How to Cook Vegetables? 5 Proven Methods for Nutritious Dense Veggies
by Aleksandar Mishkov
2 months ago
Are you getting bored with vegetable dishes? Do you serve the same vegetables over and over again, cooked in the same way? We need to eat our vegetables, we all know that. But what most of us do not know is that there are ways to make veggies more delicious and even more nutritious.
In fact, some vegetables even get a nutrient upgrade when cooked. Heat can change some nutrients into a more active form, or even break down cell walls. The result is more released nutrients. For example, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, asparagus, and tomatoes are best served hot.
With that in mind, here are five ways you can cook your vegetables.
Boiling is the simplest, fastest, and easiest way to cook vegetables. The result is crisp and bright vegetables. Best options for boiling are hearty vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans. The trick with boiling is to make sure vegetables spend the minimum amount of time necessary for boiling.
Bring a pot of water to boil, add salt, and then add your vegetables. Cook them for a few minutes, until they reach bright color. Tenderness is your choice. They will continue to cook a bit after you remove from water. You can stop the cooking process by running them under cold water.
Simmering is very similar to boiling. The main difference is you add vegetables before the water boils. Then, you let them cook at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. Simmering works better for veggies that need longer period to cook, for example potatoes, turnips, and beets.
Steaming is the best option when you do not want to put the vegetables in water or oil. Steaming makes your veggies more tender, bright, and flavorful. And the best part is your produce retains most of the nutrients.
Best options for steaming include delicate vegetables like asparagus and greens. To steam vegetables, bring water in a pot to easy boil, and then add a steamer basket or colander on top of it. Put the veggies in the basket. If you like, you can add aromatics like garlic or ginger for flavor. Steam until the veggies are bright in color.
This is quick and easy way to cook veggies and get a ton of flavor. Sautéing also helps vegetables keep their nutrients. This method involves cooking over high heat in a pan with a bit of oil and aromatics. You can use any vegetable for cooking, including greens, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, onions, green beans, or anything else. Just make sure to cut them into equal size pieces for even cooking.
Heat the pan over medium-high heat, add a touch of oil, and let the oil heat up. Once it starts to simmer, add aromatics like onion, garlic, chili peppers, or ginger. Then sauté your veggies until they are soft. Get them out of the pan, and season with herbs and spices.
Stewing and braising
These two methods involve cooking in flavorful liquid. Both methods are done over low heat, and can take up to several hours. Vegetables become soft, tender, and full of flavor. If you have the time, stewing is a great way to cook vegetables.
One benefit of stewing and braising is you can put the veggies in the oven, and move away to do other tasks while they are cooking. You can use water, broth, wine, or any flavorful liquid for braising.