How to cook foods
Many important nutrients are lost to a greater or lesser degree when food is cooked by ordinary methods. In particular, the water-soluble vitamins – B-complex and C – may be largely lost by careless cooking and storage. Vitamins C is the most unstable of all the vitamins and if by observing the following rules for cooking, this vitamin can be largely retained, other important nutrients, including iron, will also be preserved in significant amounts. Fortunately, some of our food sources that are highest in vitamins C, the citrus fruits, are best eaten raw. Fruits and vegetables together supply well over 90 percent of our vitamin C.

Follow the practical suggestions listed below in order to retain the most nutrients while cooking your food, and remember the four nutrients robbers are air, water, heat, and light.


➲ Use a little water as possible during cooking.
➲ Have the water boiling for about one minute before adding the food.
➲ Let the water simmer rather than boiling vigorously.
➲ Save the leftover water to use as a vegetable stock for gravy or soup.
➲ Cut the vegetable into large, uniform pieces just before cooking. Leave the peeling or skin on when possible. The smaller the pieces being cooked, the larger the area exposed to water, and therefore the greater the vitamin loss will be.
➲ Use the shortest cooking time possible. Serve vegetables tender and crisp, not soggy and mushy.
➲ Serve food immediately after preparation. Do not keep it hot for a long time before serving. Plan your meals so that reheating of food is done as seldom as possible. Cover and refrigerate leftover foods right away.
➲ Keep cooking vessels tightly covered.
➲ Cooking by steaming or pressure cooker will serve about 30 percent more of the vitamins than boiling.
➲ Do not add soda to the cooking water, because this destroys vitamin C and some of the B-complex vitamins.
➲ Food that is high in vitamin C should not be cooked in copper or iron vessels.
➲ Store fresh fruits and vegetables in a refrigerator and prepare them immediately before they are to be used. Do not let them stand in water or remain exposed to air any longer than is necessary.
➲ Place frozen food directly into boiling water after removing it from the freezer. Do not permit the food to thaw first.
➲ Keep orange juice covered and in the refrigerator. Drink fresh orange juice immediately after squeezing. Do not leave it exposed to the air.


FoodCooking time
Apples, sourBaked, medium-hot oven, 30 minutes.
Apples, sweetBaked, medium-hot oven, 45 minutes.
Asparagus, wholeBoiled 10 to 15 minutes.
Beans driedBoiled until tender, about 2 to 3 hours.
Beets, wholeBoiled until tender 20 to 30 minutes
BroccoliBoiled 10 to 15 minutes.
Carrots, wholeBoiled until tender, 15 to 20 minutes
Carrots slicedBoiled until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
Cauliflower, piecesBoiled until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Corn on the cobBoiled 6 to 10 minutes.
EggplantBaked in a hot oven, 30 minutes steamed, 15 to 20 minutes.
Eggs, soft-boiledPut in boiling water, turn the heat off, and allow to stand for 7 or 8 minutes.
Eggs, hard-boiledBoiled 30 minutes
Gems and muffinsQuick oven, 375°F for 25 minutes.
Onions, smallBoiled for 10 to 15 minutes.
Onions, largeBoiled for 20 to 30 minutes.
Parsnips, wholeBoiled for 20 to 30 minutes.
PeasBoiled for 10 to 12 minutes
PotatoesBoiled for 15 to 30 minutes.
PotatoesBaked in a hot oven, for 45 to 60 minutes.
Rice, brownBoiled for 40 to 50 minutes.
Rolled oatsDirect boiling, 15 minutes double boiler, 1 hour.
Salsify (oyster plant)Boiled 2 hours
SquashBoiled, whole, 10 to 15 minutes. Boiled, pieces, 8 to 12 minutes.
String beans, wholeBoiled until tender, about 10 minutes.
Sweet potatoesBaked, hot oven, 45 to 60 minutes. Boiled 20 to 35 minutes.
Tomatoes, wholeBoiled 10 to 15 minutes.
Turnips, wholeBoiled until tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
Turnips, slicedBoiled 15 to 20 minutes.
Whole grain rolls and biscuitsQuick (hot) oven, 20 to 25 minutes.

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