If you think vegetables are gross then you have probably experienced them as poorly cooked mush or plain flavorless miniature trees. When vegetables are cooked properly and complimented by the right spices and herbs they actually taste incredible. It is important to learn methods for cooking vegetables because they are full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that will help your body function properly. They have the power to increase your energy every day, give you a clear mind and make you look like a million bucks! Lets go over the methods of cooking these nutrient dense little guys so that you no longer push them to the side of your plate hoping you get full before you have to eat them.
There are six common methods for cooking vegetables:
- Boiling: A quick and easy method. Just put your vegetables in a pot with some boiling water, wait a few minutes and whoala you’ve got cooked vegetables ready to eat. When you boil make sure you don’t leave them in the water for too long because this is when vegetable mush is made. Most vegetables only need to be boiled for 5 minutes or less. Plus the longer the vegetables are submerged in the water, the more the water soluble vitamins seep out.
- Steaming: A great way to still soften your vegetables while retaining more of the nutrients is to steam them. You can steam veggies using a steaming basket that goes over your pot of boiling water or an actual steamer. Steaming your vegetables takes a little longer than boiling them but still keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t turn to mush.
- Sautéing: Sautéing vegetables means cooking them over fairly high heat in a sauce pan, stirring them frequently. This method of cooking is great if you are looking for a caramelized taste for your vegetables. Some great vegetables to sauté are onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and spinach. You will need a little oil to sauté anything and I recommend using coconut oil because it is completely saturated fat, which means it can withstand heat damage. The next best oil for high heat cooking is avocado oil because it remains relatively stable when exposed to high heat. By heating olive oil over 200-250 degrees F, you are running the risk of creating an oxidized oil that can be potentially harmful to your body. Sautéed vegetables are delicious just use caution when choosing an oil to sauté them in!
- Roasting: Roasting is my all time favorite method of cooking vegetables. All I do is chop them up, toss them with a little oil, add my spices and put them in the oven. 20-40 minutes later my vegetables are done and they taste sweet and crispy. Roasting is great for almost all vegetables. It can even make brussels sprouts taste great!
- Grilling: Grilling gives that special, perfectly browned, slightly smokey taste that no other method of cooking can match. It is a great for the summer months where you can just throw your veggies on the grill right next to the meat you are cooking up. Grilling is great for bell-pepper, onion, mushroom, zucchini and pineapple cabobs!
Whichever method you use to cook your vegetables the work you have to put in is pretty minimal. For the most part you just chop, season and cook! What I like to do is cook a variety of veggies twice a week and reheat them on the days that I don’t cook them. Remember…cook once, eat twice. Using this concept will be a lifesaver for you in the kitchen. Vegetables are a great addition to any dish or a great meal all alone. It doesn’t matter so much how you eat them just make sure that you do. You do not want to miss out on their amazing benefits! Play with the way you cook them, how long you cook them and what spices you add to them to discover which method your taste buds like best. Pretty soon you’ll be popping vegetables in your mouth like popcorn at a movie theatre!
Here is a great recipe for making your Brussels sprouts taste delicious:
- 1 ½ pounds Brussels sprouts
- ½ large sweet onion
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 strips thick cut nitrate free bacon
- 1 Tblsp rosemary
- freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Cut off the ends of the Brussels sprouts and cut each one in half
- Chop the onion into small strips
- Chop bacon into small ½ squares and sauté in a pan until browned
- Toss the Brussels sprouts and onion in the olive oil in a bowl and mix in the rosemary
- Pour the mixture onto your baking sheet (you may need two baking sheets) and sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Roast for 35-40 minutes
- When the vegetables are done toss them with the bacon and serve!
P.S. If you absolutely hate Brussels sprouts feel free to substitute any other vegetable in their place!