South Beach Diet - Microwaving Veggies: The Best Way to Preserve Nutrients?

12-05-2007, 03:07 PM
I've been microwaving my veggies for a couple years now. When I started SBD, I steamed them. But it took a long time for the water to heat, and then I noticed that when I poured the water off after cooking, it had usually taken on a strong hue in the same shade as the veggies. I looked into it and found that steaming leaches lots of nutrients into the water (and out of the veggies!). Here's a quick Q & A ( that talks about how nuking veggies might be the best way to cook them and preserve nutrients. Scroll down to the second question on the page (below the coffee question).

How do you make your veggies? Do you think it keeps more nutrients intact?

12-05-2007, 03:53 PM
I steam them in that new microwave steam bag. It is great - no water and done in a few minutes - doesn't heat up the kitchen. I AM concerned about long term effects of plastic being used on food when cooked in the microwave. I'll continue to use them for now but it does make me nervous. I think nutrient wise it probably is one of the best ways - other than raw.

12-05-2007, 04:31 PM
Laurie we almost always cook ours in the microwave unless dh is throwing something together on the stove

12-05-2007, 05:09 PM
My cooking water from steaming goes into the next batch of soup I'm making.

12-05-2007, 05:12 PM
I like to just blanch mine. You drop the veggies into really hot water then instantly put them in ice water.

I like a little crunch to mine though...

12-05-2007, 05:21 PM
I've taken two nutrition courses at college and the RD (Registered Dietition) teaching the courses says that nuking veggies is the best way to preserve nutrients. She also says that unless you're getting your fresh veggies in season, a lot of the time there are MORE nutrients in frozen/nuked veggies than in fresh out-of-season (because they're picked before ripeness, to prevent rotting in transit).

12-05-2007, 07:38 PM
I have a microwave steamer that I LOVE! But it's in storage in California... So I've found that actually you don't really need to add any water to microwave veggies. I just put them in a microwave-safe container and pretty much thaw them for five to seven minutes, depending on what veggie it is. Spinach takes seven and a half, peas take about four, you know the drill. It *is* a convenient and easy way to prepare them!


12-05-2007, 07:40 PM
I roast most of my vegetables. It gives them an intense flavor that I love. I just spread them out on a foil lined baking pan, spray them with olive oil spray, and bake them at 400* for 15 - 20 minutes, until I get the degree of doneness that I want. Yummmm!
On days when I'm rushing, I just lay a bag of frozen veggies on a paper towel, puncture the bag to vent, and nuke it for about 5 minutes.

12-05-2007, 11:33 PM
I've been using the new microwave bags to steam for the pure convenience of it. When I have a little extra time I like to grill them. I throw them on the indoor grill pan and ether brush with olive oil or a spray of Can't believe it's not butter, depending on the vegetable, and grill until they have the marks and are hot (I like them still crunchy).

12-06-2007, 01:24 PM
Oooh, you all have great ideas for cooking veggies and keeping the nutrients! :drool: You make me want to run home and eat veggies, and that's saying something! ;)

Seriously, roasting and grilling are great ways, I think--we love to marinate veggies and then grill them. Super yummy!

I love your idea, Ruth, of using the steaming water for soup! That's ingenious! (no less than I'd expect from you, my dear smarty-pants!) :idea:

Thanks for the good info on frozen vs fresh, Azure. I always appreciate your take on things. I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle recently and have been trying to eat locally more often. When I don't, I really ought to stick to frozen. :chin:

12-06-2007, 06:12 PM
I steam in the microwave without a steamer or steamer bag. I just rinse the veggies and put them on a glass plate, wet a paper towel and put the wet paper towel on top of the veggies before microwaving. For corn on the cob, I rinse the ear of corn, wrap it in a dry paper towel, and then run the "package" under running water until it's wet, put it on a glass plate and into the microwave.

12-06-2007, 07:41 PM
Colleen, that's the same way I've always cooked corn-on-the-cob, too. :) On the SouthBeach Diet, corn is very limited, but when I do have an occasional ear (in season only), that's the way it's done. When I'm cooking corn for a crowd, though, I use my Nesco roasting pan.

12-06-2007, 08:39 PM
I like mine roasted, grilled and best yet sauteed with creole seasoning,onions, peppers and pressed garlic in a little olive oil with a bit of wine added to them. Steaming is good, but usually a little "blah" for me. I like a bunch of different flavors in each bite.

12-06-2007, 09:21 PM

My husband doesn't like corn all that much, but I love it. Every summer, I go on several sweet corn and watermelon binges (or would they be fasts since I lose a lot of weight during them). I normally do try to follow SB principles using an exchange based approach (meaning I can incorporate anything into my diet and stay on plan, but if I choose SB-unfriendly foods more than occasionally, cravings can send me off plan). Corn and watermelon are both high in carbs, but relatively low in calorie. So, usually one or two days a week during the summer I would have only watermelon and corn for one or two meals, and usually at least one day I'll eat nothing but corn and watermelon. It would be a crazy "diet," to try to stick to, but I found it's a great way to get extra PMS and TOM water out of my system.

D flip
12-06-2007, 10:54 PM
I don't microwave plastic if I can help it at all, so those new baggies are out for me :( I usually just use a glass dish with a glass lid and steam the veggies that way.

I do prefer sauteed or roasted veggies over nuked/steamed ones, though.

12-07-2007, 08:05 AM
Cooking in plastic isn't for me either. I sautee and steam or eat them raw. (Actually, I prefer raw.)