This is a common scenario…It’s that’s time of year again and everyone loves to come to your house for that amazing Memorial Day barbecue. Here you are doing everything to buy what you think is healthy, and yet you may be surprised to know that you’re meals are not as nutritious as you thought they were. The way a food is cooked, stored, and prepared has a lot to do with the health value that can be derived from it. Vitamins, minerals, and enzymes can easily be destroyed by external factors such as heat, light, and air. If you are taking the time to prepare a Memorial feast of lean protein, vegetables, and fresh fruit, below are a few tips to get your money’s worth.
Using the grill- When cooking meat, poultry, or fish, it’s recommended to not overcook it. By burning or charring at high temperatures, the blackened parts yield no nutritional value. Additionally, it decreases the available protein content, enzymes, and destroys amino acids. There is also research that supports burning and charring food can render it carcinogenic. Just cook it enough so it’s not raw inside!
Choosing one over the other- Dark leafy vegetables have more vitamins than lighter colored ones, and organic is the way to go if available. Make your salads as beautiful and brightly colored as possible. Examine your fruit and vegetables before you buy them. Don’t buy anything that that hasn’t been fully ripened from the sun which provides more vitamin C than picked green. Also, avoid produce with bruises.
How to prepare your fruits and vegetables- Cutting food contributes to nutrient loss. Rather than chop your salads in advance, wait until they are about to be served. The same goes for fruit. It oxidizes rapidly. Just think of quickly an apple turns brown after cutting it.
What to do about dessert- In the summer you can get away with serving some really fantastic fresh fruit. Everyone will be happy with some sweet watermelon and anything in season. Leave it up to your guests to bring the dessert.