Braising is a slow cooking technique, therefore breaking down proteins and fibers to be more easily digested without losing nutrients – luckily for us it also enhances flavors! In the winter months I cozy into a hot bowl of slow-cooked stew and remind myself how lucky I am to have this nourishment.
Nutrient Retention and Cooking Techniques
Are raw vegetables healthier than cooked? Do certain cooking methods destroy vitamins? The answer is yes, all cooking methods alter the nutrient content of foods, and some are better for retaining certain nutrients than others.
The first thing to consider is what foods are in season. This will help determine the best cooking method.
- Raw, lightly steaming, sautéeing, and quick grilling techniques for the spring and summer are most supportive to the body. Use fast cooking methods during these seasons.
- Slow cooking methods like braising, crock pot cooking, and roasting are perfect for root vegetables that are in season in the fall and winter. Use slow cooking methods during these seasons.
Water soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C and vitamin B, can be lost during the process of cooking in water. Instead of remaining in food, these vitamins can leech into the water. If you choose a water-based cooking method, like boiling, save the water and use it! On the other hand, fat soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin K fare better during cooking.
Always include variety! Utilizing different types of cooking techniques will ensure that the body gets a variety of nutrients.