Since we didn’t post a TFF last week, we’re going to give you guys double the information today! Today is all about eating your vegetables. Lots of people usually hate anything remotely green or ‘healthy’, but I am here to challenge your taste buds! There are lots of ways to prepare your veggies and some ways can be more beneficial than others. Let’s take a look at some common ways vegetables are prepared!
Raw – This is the best way to eat any plant based food (with the exception of beans) because all of the nutrients are not being cooked away in water or oil. Raw veggies like lettuce, carrots, and cucumbers (Salad anyone?) are great options to eat raw.
Smoothie – This method is quite popular with bohemian hipsters and health enthusiasts alike=) Blending different veggies (and fruits) together allow you to maximize your daily serving intake within one meal. And again, because there is no heat to break down the nutrients of the veggie, you get a great cocktail chock full of vitamins and minerals!
Sautéed – Sautéing veggies involves cooking them over medium to high heat with oil to prevent burning and impart flavor. A quick veggie stir fry with snow peas, onions, peppers and cabbage is an example of a sautéed dish. This type of cooking provides great taste, but you are sacrificing some calories and nutrition because of the heat and the oil(Note: Some vitamins like vitamin A, D, and E are fat soluble and therefore will be absorbed into the body better when eaten with an oil. But use sparingly!).
Boiled/ steamed – Using water to cook veggies is the easiest way to cook them (Boil water, insert veggie, eat!). How about boiling potatoes or squash? Or maybe steam some broccoli and cauliflower for a yummy and cruciferous side dish? Different culinary techniques are boiling, steaming, and blanching, all of which are great alternatives to using oil or butter. However, this method can be deceiving because some of the minerals can leech into the water, reducing the amount of nutrition you receive.
Roasted – This is my FAVORITE way to cook veggies. It’s like sautéing, but you place your veggies on a sheet and roast in the oven at a high temperature (usually between 375 and 400 degrees). This convection type cooking helps eliminate any extra water in the veggie, concentrating the flavor, making it sweeter, juicier, and oh so yummier! I love to roast a bunch of summer veggies and eat on top of a bed of whole wheat pasta or roast starchy veggies like sweet potatoes with cayenne and black pepper as an alternative to the mashed variety.
Fried – Fried veggies are quite delicious (think French fries or Fried zucchini) but obviously aren’t the best choices for getting the vitamins and minerals you need =) The process of breading and/or frying in oil negates most of the nutritional benefits, but I will say it sure is yummy! There’s nothing wrong with indulging every once and again though!
Do you have any other cooking methods? Whats your favorite way to cook your veggies? Share in our comments section!