I had recently heard about how microwaving vegetables robs them of their nutrients and just had to know the truth. What’s the best way to prepare vegetables and without removing the nutrients? I am a firm believer that getting your veggies in any form is better than not. People have asked me about frozen veggies, and I say go for it! But I wanted to make sure that when I zap my veggies on my short lunch break, I’m not removing all (or most) of the nutrients. This is what I learned in my research:
The two most important factors in cooking veggies are time exposed to heat and amount of water used. That being said, boiling veggies removes the most amount of nutrients -- unless you’re using that water you cooked it in as broth. Roasting or baking vegetables, while very tasty, removes some nutrients because they are exposed to heat for so long. Steaming veggies is often recommended because the vegetables are not in contact with the water, so most of the nutrients are saved. Stir-frying or sauteing veggies is also a good method as long as you’re not overdoing it on the oil. Contrary to what I previously believed, because microwaving is exposing the veggies to heat for such a short amount of time, it’s not stripping them of too many of their nutrients. Adding a little bit of water is the best way to “steam” veggies in the micro. The best is to have a sealed container with a small opening to let the steam out. I hate to have to say it, but make sure you’re using a microwave safe container. If you’re microwaving frozen veggies, no water is needed, hooray!
So, after this extensive research, (thank you, Harvard) I’ve come to the conclusion that boiling vegetables is the least effective method, that steaming is the most effective, and microwaving is just fine. And for the amount of convenience, like I said -- it’s better to eat them than not! A sigh of relief while I go nuke my lunch.