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Is Steaming or Boiling Better?

Actually it depends on the vegetable. A study of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that broccoli cooked in the microwave lost up to 97 percent of its antioxidant content but lost only 11 percent when it was steamed. Another study showed that spinach cooked in the microwave retained nearly all its folate but lost about 77 percent of this nutrient when cooked on the stove. They also found that while some nutrients, particularly B vitamins and vitamin C, are damaged during cooking, other nutrients may be released when vegetables are cooked.

What happens when you boil vegetables?
During the cooking process, some nutrients get lost. The longer they cook, the more nutrients escape and overcooking also dulls colour and flavour. 

What happens when you steam vegetables?
With steaming vegetables are cooked briefly and then removed from the heat. This can be done using a vegetable steamer. The heat of the steam cooks the vegetables, and they are spared from the boiling water. The goal of steaming is to cook the vegetables until they are no longer raw, but still bright and crisp. This preserves colour and flavour, and some of the nutrient content.

No matter how you cook vegetables you’re likely to lose some nutrients. Although other nutrients may be released when cooking. Take in consideration that steaming uses less energy and water and does the least damage to nutrients.

Bottom line is that vegetables are always a good addition to your daily menu no matter how they are prepared, raw, cooked, steamed or fried. 

Is Steaming or Boiling Better?

Salad story by

Annelies Blaauwkamer

Annelies Blaauwkamer

Salad blogger / food writer

So many variations are possible with salads, vegetables and dressings, so I never get bored eating them! Every season has it's own produce that can be used to prepare a new salad.
Once in a... Read more

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