How to save nutrients while cooking?
Do not use excess water while cooking. Even if used, do not discard the excess water as water-soluble vitamin especially vitamin C and minerals are lost to an extent of 30-70% depending on quantity of cooked water discarded and the foodstuff cooked.
Prefer to soak whole legumes (with covers) overnight and then pressure cook. This will ensure minimum loss of nutrients.
Use foods with peels as far as possible. If you have to peel, remove the thin and then use the peeled fruits and vegetables.
Washing after peeling should be as little as possible. Try to wash and clean before peeling.
Cook whole vegetables, if possible, or cut into large pieces to reduce the surface area exposed to heat.
Other better ways of cooking than conventional –
Boiling: boiling is cooking foods by just immersing them in the water at 100°C and maintaining then at that temperature till the food becomes tender.
Steaming: this method requires the food to be cooked in steam from vigorously boiling water so that food is completely surrounded by steam. Steaming has advantages of making foods more easily digestive, nutritious, and full of flavor. This is because there is no need to add fats and foods to retain nutrients better.
Pressure cooking: this method involves the principle that more heat is generated by steam under pressure and therefore cooking time is greatly reduced. This method retains the flavors thus making food more palatable.
Microwave cooking: this method involves the use of high-frequency electromagnetic waves that penetrate the food and produce frictional heat by vibrations within the food. The main advantage of cooking here is – quick-cooking and the absence of heat in the oven.
Baking: foods cooked by baking involve the use of oven or tandoor in which hot air is circulated around the food placed in it. Here the method of dry heat with steam that is generated while cooking food is employed. Eg, for baking cakes, bread, vegetables, puddings, etc. In this method, the top layer of the food gets brown and crisp because of the direct heat on the surface of the food.