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Make proper use of your green vegetables

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd May 2008 03:00 AM

MANY times we waste a lot of minerals and vitamins when we prepare food the wrong way. One such kind of food is the vegetables.

MANY times we waste a lot of minerals and vitamins when we prepare food the wrong way. One such kind of food is the vegetables.

By Agnes Kyotalengerire

MANY times we waste a lot of minerals and vitamins when we prepare food the wrong way. One such kind of food is the vegetables.

Markets all over the country are currently flooded with all sorts of vegetables for example the green leafy vegetables like doodo, spinach, cabbage, nnakati, sukuma wiki and lettuce, roots like carrots and fruit vegetables such as tomatoes, pumpkins, green pepper, egg plants and cucumber, all at pocket friendly prices.

Richard Ssenviiri, a nutritionist with Healthy Snack at Garden City shopping mall in Kampala, says vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamin A, B and C.

The green leafy vegetables also contain chlorophyll, a green pigment, which is fat-soluble and is responsible for stimulating haemoglobin and red blood cell production.

Ssenviiri advises that for any type of vegetables, the way of preparation matters a lot in the preservation of their nutritional value.

He advises that in order to preserve the nutrients, vegetables should be prepared as soon as they are harvested or bought; when they are still fresh.

Senviiri explains that while chopping vegetables, the edible skin should not be removed because vitamins and minerals are found in the outer skin and the areas just below the skin.

Mwesigwa Mporogoma a nutritionist with Mwempo Herbal Juices in Mukono advises against soaking vegetables because the water soluble nutrients dissolve in the water and are poured away.

Mporogoma recommends steaming as the best way to prepare any vegetables because it is quick and helps to retain the vitamins as opposed to boiling in which a lot of water soluble vitamins such as B and C are discarded with the cooking water.

He explains that one traditional but effective way of steaming the green leafy and fruit vegetables is to wrap the vegetables in a banana leaf and steam them on top of food. The banana leaf prevents the chlorophyll and nutrients in the vegetables from escaping.

Alternatively, you can cook the vegetables in a closed pot to prevent the nutrients from escaping in the steam.

Similarly, Mporogoma says you can save the cooking water and use it in soups, stews, gravies and sauces.

He adds that when tender, the water in the vegetables should be drained and serving done immediately.

Make proper use of your green vegetables

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