Rules of cooking vegetables and fruits
Each of us buys fresh seasonal vegetables, not only because they are tasty, but also because they are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. But did you know that the way you cook them is crucial to how well they retain nutrients?
Some cooking methods retain nutritional value, while others completely destroy it. Therefore, when you come home from the market with a package of fresh vegetables, read the strategies we offer you to get the maximum benefit.
1. Limit the amount of water
When you cook vegetables in plenty of water, the nutrients melt before your eyes. For example, did you know that the green color that water receives after blanching broccoli is a sign that vitamins B and C went into it to be in the sewer?
To preserve vitamins, boil the vegetables in as little water as possible for a minimum amount of time (unless you are cooking the soup).Steaming or in the microwave, during which a very small amount of water is used, will prepare the vegetables as well as during cooking and blanching, while the loss of nutrients will be minimized.
Therefore, do not boil potatoes in water; use a water bath for this. Broccoli, green beans and asparagus do not need to blanch, cook them in a microwave or steamed.
If you want to cool the prepared vegetables, do not immerse them in an ice bath. Also, like hot, cold water leaches nutrients. Boil the vegetables for a minute, and then lay them in one layer on the baking paper, they will quickly cool to room temperature.
2. Use some fat
Eating ordinary steamed vegetables sounds like something very healthy, but in fact it’s better to eat vegetables with fats. Many nutrients, such as beta-carotene, vitamin D, vitamin K, are fat soluble, so they can be beneficial only in combination with a certain amount of fat.
Thus, you can pour the steamed vegetables with fragrant oil, make a sauté of them, or fry quickly in the pan.In all of these methods there is some oil that helps the absorption of vitamins. Among other things, it will give excellent taste to vegetables, so you will be inspired to eat like that.
3. Add citrus
Vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and white cabbage contain iron, but in a form that our body is difficult to use, so most of this beneficial element is not absorbed. Vitamin C, which is full of citrus, reacts with iron, making it easily absorbed by our body.
That is, vitamin C makes iron convenient for us. Therefore, always to fried, boiled or stewed vegetables, add a few tablespoons of lemon juice, lime, orange or grapefruit.
We give one delicious and useful recipe. Stew green beans and fry with yellow pepper and shallots in olive oil until soft. At the end throw fresh spinach and add a few spoons of orange juice. Better and you can not think of.
Useful Culinary Tricks
Here are some more tips on cooking vegetables:
- Wash vegetables before cutting.Cutting vegetables destroys the cell walls, allowing nutrients to go into the water. When you wash uncut vegetables, the nutrients remain inside the vegetable and are not leached out with water.
- Do not peel. Many nutrients are located either in the peel, or directly below it, so do not remove it wherever possible.
- cook immediately after cutting. Nutrients gradually disappear under the influence of light and air. Do not leave sliced vegetables for a long time, cook and eat them quickly to keep vitamins and minerals as large as possible.
- cut the vegetables into large, shaped pieces. Big chunks are fewer damaged vegetable cells, fewer lost nutrients. Cutting into large chunks guarantees this.
Before we proceed to discuss the methods of cooking various vegetables, let's consider what methods of cooking exist at all.
The benefits of different cooking methods
Do you think that raw foods are the best way to eat? Think again. Cooking vegetables helps soften their taste. And some vegetables, such as tomatoes, are even healthier in cooked form, because the level of the powerful antioxidant lycopene increases during the cooking process.
The only problem is that not all cooking methods are the same. With the help of some you can increase the nutrient content, while others completely take away all the nutritional values. With the help of some, unwanted fat enters your body, while others, on the contrary, give you exactly as much as you need to assimilate all the nutrients in vegetables.
Cooking in the microwave
When you have doubts, cook your vegetables in the microwave, so you can keep a maximum of antioxidants. Spanish scientists conducted a study on how different cooking methods affect the antioxidant characteristics of vegetables. Cooking in the microwave took the first place, with this cooking process a lot of useful substances are saved.
The only exception is cauliflower, it should be kept away from the microwave, because there it loses more than 50 percent of all nutrients.
