Boiling and steaming are two cooking techniques that reached a boom in healthy cooking in recent times, but how are they different from each other?
All cooking process involves some loss of nutrients in food due to several factors such as exposure to heat, long cooking times, the solution in water and oxidation by contact with air. Therefore, it is recommended to consume raw fruits and vegetables, at least once a day, to make the most of all their properties.
But since not all foods can be consumed raw and must be subjected to cooking, it is advisable to prioritize the most healthy methods to minimize the loss of nutrients. Steam cooking allows to better preserve some vitamins and minerals in food. For that reason, some foods are ideal for cooking this way and others, however, are healthier when boiled.
The vegetables in general, except as chard or spinach leaf, as well as fish, clams, and mussels are perfect for steam as well retain their flavors, colors, nutrients, and juices.
In contrast, leafy vegetables, as well as rice, pasta, and legumes, are best cooked by boiling them because they need to absorb a lot of water to be digested without difficulty. Besides, they lose fewer nutrients by dissolution than water-rich foods like the rest of the vegetables.
Spinach, Swiss chard, and in general, leafy vegetables, it is convenient to cook them in boiling water for a few minutes and with an uncovered pot to preserve their bright green color.