Eating certain vegetables is very good for you. As a matter of fact, having five to nine daily servings of bright red, yellow and green vegetables is one of the healthiest things you can do.
But how should you fix them? For many (like dark green leafy veggies), it’s preferable to eat them raw. However, when you’re cooking them, steaming veggies can best preserve their nutrients, as well as their natural flavor, color and texture. Plus, steaming requires no added fat and is easy to do - once you get the knack of it.
Start with about an inch of pure water in a large pot or steamer. If you’re not sure about the quality of your tap water, consider using purified or bottled water instead.
Bring the water to a rolling boil so the vegetables will cook fast and absorb less water. As it comes to a boil, cut and trim your veggies just before cooking to prevent dehydration and oxidation. Slice thinly for quicker more even cooking and be sure to include the stems of things like broccoli and cauliflower whenever possible. If you’re cooking a mixture, put the firmer ones in first, before adding more tender varieties. Add greens like spinach last, since they cook very fast.
Don’t overcook. Steamed veggies should be a little crispy, but tender enough to eat. You can usually tell they’re done by poking with a fork to see if they’re chewable. Vegetables cut thin will only take a few minutes. Greens cook fastest, broccoli and green beans take a little longer and roots, like carrot chunks, may need 12-20 minutes or more.
A little reduced sodium soy sauce, lemon juice, herbs or onion and garlic added to the water can provide extra flavor. To avoid overcooking, use a timer so you can see how long it takes. When done, be sure to serve them right away.
You can learn to cook vegetables healthfully and even learn to love them that way (if you don’t already). Just like with everything else, practice makes perfect.
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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.