Food Preparation Tips: Maximize Minerals And Vitamins

Proper food preparation means you will get the most of food values. How to get maximum nutrition in every meal you prepare.

When you plan your meals well, yet your family is undernourished because the food you buy so carefully has been prepared in such a way as to waste or destroy many valuable minerals and vitamins, you need to change the methods of food preparation. The following suggestions will help you to prepare the food so that the food values are saved:

1. The best kitchen is the one in which few things are thrown away. Outside leaves and peelings should be saved for the valuable minerals and vitamins which they contain. One good idea is to keep them in a closed jar in the refrigerator until a sufficient amount has accumulated to cook a stock for soup or gravy.

2. Vegetables should be cooked as short a time and in as small an amount of boiling water as possible. The pan should be covered, except in the case of strong-juiced vegetables, such as onions and cabbage. Any juice which are left over from either fresh or canned vegetables may be saved for soups or gravies, except for the strong-flavored ones. Green vegetables will remain greener if cooked uncovered.

3. Foods should be prepared as near the time of serving as possible. Valuable vitamins are lost if fresh vegetables are cut and stored until needed. This is true also of frozen fruits and vegetables. Raw vegetables such as cabbage should not be grated or ground until near time for use. Potatoes and other pared vegetables should be cooked immediately. Soaking potatoes in water wastes much valuable food material.

4. Meat should be roasted, broiled, or steamed. All meat should be cooked at a low temperature until it reaches the desired stage of doneness.

5. Canned, dried, cold storage, and frozen foods may be used since they keep most of the important food values. Frozen foods seem to show the least loss of vitamins and minerals. Dried fruits retain a good percentage of iron, minerals, and vitamins.

If you have food in your house and you are trying to make a decision to eat it or to throw it out, wondering if it is safe and how you can be sure, then it might be best to throw it out. A food that is not safe for eating may have illness-causing organisms. When foods are kept too long or stored improperly, they spoil. Some kinds of spoilage makes foods harmful to health, some do not, and it is not always possible to distinguish between the two kinds.

Fresh perishable foods should be used soon after they are harvested or purchased and stored at the right temperature and also the right humidity.

Remember that bacteria need food and moisture to survive. They will thrive on some foods better than others. Protein encourages bacterial growth, acids slow it down. Foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and milk are moist and high in protein. Dishes made from these products with little or no acid are potentially dangerous; for example, pudding and meat pies. Foods low in protein, high in acid, or dry are more likely to be bacteriologically safe.

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