Some foods are best eaten raw while others should be cooked slightly to release vitamins and minerals. But did you know boiling the life out of food eliminates all the essential nutrients from food?
For instance, boiling is a quick and convenient way to prepare certain vegetables and fruits. But it’s also a quick way to lose temperature-sensitive nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and folate. If you’re guilty of boiling your food to death, you’re not alone. In today’s post, we are listing down reasons why you shouldn’t boil your food:
Water soluble nutrients tend to leech away into the water as you boil vegetables. Once the vegetables are nice and tender, they lack the same level of nutrients you could’ve gotten if you ate them fresh. In fact, boiling vegetables could eliminate more than 50% of their nutritional value.
Broccoli is perhaps one of the most commonly over-boiled vegetables. Because the broccoli florets are tough, they require lengthier cooking preparation. But instead of boiling the brocs, grill or roast them. Blanching and roasting will enhance the flavor of the vegetable without ruining their nutritional content. You can also sauté broccoli for several minutes to improve its flavors.
Boiling Meats and Poultry
Don’t boil meats too much because it will toughen the meat fibers. The heat will cause meat fibers to tighten, become more compact. And this translates to meats that are extremely hard to chew. By the time you’re done cooking, the meat will take on an unappetizing texture and taste. Rather than boiling the meats, why not grill, pan-fry, bake or roast them instead? Poultry meat takes a shorter time to cook. To ensure tenderness, cook beef medium rare.
When cooking seafood, you want the meat to be sweet, plump and tender. Not tough and flavorless. Just like meats and poultry, seafood becomes dry when over-boiled. Octopus, squid, and shrimp will have tougher, flavorless texture when overcooked. As for crabs, crayfish, and lobsters, the meat will shrink and toughen up when over-cooked. Over-boiled fish meat will become discolored, mushy and unappetizing. Compared to meats, seafood takes only several minutes to cook. So make sure to time the cooking period perfectly to achieve the best results. For shellfish, you may boil them for several minutes.
Healthiest Cooking Methods
So if you can’t boil veggies, meats, and seafood, what cooking methods can you use? Try steaming, broiling, grilling and blanching.
Steaming is ideal for fresh vegetables and fish filets. This cooking method allows the food to cook in its own juices. The food retains its nutritional value while boosting flavor.
Grilling doesn’t just add a distinct smokiness to food, it does not destroy the food’s nutritional value too. This cooking method is perfect for fish, meats, and poultry. As long as you don’t char the meat, grilling is one of the healthiest ways to cook food.
Broiling exposes food to high or direct heat at a shorter period of time. This cooking method is ideal for meats and poultry.
Blanching involved shocking vegetables with boiling water then immersing them in cold water to halt the cooking process. This is an excellent method to preserve nutrients in vegetables.