Frying without oil
Beets, leaf beets, celery, onions and green beans are very well prepared in a pan without oil. According to the researchers, cooking in such pans allows vegetables to keep as many anti-sidants as they are stored when cooking in a microwave.
But be careful, such pans are often covered with non-toxic chemicals, which, of course, make cooking convenient, but may contain elements whose accumulation in the body is associated with the development of cancer. Buy uncoated pans or use an oil-free pan with a thick bottom.
In the case of baking, for some vegetables it is very good, for others - destructive. Bake artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, pepper. They with this method of cooking retain all the useful antioxidants. Do not put carrots, Brussels sprouts, leeks, cauliflower, peas, squash, zucchini, onions, beans, celery, beets and garlic in the oven. They in the oven lose a significant portion of nutrients.
There are some products in which the amount of useful antioxidants only increases after baking. This includes green beans, eggplants, corn, beetroot and spinach. Moreover, if you bake foods with large amounts of butter, vegetables, depending on the type, lose from 5 to 50 percent of the nutrients.
General advice - do not use cooking for cooking vegetables.Water is not a chef's best friend when it comes to preserving antioxidants and other nutrients in products. The most susceptible to the loss of nutritional value of vegetables - it is cauliflower, zucchini and peas. If you still need to cook vegetables, then save the remaining water, it is full of useful elements. Use it to make a sauce or soup.
But, as in every rule, there are exceptions. A study conducted in 2008 in Italy showed that the amount of carotenoids in carrots increases when cooking. This method of cooking carrots is better than frying or baking.
Now we proceed to the description of the most useful ways of cooking different vegetables.
HOW TO PREPARE VARIOUS VEGETABLES
How to cook artichokes
How to choose: look for tight little heads without brown marks and without blue.
Preliminary preparation: clean each head from external leaves, cut off the top part and a little at the basis.
Quenching: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the artichokes and, stirring constantly, fry for one minute. Add 1 teaspoon dried thyme (rosemary or tarragon), in equal proportions of white wine and water, to cover the vegetables.Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until soft, about 15 minutes.
Grill: Marinate artichokes in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Heat the grill. Cook for about 8 minutes until soft, turned over only once.
Microwave: Mix artichokes with 0.5 glass of white wine (or dry vermouth), 0.5 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon dried thyme. Cover tightly and cook in the microwave for 8 minutes on high power.
Steaming: Artichokes should be cooked for about 15 minutes in a water bath.
How to cook asparagus
How to choose: look for strong "sticks" with dense heads. The cut should not be dried or dark in color. Fresh asparagus snaps when folded.
Preliminary preparation: cut off the ends of each stalk and remove any dark spots.
Quenching: warm the pan well. Add asparagus with 0.5 glass of water and a slice of lemon. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes until ready.
Grill: warm up the grill, melt some butter on it. Fry until all the asparagus is dark, about 6 minutes. Do not forget to periodically turn over.
Microwave: Place the asparagus in a glass dish or frying pan. Add a quarter cup of water, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and tightly close the lid. Turn on the microwave for high power and cook for 3 minutes.
Baking: Preheat the oven to 260 C. Spread the asparagus in one layer on baking paper. Sprinkle with 2 tsp of olive oil. Turn over the cooking time only once. Bake for about 10 minutes until the asparagus is soft.
How to cook beets
How to choose: look for small tubers with a dark ruby or bright orange skin.
Preliminary preparation: to clear.
Microwave: cut the beets into thin rings. Fill a glass bowl or frying pan with a quarter glass of water, put beets, cover and cook on high power for 10 minutes. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.
Baking: Preheat the oven to 260 C. Cut the beets into thick pieces. Spread on baking paper in a single layer. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake about 30 minutes until soft. In the process of cooking, flip only once.
Quenching: Preheat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Add 1 chopped garlic clove. Grate the beets on a large grater and fry for one minute, stirring constantly. Add a third of a glass of water and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer until ready for about 8 minutes.
Steamed: Cut the beets into four pieces and cook in a water bath or in a double boiler for 15 minutes.
How to cook broccoli
How to choose: look for solid, dark green cabbages with dense buds without yellowing, so that the number of buds and stalks approximately match.
Preliminary preparation: cut all the buds, and cut each stalk into 4 pieces.
