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How to prepare great tasting vegetables with Nutrient-Rich Cooking

While any of us might make a New Year's resolution to eat more vegetables—or follow a fad diet that calls for more vegetables—if we don't really enjoy the vegetables that we are eating, we are probably going to stop after a while. We might eat them for weeks, or even months. But vegetables aren't likely to become part of our lifestyle unless they are enjoyable to eat and easy to prepare; it doesn't make sense to create a way of eating that you don't enjoy.

What we have found here at WHFoods is that most people do not eat vegetables because they do not like the way they taste. While people often say it is impossible to make vegetables taste good, we disagree. We have discovered that by using our Nutrient-Rich Cooking methods you not only get delicious vegetables in a minimal amount of time, but you also get vegetables that have retained most of their nutritional value. And to attest to this are the many friends with whom we have shared vegetables cooked the Nutrient-Rich Way. In the end they were enjoying — and even preparing for themselves — vegetables they originally said they didn't like at all!

Most of us realize that vegetables are one of the best ways to optimize our health. The effects of not eating enough vegetables can range from low energy levels to reduced immune function and increasing the risk of many types of preventable diseases. Therefore it is no surprise why they are key components of the World's Healthiest Foods Way of Eating. It's just fact that without vegetables you cannot get all of the nutrients you need each day. For example, our WHFoods Menu (link) could not have attained a level of 100% nutrients without the servings of vegetables it contains. That's because at WHFoods, our 38 vegetables (link) provide more nourishment than any other food group. In fact, our vegetables as a whole earn 136 ratings of "excellent" for their nutrient richness (28%, with the next closest food group being seafood with 26 excellent ratings!)

So the secret of great tasting vegetables lies with preparation. Unless you know how to cook vegetables properly, you won't get the best taste or the best nourishment. "One size fits all" is the worst possible approach with vegetables. Their textures and flavors are too unique and delicate for any uniform cooking approach. And their nutrients are too delicate as well. Too much heat, too much submersion in water, or too long on the stove can rob vegetables of their pleasures and their nutrients. But without any cooking at all, some of the most delicious flavors simply aren't possible.

Our Nutrient-Rich Cooking approach will give you the best of both worlds: the best textures and flavors, as well as the best possible cooking nourishment. These results are only possible if each vegetable is treated as a unique food with a unique nutrient composition and unique cooking requirements. While many of our nutrient-rich vegetable recipes use steaming as a cooking method, we believe that the uniqueness of some vegetables calls for brief boiling, and in other cases, a brief Healthy Sauté. Our Nutrient-Rich Cooking Methods are always carefully timed. In some cases, we have seen research showing fairly large drops in nutrient content from an extra minute or two of cooking. And we've tested each of our recipes numerous times to perfect the outcome in terms of texture, flavor, and overall enjoyment. Especially if there currently are few vegetables that you truly enjoy, we are confident that Nutrient-Rich Cooking can open the door to a world of vegetables that extends beyond New Year's resolutions or temporary diets.

You can find a wide range of recipes highlighting vegetables on our List of Over 300 Recipes. The "Side Vegetable" section—cooked the Nutrient-Rich Cooking way— as well as the "Salad" section are particularly helpful in increasing your vegetable intake with great tasting veggies.

Here are some of our favorites:

If you are curious as to how you are doing on your veggie intake, be sure to take a few minutes with our Veggie Advisor and find out which vegetables might be the best to include in your personal healthy eating menu.

See pages 80-89 of the 2nd edition of the World's Healthiest Foods book for more on Nutrient-Rich Cooking of vegetables. Also, each vegetable chapter provides you with a number of flavorful ways to cook each vegetable.

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