Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gettin' Steamy

How to Cook a Vegetable

Steaming is one of the best ways to prepare vegetables as it efficiently maintains the color, taste, texture and flavor. It is quick n' easy and ideal for anyone wanting to maximize nutritional value.

1. Rinse thoroughly (especially if not organic! these foodstuffs have been loaded with harmful pesticides in the growing process)

2. Cut into uniform bite-size morsels. If organic, do not peel them- the skin is packed with extra fiber and nutrients!

3. If you do not own a steamer (bamboo steamers are great), place vegetables in saucepan with about a 1/4 cup (1-2 inches) of water. Cover with a lid.

4. Place on stove on med-high heat for 1-2 minutes (tougher veggies maybe longer). We want a crisp yet soft texture. You can do the same thing in the microwave if you need to (with a microwave-safe container and lid of course)

5. Eat immediately- the longer they sit, the mushier they get.


So what are the health benefits of steamed vegetables?


The body can break them down more efficiently. Raw vegetables can be rough on the GI. Though raw has more fiber, these fibers are more difficult to break down.


Nutritional Value is maintained. Vitamins and minerals are not destroyed when steamed. When boiled, they seep into the water and are lost.


Stir-fried vegetables are more prone to having oxidized fats. A lot of oils have a low smoke point, meaning it doesn't take much for the oil to break down and form free radicals and oxidative damage. This causes inflammation and thus higher risk for atherosclerosis, arthritis, cancer, etc.

  • If you must stir-fry, use oils with a higher smoke point so they are less likely to cause oxidative damage to the body. Oils such as grapeseed, sesame and coconut oil are ideal for cooking. But drizzling olive oil over vegetables after steaming is a great idea too.

Get yourself some BALANCE with MODERATION, and you'll be HAPPY.


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