Microwave: place stems and inflorescences in a glass mold, cover with a lid and cook in a microwave oven at high power for about 4 minutes.
Baking: Preheat the oven to 260 C. Spread the stems and inflorescences in one layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil. Bake about 10 minutes. Flip it only once.
Steaming: Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the water bath and start cooking with the stalks.Cook them for 2 minutes. Then add the inflorescences and cook another 5 minutes.
How to cook brussels sprouts
How to choose: look for a dense, solid, small dark green coach without yellowed leaves. Sprouts should preferably be on the stem.
Preliminary preparation: to clear from external leaves, to cut off small stalks.
Quenching: Pour small coaches and stalks with 1 cup of dry white wine. Cover and simmer for about 7 minutes in the pan. Remove the coaches, increase the heat to the maximum, add 1 teaspoon of butter and simmer until the liquid evaporates. Return kochanchiki back.
Microwave: in glass form, lay out the cabbage leaves and stalks. Pour the fourth part of a glass of broth or with water. Close the lid tightly and cook in the microwave on high power for 6 minutes.
Baking: Preheat the oven to 260 C. Cut the stalks and the cabins in half. Spread them on baking paper in one layer. Sprinkle with olive oil. Bake for about 20 minutes, turning in the process once.
Steam cooking: cook at high temperatures for 6-8 minutes.
How to cook carrots
How to choose: look for orange, strong vegetables without gray or white bloom and without dry places on the peel. Preferably, the carrots were with tops.
Preliminary preparation: cut off the tops, peel.
Microwave: cut carrots into small circles. Place in a baking tank and pour cup of broth or white wine. Close the lid tightly and cook in the microwave on high power for 3 minutes.
Baking: Preheat the oven to 260 C. Cut the carrots into small pieces. Put on baking paper in one layer. Sprinkle with olive oil and bake for about 15 minutes, turning only one time during cooking.
Quenching: Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large frying pan, cut the carrots into circles. Add carrots and cook for 4 minutes. Then add 1 teaspoon of sugar and keep on the fire until glazing.
Steamed: Cut the carrots into thin slices and cook in a water bath or in a double boiler for 4 minutes. Place the vegetables two centimeters above the water.
How to cook cauliflower
How to choose: look for a dense white cabbage without brown or yellow spots.The leaves on the stem should be green and should sit firmly in place.
Preliminary preparation: divide into inflorescences, get rid of a thick core and thick stalks.
Quenching: put the inflorescences in the pan and pour 0.5 cups of dry white wine, add 0.5 teaspoon of cumin. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 4 minutes.
Microwave: put the inflorescences in a baking dish, add of a glass of white dry wine (or dry vermouth). Cover tightly and cook on high power for about 4 minutes.
Baking: Preheat the oven to 260 C. Spread the inflorescences on baking paper in one layer. Sprinkle with olive oil. Bake until cabbage is darkened, about 15 minutes. Turn only once for all cooking.
Steamed: Place the cabbage 5 cm above the water level. Cook at high temperatures for 5 minutes.
How to cook eggplant
How to choose: look for smooth, glossy fruits without spots and folds on the skin. Each eggplant must be quite heavy.
Preliminary preparation: cut it not with thick circles, it is not necessary to peel it.
Quenching: chop the eggplants into cubes and mix them with a can of salsa. Transfer to a frying pan and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often, over medium heat.
Grill: Preheat the grill. Brush eggplant pieces with olive oil. Vegetable should be cooked for about 8 minutes. Flip it only once.
Baking: Preheat the oven to 260 C. Peel the eggplants, place on a baking paper in one layer and sprinkle with olive oil. Bake until soft for 15 minutes. Flip it only once.
Saute: dice eggplants, mix with 2 teaspoons of salt. Let stand for 5 minutes and blot with paper towels. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Cook until soft, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes.
How to cook fennel
How to choose: look for small, white, "hairy" heads with green stems and fluffy leaves.
Preliminary preparation: cut right under the root of the stems, remove from the fetus all damaged outer layers, cut the ass like a bulb.
