From time immemorial, man has included many different types of leafy vegetables in his diet. After all, they have not only a bright taste, but also are a real storehouse of vitamins and minerals. How to cook green vegetables, and what kind of food will preserve all their beneficial properties?
Healthy nutrition: the benefits of greens for the human body
Leafy vegetables are a large food group including: lettuce, spinach, sorrel, parsley, dill, nettle, quinoa, fennel, celery and much more. They also include various types of cabbage (white cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi, bok choy). All of these plants have excellent taste characteristics and contain their own unique set of trace elements.
It’s no secret that the inclusion of plant foods in food is a great way to replenish stocks of healthy, nutritious substances. Experts say that adhering to a diet rich in green leafy vegetables can significantly improve the condition of the body:
- improve digestion (in particular, improve stool and intestinal motility);
- to support the health of the organs of vision (a sufficient intake of potassium in the body is the prevention of eye diseases);
- normalize blood cholesterol and cleanse blood vessels of cholesterol deposits;
- improve the condition of the skin (regular inclusion of vegetables in the diet helps to maintain a natural level of skin hydration, improve complexion, and reduce the risk of acne)
- reduce the likelihood of developing iron deficiency anemia (due to the high content of minerals);
- stimulate hair and nail growth (seasonal vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain their health);
- normalize weight (a high content of plant fibers and low calorie vegetables allow them to be included in diet for weight loss).
What kind of food can I arrange with leafy vegetables?
Many people find it difficult to answer, what kind of food can be organized with various types of leafy greens? Since not everyone knows how to cook them correctly. But due to the observance of simple rules for the preparation of these products, you can get a lot of tasty and healthy dishes for the whole family.
Nutrition experts recommend that most leafy vegetables (lettuce, arugula, spinach, broccoli) are a valuable source of vitamin C, which quickly breaks down during intense heat treatment. Therefore, you should not cook or stew these products for a long time.
The best way to cook is by delicate steaming (e.g. in a double boiler). However, its duration should not exceed 7-10 minutes.
Fast roasting with the addition of a small amount of vegetable oil is also allowed. In this case, the body will receive additional benefits in the form of the intake of fat-soluble vitamins A and E.
In addition, it is recommended to stew sorrel and spinach with the addition of tomato juice. Such a combination will allow better assimilation of iron, which is rich in green leafy vegetables.
To understand what kind of nutrition can help improve health, you need to figure out whether the basic foods are prepared properly. For example, not everyone knows how to preserve the nutritional value of different types of cabbage, which is a traditional vegetable crop for our compatriots.
Meanwhile, experts note that representatives of the cruciferous family contain a lot of useful substances, among which indole and sulforaphane should be noted. These compounds are necessary for the prevention of diseases of the organs of vision, liver and blood vessels. And individual scientific studies confirm their important role in the fight against cancerous tumors.
But these compounds react differently to an increase in temperature. Sulforaphane under its influence is destroyed, and it benefits the indole. Therefore, it is quite difficult to choose the best way to cook some types of cabbage.
Specialists in the field of nutrition have established that it is possible to preserve the useful composition of cruciferous, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, with blanching. This technology involves short-term (30 seconds) immersion of vegetables in boiling water, after which they are sent to ice water to stop the heat treatment process. This method not only allows you to save the benefits of products, but improves the appearance of the cooked dish.
Summer diet: dish ideas with green leafy vegetables
Summer gives not only a generous sun and a warm sea, but also an abundance of fruits, herbs, and vegetables on store shelves. Therefore, the summer diet traditionally includes a lot of light and tasty dishes with seasonal products.
Below are a few recipes that followers of various diets for weight loss and those who seek to eat for the benefit of the body will probably appreciate it .
Chop 3 green apples and 6 celery stalks in arbitrary pieces. Grind 1 bunch of parsley, spinach, and also 0.5 bunch of basil. Pass all components through the juicer. Add the juice of one lime to the drink. If desired, a few ice cubes can be added to the smoothie. Serve in tall glasses.
Cucumber and basil sorbet
Place 0.5 kg of cucumbers in the blender (if the peel is hard, then it should be removed). Add a small bunch of green basil and 6-8 tbsp. l honey. If desired, you can add 1 tbsp. l Roma. Beat all ingredients until smooth. Transfer the cucumber mixture into a sealed container and place in the freezer. When the sorbet freezes a little, it should be whipped again in a blender and frozen again. Serve garnished with sprigs of mint.
Risotto with basil and mint
To prepare this refreshing risotto, it is necessary to finely chop 3 onions and fry in a deep pan in a mixture of butter and olive oil until transparent. Add a glass of rice (arborio, rum or baldo). Stir and fry for another 3-5 minutes. Pour 400 ml of hot broth. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the liquid evaporates, add more (about 800 ml of the broth should go). Important: rice should not be dry or boiled! Separately chop a bunch of mint and the same amount of basil. Mix them with cream (150 ml), grated parmesan (20-50 g), juice of half a lemon and a pinch of lemon peel. Stir the contents of the saucepan. Salt, pepper. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Serve decorated with greens.