COOKING METHODS daily tips

Tips for Crunchy Vegetables

These tips are particularly suitable for cooking broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and carrots.

Eating vegetables is essential to health. The way we prepare them is also crucial for preserving nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Research has shown how cooking can induce chemical and physical modifications in foods, modifying their nutritional quality.

Vegetables like broccoli are not suitable to be cooked in water. Boiling water would make them lose vitamins and minerals. The best way of cooking broccoli is stir-fry.

Stir-fry consists of cooking at high temperature in a wok or pan, adding a few tablespoons of vegetable oil – we generally use extra virgin olive oil – and moving the ingredients quickly.

Broccoli, like other Brassicaceae, is rich in Vit C. Also, they are rich sources of sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates. Digestion transforms these molecules into sulforaphane, an anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory molecule. This cooking method preserves their activity.

Here is a combination of quick steaming and stir-fry to make crunchy broccoli

Ingredients

  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Olive oil
  • A pinch of salt or vegetable oyster sauce

How to prepare

  • Separate the broccoli into florets
  • Wash them underwater and drain
  • Chop the garlic and cut the onion into slices
  • In a saucepan put a few centimeters of water, pour in the florets and cook with the lid on for about 1-2 minutes from the boiling of the water
Quick steaming brocoli for 1-2 minutes
  • In a pan over high heat, heat the oil and add the garlic and onion without browning them. Stir-fry requires high temperatures and moving fast ingredients
Stir-fry garlic and onion
  • Drain the broccoli and place under cold water to stop cooking
  • Pour the broccoli into the pan and sauté quickly for one minute
Stir-fry broccoli in a pan and add vegetable oyster sauce to taste. Or, you can add a pinch of salt and extra virgin olive oil after cooking.

You can add vegetable oyster sauce to enhance the taste or soy sauce with a table spoon of sugar and two table spoons of sesame oil.

With the same method you can prepare a pan of seasonal vegetables such as zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. Remember to put the harder ingredients first.

If you prepare cauliflower with this cooking method, you can add a few table spoons of balsamic vinegar after cooking.

Enjoy!

Bibliography

Reddy MB, Love M. The impact of food processing on the nutritional quality of vitamins and minerals. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1999;459:99-106. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4615-4853-9_7. PMID: 10335371.

Jiménez-Monreal AM, García-Diz L, Martínez-Tomé M, Mariscal M, Murcia MA. Influence of cooking methods on antioxidant activity of vegetables. J Food Sci. 2009 Apr;74(3):H97-H103. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2009.01091.x. PMID: 19397724.

J. Higdon, Ph. D. An Evidence-Based Approach to Dietary Phytochemicals, Thieme, 2006.

About Valentina

Hi, I’m Valentina. I’m a natural scientist and communications consultant, passionate about plant-based food. I’m always looking for new ideas for living more sustainably and I want to share them with you through this blog. I find inspiration locally as well as from other cultures.