with oil and continually stirring your thinly cut vegetables or cubed chicken breasts. Emphasis on the words lightly greasing. For best for best results and shorter cooking time, use a really hot pan or wok
- You can poach your vegetables in hot fluid…could be hot water, hot vegetable or meat stock. This preserves the nutrients and gives awesome flavour especially when poached in stock.
Now, I share one of my veggie recipes with you…
This recipe started off as a concoction I made when I had left-over beans and wanted to do something with it. It has become a staple diet for me 🙂
Cut up some tomatoes, pepper and onions. I like to use a lot of tomatoes (like 10 big, fresh tomatoes just for me 😀 Greed, aye?). Use as much or as few as you like. I also like to use a lot of pepper.
Get a spoonful (cooking spoon) of leftover boiled beans (bean porridge or plain beans) or boil up some.
Pick, wash and cut a small head of green leafy veggies (I usually use pumpkin leaves but you can use any green leafy vegetable you like)
Add about a teaspoon of oil. I usually use just a drop or so of Olive oil. You can use this or any good quality oil or you can actually do without the oil. Then add the tomatoes, pepper and onions. I cook until the raw tomato taste is gone.
Add some ground crayfish and/or flaked dry fish, if you have it. Then, add boiled beans and stir all together until nice and thick.
Finally, turn off the heat and add the cut veggies. Allow the heat from the sauce to cook the veggies.
I usually eat this alone. You can also eat with unripe plantain or with yam etc. Remember to mind your portions!
Feel free to tinker with this recipe and let me know the result.
Have a great weekend!