Before I want to jump on this specific idea, I want to say that there is probably no single best cooking method.
Some foods are better eaten raw, while others are better eating cooked (i.e. Tomatoes, carrots). Raw tomatoes have a much lower lycopene content than cooked or processed tomatoes do.
Knowledge-base: Lycopene is a phytochemical, that gives vegetables, i.e. tomatoes their red color. It is a radical fighting antioxidant and studies found out that it actually help to prevent cancer. The foods with the highest lycopene content are tomato sauce, tomato paste and watermelons.
If you want to know which vegetables are better eaten raw and which are better eaten cooked, there is much to learn, and probably the least of you want to dive that deep into that. Stay tuned for a post on that.
The best recommendation anyone could give is to alternate between different cooking methods. I already mentioned steaming as one good way to cook and another one would be to cook the food and make a soup or stew out of them.
Many cultures have a soup or a stew as a traditional dish and people from the Blue Zones, have similar recipes as well.
Knowledge-Base: Blue Zones are several zones around the world where people get exceptionally old. The concentration of centenarians is highest in those places, i.e. Okinawa in Japan or Ikaria in Greece. Research is focusing on those people and already found out many of their “secrets”. I can recommend the book “Blue Zones” for more information.
A good example of a healthy soup is the Thai Tom Yung Gung soup, which is made with many fresh herbs, spices and vegetables.
The major benefit of a soup is that the water soluble vitamins, i.e. B and C, which are usually lost in the water when poured away, are still available in a soup since the liquid is not thrown away, but eaten instead.
Another good example is beef or bone broth, where parts of beef and bones are cooked, up to 72 hours. Although it is still a niche food and some people may even be a bit disgusted by it, it is an incredibly healthy food to eat, since all the nutrients, minerals, etc. from the bones are in the water and can be consumed.
If you are cooking a soup or a stew on a regular basis continue to do so and maybe even add one or two (foreign) recipes to your repertoire. If you’re normally only cooking the vegetables and pouring the water into the drain, you are losing precious vitamins and nutrients with it.
Try to incorporate a soup or stew in your weekly eating pattern. There are even great places that serve delicious soups. Go for them!
Steps to take:
- Cook a great minestrone soup.
- Heat olive oil, add onions, celery, garlic and carrots. Heat for 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, fennel and potatoes. Add canned beans and water until everything is covered. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for at least an hour. (Don’t worry about the measurements. Go with your gut.) Send me an email for the exact recipe.