10 Ways You’re Cooking Your Vegetables Wrong

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10 Ways You’re Cooking Your Vegetables Wrong

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Once you’ve integrated vegetables into your diet, you’re healthy, right? Not necessarily. Just because you eat vegetables regularly doesn’t mean that you’re benefiting from all the nutrients that they have to offer. There is a possibility that you’ve been cooking your vegetables wrong and absorbing little or none of their vitamins and fiber. A lot of it has to do with nutritional value, but the way you’re cooking your vegetables can also impact their flavor — and not in a good way. We’re here to tell you the mistakes that you’ve been making with your vegetables — and how to fix them. 

Beans

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Shocker alert: Canned beans contain more antioxidants than dried beans. You can use beans right from the can, or, if you are in favor of the phytonutrient-rich food in its dry form, soak them for an hour before cooking. The liquid helps the dry beans reabsorb some of their nutritional value. 

Broccoli

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By the time you go to the grocery store and pick out a head of broccoli, more than 75 percent of its antioxidants will be gone. A study showed that after 10 days — approximately how long it takes for this vegetable to make its way to a supermarket — it starts to lose some of its nutritional value. According to thekitchn.com, “Cutting the broccoli into florets doubles the rate of antioxidant loss, so in addition to buying the freshest broccoli you can find and cooking it right away, you should choose whole heads rather than the bags of pre-cut florets.”

Carrots

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Boil your carrots whole and cut them after they’re cooked — it’ll help them retain more of their nutritional value. 

Cucumbers

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When you peel a cucumber, you’re peeling away nutrients (fiber and vitamin A) that make it a healthy vegetable. If you’re going to eat cucumbers, just wash them and leave the skin on. 

Garlic

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Allicin is a beneficial compound that is found in garlic, but if you mince garlic and throw it into a sauté pan, you’re getting almost none of its nutritional value. After you mince the garlic, let it sit for 10 minutes before you add it to a sauté pan.

Kale

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Blanch kale in boiling water for 30 seconds and then shock it in an ice bath to take away some of its bitter taste. Just dry it off for use in a salad.  

Potatoes

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White potatoes have a high glycemic index, which means they cause spikes in blood sugar. In order to avoid this, bake potatoes a day ahead of time, letting them sit for about 24 hours. This will lower their glycemic index. This is especially easy to do when making potato salad. If you want roasted potatoes, make them the night before and just reheat the next day.

Roasted Potatoes

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Most of the time when you’re roasting potatoes, you just coat them in oil and throw them in the oven. You’re doing it all wrong — roasting your potatoes on parchment makes them crisper. If you’ve been dealing with soggy potatoes, this is the perfect fix.

Scallions

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When cutting scallions, most people save the whites and toss the greens. Keep the green sections of your scallions — they’re a concentrated source of phytonutrients. 

Spinach

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Boiling vegetables like spinach can reduce their levels of antioxidants. According to thekitchn.com, “After 10 minutes of boiling, three quarters of its phytonutrient content is in cooking water, not in the vegetable itself.”