It’s important to know how long to cook vegetables, otherwise you’ll lose some of their nutrients. All types of vegetables have different cooking times, so when you put everything into a pot together – and cook it for the same amount of time – the softer veggies will end up overcooked, while the harder ones may not be cooked enough.
The best way to combat this is to use different cooking methods for different types of vegetables:
Cooking vegetables method 1: Boiling
When it comes to vegetable prep, boiling is a quick and easy method of cooking. However, it’s easy to overboil, which leads to a loss of vital nutrients. Often you only need to simmer some vegetables in the boiling water. For example, when it comes to boiling broccoli you can follow these simple steps:
- Drop evenly sized pieces into boiling water.
- Return to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer for a few minutes until the broccoli is still a little firm.
Root veggies with a higher starch content, such as potatoes, can withstand boiling over a longer period of time. In this case, simply place the potatoes in cold water and boil gently until soft.
Cooking vegetables method 2: Steaming
Steaming is one of the best solutions when you’re thinking about how to cook vegetables in a way which preserves as many nutrients as possible. Again, it’s worth understanding the different types of vegetables you’re cooking to know how best to steam them.
- Steaming harder vegetables, such as broccoli and carrots: When cooking these types of vegetables, you may want to use a steamer. Don’t forget, you only need a few inches of water at most.
- Steaming more delicate vegetable, such as asparagus: These types of veggies are easily overcooked. Use recyclable baking parchment to form a small parcel for the stove and steam them in their own juices.
Cooking vegetables method 3: Stir frying
The opposite of steaming, stir frying is a delicious way to cook veggies over a high heat for a short amount of time. Here’s how you can whip up a nutritious stir-fry in just three simple steps.
- Heat some oil in a wok.
- Add the vegetables, being careful not to overfill the pan.
- Continuously stir the vegetables to ensure they’re evenly coated with oil. Don’t forget: always add the vegetables that require a longer cooking time first.
Top tip: Knowing how to cut vegetables is crucial for stir frying. To ensure even cooking, cut them into evenly sized pieces.
Cooking vegetables method 4: Air frying
For crispy vegetables without the oil, air frying is a tasty and simple option.
- Pre-heat your air fryer while you prepare the veggies.
- As above, cut the veggie into even pieces to ensure even cooking.
- Transfer the veggies to the fryer and cook for around 20 minutes.
With an appliance such as the Philips Airfryer XXL, veggies can be fried, grilled, baked or roasted in large quantities. This makes for a good option when cooking vegetables for up to six people or when you’re entertaining.
Cooking vegetables method 5: Roasting
A great way to cook up a large batch of veggies is to evenly spread them over a large roasting tray. The best way to roast vegetables is to allow for plenty of time and to cook on high heat, following these simple steps.
- Marinade your veggies in a little oil and seasoning.
- Transfer them to the roasting tray.
- Again, ensure that you cut the vegetable into even pieces for even cooking.
- For maximum taste, most roasting will take around 40 minutes before veggies turn golden and crispy.