Cooking Green Vegetables? Here Are Do’s And Don’ts

Offering plenty of nutrients, green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, mustard leaves, etc. are crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. They are much needed by the body to fulfil the deficiency of vitamins and minerals. Greens also help people to strike a balance in their diet. If you eat seasonal veggies, they will protect you from diseases and build immunity.

The task is to cook greens while retaining their nutritional value, texture, and flavour. If you do not use the right technique, your dish can end up black and taste bitter. However, if you roast, saute, or blanch green vegetables perfectly, you can end up with a lip-smacking dish. Here are a few do’s and don’ts that seasoned cooks swear by.

Don’t Forget To Cook In Oil

Many people think that they can cook green vegetables without oil. However, you cannot be more wrong. If you cook greens in a little butter, oil, or ghee, it can make them more nutritious, improve the texture, and make absorption of nutrition for your body a piece of cake (not the actual one though). Greens have antioxidants and phytochemicals that have healing properties, and your body becomes better equipped to absorb them once you cook veggies in oil.

Do Reduce Time Of Cooking

Greens do not need much time to cook. Therefore, if there is a way you can reduce their exposure to heat, you should opt for that route. Many cooks blanch green vegetables for just a couple of minutes before cooking them. It reduces the cooking time and helps to retain the green colour. Moreover, if you expose these veggies to heat for a long time, they will end up losing nutritional value.

Don’t Skip Seasoning Greens

If you are planning to grill green vegetables, don’t forget to season them. It will elevate the flavour quotient exponentially. You can use a concoction of salt, black pepper, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and red chilli powder. Grilled green vegetables can be added to your favourite salad or served as a side dish along with chicken or fish.

Do Use Little Water

When you decide to boil or blanch greens, you must use a limited amount of water. Nutrients like vitamins C and B can dissolve in water and get lost. If you use less amount of water and boil for a limited period, you can retain the nutrients in the vegetables. Another trick is to use the same water when cooking any dish or making gravy. This way, you can use the stock and make sure your dish is high in minerals and vitamins. 

Don’t Spend Too Much Time Roasting

If you spend too much time roasting greens, they will lose the vibrant green hue as well as all the nutrients. The temperature range between 190°C to 220°C is the optimum time to roast vegetables for just a few minutes. If the edges have charred and the main portion of the green vegetable is still vibrant, it is time to take them off the heat.

Do Use Whole Vegetables For Cooking

It is better to avoid cutting vegetables before cooking. You should use whole leaves and portions of vegetables when cooking. Cutting, chopping, and exposure to heat can make the greens lose their nutritional value. For many vegetables, if you let the peel on while cooking, you can increase the amount of fibre in the final dish. 

Pro Tip

One of the common issues that most people witness is they lose the vibrant hue of green vegetables. A pro tip is to boil or blanch veggies in a mixture of vinegar or lime juice. It will help to retain the colour of the greens and make your final dish more appealing.