Being Creative with Cooked Vegetables

The cooks of the family can relate that it can be difficult to get their family members to eat vegetables raw. Most people consume vegetables to obtain nutritional benefits.  While most vegetables are better raw, it may be surprising to know that some offer more value cooked. Cooking releases nutrients that your body can more easily absorb. Read on to learn about those veggies and the health benefits that they provide.

Healthy Tip Tuesday is brought to you in partnership with Trinity Health Systems.

Here are a few vegetables to try cooked.
  • Asparagus– This springtime vegetable is full of cancer-fighting vitamins A, C, and E.  Cooking asparagus increases it levels of phenolic acid, which is associated with a reduced risk of cancer.  Drizzle asparagus with olive oil and enjoy!
  • Carrots– Our bodies seem to use more easily the beta carotene in cooked carrots than in raw ones.  Cut into rounds, steam, and serve with a little honey or cinnamon.
  • Mushrooms– Microwaving or grilling can increase antioxidant activity.  After heating them up, slice and add to a salad or sauté and add to an omelet.
  • Tomatoes– Lycopene is better absorbed when the food item is heated up. This may protect against cancer and heart disease.  Slow roasted in the oven at 200 degrees and added to a sandwich sounds delicious.
  • Spinach- Oxalic acid may block the absorption of calcium and iron from raw spinach.  Heat is known to break it down.  Blanch spinach and served under grilled fish with salsa.

While some of the health benefits may be difficult to understand, everyone can agree that our bodies need more vegetables. Some of them listed above can be dumped into a soup or stew, while others can be served with a roast.

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