Cooking is the process which not only makes the food extremely tasty but improves its nutritional quality too. Besides, it removes the toxins and bacteria that is contained in the raw ingredients. From washing, cutting, chopping, grinding and mixing to pickling, sprouting and fermenting, cooking is a complex process that involves many rounds. The ingredients should be washed properly to remove dirt and other impurities. They should be then sliced and cooked in such a way that the nutrients in them are not lost by the time it is consumed.
Here are some tips to make your dishes clean and healthy:
• After washing coriander leaves, spinach and grapes, these should be soaked in some salt water. After some time, wash again in drinking water.
• Separate the cauliflower into florets and soak them in water mixed with a pinch of turmeric powder and salt. This would destroy the worms in cauliflower.
• Fruits should be washed before peeling the skin. If the apples look too shiny, they might have a coating of wax on them. So, it is better to peel of the skin before eating such fruits.
• Separate the layers of the cabbage and wash them properly.
• Vegetables would lose its nutritional quality if they are cut into smaller pieces. So, it is better to cut them into chunks. Do, not wash the veggies after cutting them. Vegetables would lose its vitamins if they are soaked in water for a long time.
• Usually, veggies are boiled in hot water. However, this method would remove vitamins B and C.
• Cooking rice and pulses in more water and then straining the excess water is not a good idea. It is better to cook these in water that just required. Try to cook vegetables too like this. Closing the lid while cooking would prevent nutrient loss. Meanwhile, cooking in steam would retain the colour and texture of the vegetables.
• Adding baking soda to quickly cook the pulses would diminish the nutrients in them.
• Make sure not to overheat the ghee or oil while frying. If the oil is over heated, peroxides and free radicals would be formed.
• Cooking in pressure cooker is one of the best ways. This is an extremely time and fuel saving method.
• Do not using plastic containers or lids in microwave ovens.
• The Vitamin C in pulses gets increased when they are sprouted.
• Dishes like idli and dosa that uses fermented batter too are loaded with nutrients.