From delicious stir fries and mezhukku puratti to avial and sambar, the Kerala cuisine has quite a number of tasty vegetarian dishes. Keralites even love having their vegetables 'perfectly' cooked. However, nutrition experts say that we tend to overcook the vegetables, which lead to the loss of many amazing nutrients and vitamins in it. Though the dish may taste good, it would lack in its essential nutrients. It must, however, be noted that not all vegetables are to be consumed raw as it must be doused with many kinds of chemical fertilizers. Here are some nutritious vegetables which could be eaten raw. Lightly toast these vegetables in some lemon juice or olive oil for some extra flavour.
This cruciferous vegetable is packed with vitamin C and calcium. The sulforaphane in broccoli controls the blood pressure levels and helps safeguard the heart's health. However, 70% of this wonderful compound would be lost when heated up or over cooked.
Sprout green grams
Sprout green grams are known for their incredible nutritional qualities. It is loaded with vitamin C, folate, fibre, copper and manganese. All these nutrients would disappear when it is over cooked. It is better to eat sprout green grams by adding it in a healthy salad and drizzling with some lemon juice or olive oil.
Like cabbage, cauliflower too has the ability to fight cancer. It eases the digestive process as well. When cooked, around 50 - 60% of its nutrients would disappear, warn experts.
The allicin in shallots prevents over appetite and fights cancer as well. Including shallots in your daily diet is excellent to maintain a healthy heart. Shallots help control the blood pressure. The nutrients get absorbed into the blood easily when shallots are eaten raw.
Garlic is an unavoidable ingredient in the Kerala cuisine. It is a store house of vitamin B6, C and fibre. Eating raw garlic cloves helps fight cancer in lungs. Chopped garlic cloves could be added while making salads as it adds flavour and nutrition as well.
It is better not to roast almonds, cashews, hazel nuts, walnuts and peanuts, and then mixing them with salt. The nutrients in these nuts could lower the cholesterol levels, prevent blood clots and control blood pressure as well.
Though the nutrients in some vegetables could be retained by having it raw, it is not advisable to use some other vegetables and leaves without cooking them adequately. Most of the vegetables bought from markets are likely to be full of chemical fertilizers and other hazardous things. So, it is important to wash them properly and cook well before consuming. You could have them raw or lightly cooked if you are sure they are organically grown. It is always better to grow a small path of vegetable garden in your backyard itself as you could enjoy fresh and organic vegetables.