Nutrients and Pressure Cooking?
Hey there! My question is about nutrients and pressure cooking.
I remember reading in your pressure cooking section that you say that all the nutrients stay in the food when they are cooked but I'm just wondering how this works?
You read all the time how food cooked at high temperatures or even low temperatures lose their nutrients. So I'm just trying to get my facts straight before I purchase one. Thanks for your help!
Your site is awesome. THANK YOU for all your wonderful and helpful info!
Hi Alisha! This is a great question, and I understand how confusing it can be -- I used to wonder the SAME EXACT THING!
So here's the deal. First off, some foods actually are known to be more nutritious when cooked. But that's not the biggest point for you to take away.
Here are some of the reasons a pressure cooker helps to keep the nutrients intact in your food:
- When pressure cooking, foods cook in just a fraction of the time (versus a regular pot on the stovetop);
- When using a PC, very little water is used from start to finish to cook your food which keeps nutrients intact;
- Since the lid is locked on, no air reaches the food which can whisk away nutrients as well.
When foods cook faster, with very little water, and no air, there is less of a chance for the nutrients to escape. This ensures everything stays all nice and cozy right there in the pot as it all cooks.
Imagine making beans, for instance, in a regular pot on the stovetop. Those beans will cook for at LEAST an hour. If you were to leave that pot of beans cooking on the stove, eventually the water would run out and the beans would begin to burn to the bottom, right? So you would have to add more water to keep the beans cooking. Where did all that steam go? Right out into the Universe, with many of the nutrients going along for the ride.
But when you make those same beans in a pressure cooker, whatever water you add to the pot to cook those beans from the very start is still there when the cooking is done and your remove the lid. So the beans (and the cooking liquid) are infused with the bean nutrition. (And YES you can use the broth in your cooking -- it's yummy and nutritious!)
If you make a stew, as another example, in a regular pot on the stovetop, once again the nutrients can simply leak out as the water evaporates. But in a PC, your veggies and soup broth are just chock full of the veggie nutrition.
Hope this helps to explain the mystery behind pressure cookers. They make cooking fast as a whip and your food is super nutritious.
By the by, you can learn more about pressure cooking in general and the cookers we recommend here
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