Quenching: cut the onion into rings. In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil.Add fennel and 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 0.5 cups of dry white wine (or dry vermouth), cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Baking: Preheat the oven to 260 C. Cut the fennel into 0.5 cm thick rings. Place them on baking paper in one layer. Sprinkle with olive oil and bake for 18-20 minutes until browning.
For a couple: cut the fennel into 2–3 cm thick slices. Place it 5 cm above the water. In the water, add bay leaf and 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds. Cook at high temperatures for 15 minutes.
How to cook green beans
How to choose: look for small, thin, strong beans.
Preliminary preparation: cut off the ends of the fruit.
Microwave: put whole beans in a baking dish, fill it with a fourth of a glass of water or broth. Cover and cook on high for 4 minutes.
Baking: Preheat the oven to 260 C. Spread the beans on a baking sheet in one layer. Sprinkle with a little olive oil. Bake for about 10 minutes, do not forget to turn over once.
Saute: Heat 2 tablespoons of walnut oil or any other vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Add beans. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Steamed: Place the beans 2–3 cm above the water. Cover and cook at high temperatures for 5 minutes.
How to cook leek
How to choose: long, thin stems that are undamaged and not bent. Outer sheets should not be dry.
Preliminary preparation: remove thick green leaves, leaving only pale green thin sheets with a white part. Divide into two parts, cutting the stem along and under running water, wash the leek from dirt, dust and sand.
Quenching: put the onion sliced in half rings into a large frying pan, add 0.5 cups of vegetable or chicken broth, 1 sprig of fresh rosemary (or 6 juniper berries and 6 peas of black pepper). Bring to a boil over low heat. Cover with a lid, reduce heat to low and simmer until ready for about 12 minutes. Excellent dressing for the vinaigrette.
Grill: Preheat the grill. Smear leek with olive oil. Broil for 8 minutes, turning occasionally.
Baking: Preheat the oven to 260 C. Cut the onion into slices, a little less than 1 cm thick. Lay out on baking paper in one layer. Sprinkle with olive oil. Bake 10 - 15 minutes until the onions have a tender golden color. Turn in the cooking process only once.
Saute: cut leek into thin crescents. Heat a tablespoon of butter in a large frying pan. Thus, the onions should be cooked for no more than 5 minutes, stirring often. Cook the onions until a pleasant aroma appears.
How to cook peas
How to choose: look for fresh, firm, bright green pods without stains, it is desirable that the pods are attached to the twig.
Preliminary preparation: if you use fresh peas, then simply remove it from the pod, but if you have frozen peas in front of you, then you do not need to defrost it before cooking.
Microwave: Place the peas in a glass baking dish. Add some broth or unsweetened apple juice. Close the lid tightly and cook in the microwave on high power for 2 minutes.
Saute: Heat 2 teaspoons of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.Add the peas and cook for three minutes, stirring often, until they have a bright green color.
Steamed: Place the peas in a container 2-3 cm above the water. Cook at high temperatures for 2 minutes.
How to cook potatoes
How to choose: look for small tubers with hard skin, not loose and not damaged.
Preliminary preparation: wash potatoes from dirt. It is not necessary to peel it off, as it is rich in fiber, and the nutrients are located right under the skin.
Quenching: chop the potatoes into 1 cm bars in diameter. Transfer to a large frying pan, add 0.5 cups of vegetable broth, 0.5 cups of skimmed milk and 1 teaspoon of butter. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until soft and until most of the liquid is absorbed. It will take about 20 minutes.
Baking: Preheat the oven to 260 C. Cut the potatoes into small wedges. Spread on baking paper in one layer. Sprinkle with olive oil. Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring only once, in the middle of cooking.
Saute: peel potatoes (if desired), grate on a large grater.Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add potatoes, reduce heat. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir the dish and cook for another 6 minutes.
Steamed: Place sliced potatoes 5 cm above the water, cover with a lid. Cook at high temperatures until soft for about 10 minutes.
How to cook spinach and beet leaves
How to choose: strong, saturated color leaves without spots.
Preliminary preparation: rinse the leaves thoroughly to remove all the sand. Cut the stalks too thick.
