Nutrition & How it is Vital to the Culinary Arts

by Rob Sutter
It's easy to see why many people insist on cooking their vegetables, sometimes for extensive lengths of time. They enjoy the taste that comes from methods like grilling and roasting. They believe that said methods are able to help accentuate the natural tastes of these products, which is understandable as well. However, it's important for the culinary arts to be done, in this regard, without sacrificing easily one of the most important properties of cooking.

I am, of course, talking about one simple point: nutrition.

As you probably already know, even before your time in the Institute of Culinary Education or any of the other culinary art schools, nutrition contains everything one would associate with healthy food. Vitamins, minerals, calcium, protein, and other factors play into nutrition, which allows certain foods to be recommended over others. As crucial as these are, in their own ways, there is no doubt that they can be drained if proper care isn't taken in the culinary arts. You wouldn't want to miss out on nutritional value during the cooking process, right?

One of the ways that chefs can retain nutritional value is to cook for lesser periods of time. Keep in mind that when it comes to nutrition, heat is easily the worst enemy that can be named. However, one can make the argument that the heat itself isn't so much a problem; it's the amount of time food is exposed to said heat that can cause issues with nutrition. If you are a fan of fried food, it's almost a given that nutritional value will be lost since it takes longer and has a higher temperature involved. As you can imagine, certain methods should be utilized but it may be confusing to figure out which ones are best.

Water is yet another component that can detract from the nutritional value of food when it's cooked. One of the reasons why I'm skeptic about recommending boiling to newcomers in the culinary arts is because of the emphasis placed on water. Nutrients can become trapped by this liquid and it's easy for them to be lost when the water is either dumped out or replaced with cleaner water. Even if boiling may not be the best method, as far as health benefits are concerned, there exists a number of alternatives to get lost in.

Let's say that want to make your vegetables as crispy as possible without having to sacrifice their nutrients; blanching can work wonders. While you may not have heard much of it before your time in cooking school, just know that this can help as much as steaming, this is another recommended method. In fact, steaming may be more familiar by comparison. However, both of these are able to prepare food in such a way that it remains healthy and yet comes out satisfying to eat.

It's not out of the question to cook food with nutrition in mind, as you can see. It's just a matter of figuring out which methods are best for you. Play around with a couple and, before long, you'll be able to consider one your absolute favorite, in terms of both taste and health.

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