Simple Cooking Swaps To Boost Nutrients In Foods

Tess Patrick TESS PATRICK

How old were you when you learned how to cook?

Can you remember anyone actually teaching you? Or was it more things you picked up along the way?

My grandma taught me how to make fudge when I was seven - that was pretty monumental - but I never really began to cook until we took food technology classes in middle school. And even then, we were given the basic food education (I remember learning how to make bolognese and burgers). It wasn’t until I studied nutrition that I actually learned about these two really simple cooking tips to boost nutrients in foods.

Steam Instead Of Boil

This is one of the simplest swaps you can make, for one of the simplest ways of cooking your vegetables. Aside from being a great source of necessary dietary fiber, vegetables are rich in all sorts of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and other important compounds for our overall health. This is why some schools of thought, like the raw foods movement, believe it’s better to not heat the vegetables at all - as some of those great nutrients are wasted. 

If you’re not a raw foodie, steaming can ensure the nutrients are better protected. When foods are boiled, a lot of the nutrients can leach out into the water, then are tipped down the sink when this water is discarded. By steaming the vegetables instead, nutrients are better protected against higher temperatures, making them more readily available for our bodies to enjoy.

Grill Instead Of Fry

Fried foods are almost hard to escape, especially when looking for that crispy texture that’s impossible to get nearly anywhere else. Air fryers and dehydrators are a great way to replicate the texture without soaking your food in oil, but a better way without the equipment is simply grilling your food. It won’t offer the same texture, but it makes up for it in a deliciously fresh and slightly smokey taste. 

Using a griddle pan at a high smoking heat is the best way to grill, and you can always use a splash of oil (like coconut that offers a high smoke point) for a little bit of crispness.

Making healthy swaps doesn’t have to be challenging or tasteless. Often, it can make your foods taste better than you imagined. After all, the more beneficial nutrients, the better, right?

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