Quenching: Heat 2 teaspoons of walnut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add spinach or beet leaves and cook until the leaves begin to wilt. Add 0.5 cups of dry white wine or dry vermouth. Cover with a lid, reduce heat and simmer until the leaves wither for about 5 minutes. Remove the cap and simmer until the liquid becomes a frosting. At the end of cooking, add 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar.
How to cook a pumpkin
How to choose: look for dark green, orange or white varieties with firm, smooth skin without stains of strange colors, there may be green branching veins on the pumpkin, similar to the pattern of a zipper.
Preliminary preparation: cut a pumpkin into four parts and get rid of seeds. Peeling is not necessary to peel.
Stewing: Add 2 servings of unsweetened apple cider vinegar to the pumpkin. Over medium heat bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until ready, about 20 minutes.
Microwave: place the pumpkin cut into small pieces in a container for baking, add 0.5 cups of water or broth (vegetable or meat). Cover and cook on high heat for 15 minutes. After cooking, let the pumpkin stand for 10 minutes.
Saute: Heat two teaspoons of butter over medium heat. Add sliced pumpkin pieces. Simmer, stirring often, until soft, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with a small amount of ground nutmeg before serving.
Steaming: Place the pumpkin pieces in a container 2 cm above the water. Cover and cook on high heat for 6 minutes.
How to cook zucchini and zucchini
How to choose: look for a vegetable without peeling damage. Small zucchini and zucchini are sweeter, they have less seeds. Do not peel, just rinse thoroughly to remove any dirt.
Preliminary preparation: cut off the ends at the vegetable on both sides.
Grill: cut the zucchini into thin bars, spread them with olive oil. Preheat the grill well and fry for 3-4 minutes, turning in the process only once.
Baking: Preheat the oven to 260 C. Cut the zucchini into bricks and place them on baking paper in one layer. Sprinkle with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes until soft, turning in the process only once.
Saute: Slice zucchini into rings. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the courgettes, to them 1 chopped head of garlic. Simmer, stirring regularly, for 7 minutes.
Steamed: dice zucchini. Put them together with finely chopped onions in a container 3 cm above the water. Cook on high heat until cooked for about 5 minutes.
How to cook sweet potatoes
How to choose: look for dense fruits with tapered ends.
Quenching: peel potatoes and chop it into small sticks. Mix in a large frying pan 1 cup of vegetable broth, 1 teaspoon of honey, 0.5 teaspoon of dried thyme. Quickly bring to a boil.Cover with a lid, reduce heat and simmer until soft, about 15 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to simmer until the liquid turns into a frosting (about another 2 minutes).
Microwave: Place 2-3 small sweet potatoes in a baking dish, pierce them with a knife. Cook in the oven for 8-12 minutes, after finishing let it stand for 5 minutes.
Baking: Preheat the oven to 260 C. Slice the sweet potatoes with wedges. Spread on baking paper in one layer. Sprinkle with olive oil. Bake 20-25 minutes, turning in the process only once.
Steamed: Slice the potatoes into 2-centimeter slices. Transfer to a container 5 cm above the water. Cook at high temperature for 20 minutes.
How to cook a turnip
How to choose: look for small fruits with firm, fair skin. The fruit must be quite weighty. Ideally, turnips should have a topper.
Preliminary preparation: cut off the top and tail of a turnip, peel it and cut it into thin slices.
Grill: sprinkle slices of turnip olive oil, leave for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, let the grill warm up. Cook the turnip for 8 minutes by turning the pieces only one time during the process.
Baking: Preheat the oven to 260 C.Spread the turnip slices on baking paper in a single layer. Sprinkle them with olive oil. Bake until soft for about 15 minutes, turning the pieces upside down only once.
Saute: cut the turnip into very thin slices. Heat in a large frying pan over medium heat 1 teaspoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive. Add the turnip slices and simmer, stirring often, until cooked, for 12 minutes.
For a couple: put the turnip slices in a container 5 cm above the water. Cover and cook on heat for about 12 minutes until cooked.
Rules of cooking vegetables and fruits
Rules of cooking vegetables and fruits
Rules of cooking vegetables and fruits
Rules of cooking vegetables and fruits
Rules of cooking vegetables and fruits