- It’s true that vitamins break down in heat and air. The longer and hotter you cook something, the more nutrients you lose. But there are simple, easy ways to avoid major vitamin loss when preparing fruits and vegetables. The most obvious, of course, is to eat raw fruits and vegetables whenever possible.
- Cook only until crisp and tender. Otherwise known as al dente, a crisper vegetable or fruit will retain more nutrients than a mushy one. A good way to achieve this is steaming rather than boiling your food.
- Use as little water as possible while cooking. This reduces the dissolving action of vitamins.
- Use big pieces rather than small cut-up pieces. Minimizing the surface area of each piece prevents loss of vitamins when exposed to air.
- Cover your pots during cooking to contain steam and heat. This helps reduce cooking time and therefore saves nutrients.
- The water you’ve used for cooking vegetables can be reused in soups, sauces, stews or vegetable juices. This is a way to get the benefit of residual vitamins.