Vegetable preparation mistake #1: Cooking different vegetables at the same time
It’s important to know how to cook vegetables for the right time, otherwise you’ll lose some of their nutrients.
All types of vegetables have different cooking times. If you put everything into a pot together and cook it for the same amount of time, the softer veggies will end up overcooked, while the harder ones may not be cooked enough. The best way to combat this is to use different cooking methods for different types of vegetables:
When it comes to vegetable prep, boiling is a quick and easy method of cooking. It’s easy to overboil, leading to a loss of vital nutrients. Often times, you only need to simmer some vegetables in the boiling water. With broccoli, for example, just drop evenly sized pieces into boiling water. Return to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for a few minutes until the broccoli is still a little firm. Root veggies with a higher starch content, such as potatoes, can withstand boiling over a longer period of time. Place the potatoes in cold water and boil gently until soft.
Steaming is one of the best solutions for how to cook vegetables while preserving as many nutrients as possible. Again, it’s worth understanding the different types of vegetables you’re cooking to know how best to steam them. For harder vegetables, such as broccoli and carrots, you may want to use a steamer. Remember, you only need a few inches of water at most. For more delicate vegetables that are easily overcooked, such as asparagus, use recyclable baking parchment to form a small parcel for the stove and steam them in their own juices.
3. Stir frying
The opposite of steaming, stir frying is a delicious way to cook veggies over a high heat for a short amount of time. Simply heat some oil in a wok and add the vegetables, being careful not to overfill the pan. Continuously stir the vegetables to ensure they’re evenly coated with oil. Add the vegetables that require a longer cooking time first. Knowing how to cut vegetables is crucial for stir frying. To ensure even cooking, cut them into evenly sized pieces.