How to Cook Vegetables
• Vegetarian Meal Recipes
Learning how to cook vegetables is a big part of switching to a healthier diet. Want to change things up a little with some fresh food?
There are many different methods to preparing vegetables.
I’ll share with you some of the healthiest, so that your veggies retain the most possible antioxidant value.
Sometimes the tastiest and healthiest way to consume vegetables is to not cook them at all.
You were looking for how to cook vegetables, so you might be wondering why I am telling you something completely different!
a) This method might save you a lot of time and greasy dish washing.
b) Fresh vegetables have so much more flavour and require little or no seasoning.
c) Raw veggies are teeming with antioxidants, and have vital enzymes. You won’t find enzymes in any food that has been heated over 115°F.
Easy ways to prepare raw vegetables are to wash, chop, and serve with a pesto or other dip.
For a simple healthy salad, mix your favourite sliced veggies with dark leafy greens. Sprinkle with a scoop of hemp seeds, and drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of pink Himalayan salt.
Here are a few more methods of how to cook vegetables.
These are nearly as good as having raw vegetables (without the enzymes), and help vegetables retain more antioxidants than deep frying, frying, boiling and sauteing.
I find steaming one of the tastiest and easiest ways to cook vegetables. A much healthier alternative to boiling, since the vitamins and antioxidants do not get diluted in the water and poured down the drain.
Any vegetable tastes great steamed; carrots, broccoli, green beans, asparagus, caggabe, onions, sprouts and tough greens like collard and swiss chard...just to name a few.
The vegetables don’t need much prep: just wash and cut into medium sized pieces, or leave them whole (pearl onions are small enough).
For this method, I like to use a wok or a deep pan with a lid. You can also purchase a steamer.
Pour water into the pan, just enough to cover the bottom. Turn the heat on high until the water begins to steam. Turn it down to low, throw in the vegetables, and cover with a lid.
It takes about 5-15 minutes, depending on the food. The vegetables are ready when they turn a bright colour, and are soft. They are overcooked once they start turning brownish and soggy.
They taste good plain: drizzled with olive oil and a bit of salt or pepper.
Dehydrating food below at a temperature 115°F qualifies as making it raw! That way all the enzymes are intact, and none of the nutritional value is compromised.
Chop up a variety of in season vegetables (cauliflower, tomatoes, carrots, onions, etc), mix it with a sauce, and stick it in the dehydrator in the morning before you go out so it is nice and warm by dinner time. You never have to worry about it burning, because the temperature is set!
For the sauce you can use olive oil, black pepper, minced ginger or garlic, a bit of apple cider vinegar, sea salt and fresh minced herbs. Get creative!
I like a raw cashew sauce. In a blender, blend until smooth:
- 1 cup cashews
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs of choice (basil, marjoram, parsley)
- Enough water to make it smooth
Pour over the vegetables and don't worry if it's too liquidy - it will dry up and infuse the vegetables with flavour. All this can be in a casserole dish or any flat dish which you place in the dehydrator.
Oven bakes, or roasts, are nice to warm up to on cold winter nights. I have a really simple way of making them. Root vegetables are the best for this method, because you can’t eat too many raw, and steaming them will take too long.
Peel and cut into chunks your choice of: yam, sweet potato, rutabaga, turnip, parsnip, onion, potato, carrot, etc.
Put them into a baking dish, and close with a lid (or foil). Preheat the oven to 375°F and bake for 30 min or until vegetables are soft.
Take the lid off and let them brown in the oven for another 5 min. Take them out, and drizzle with olive or sunflower oil, mixing gently without mushing the vegetables.
Chop a handful of fresh herbs like rosemary, oregano, dill, basil or parsley for an extra antioxidant kick and tons of flavour.
Hope you've enjoyed these tips on how to cook vegetables.
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