Fruit and vegetables are vital suppliers of vitamins to our bodies. But what exactly do you need to know when shopping and storing them, so they keep as many of those vital vitamins for as long as possible? And why do you need to treat fresh food particularly gently? Here are some great ideas about how to get the most out of your vitamin bombs.
Vitamins hate to travel.
If you want to enjoy as many vitamins as possible, try to choose locally grown fruit and vegetables wherever possible, as well as seasonal fresh produce. Vitamin depletion starts right from when the produce is picked, so the shortest trip they have to make to get to your table (or fridge), the more vitamins you’ll get.
Fresh or frozen? Which is best?
Let’s be clear; in principle, it is always best to get your vegetables, fruit, fish and meat, fresh from your local weekly market. It’s a great source of mostly regional and especially fresh products. That said, frozen products are still a pretty good alternative to fresh. Why? Well, they’re usually frozen right after they’ve been harvested which locks in their maximum vitamin content, and often they don’t travel far or get stored so long. That means they often contain more vitamins than fresh ingredients.
Save your vitamins.
Vegetables should be cooked as gently as possible and preferably not at very high temperatures, so the vitamins are preserved. Vitamin C is especially sensitive to heat. For vegetables with short cooking times such as carrots or green beans, peppers, chard or spinach, blanching is an excellent idea. Steam or low-water steaming is also another great way to prepare vegetables. Cooking vegetables in a wok, like mushrooms, courgette, onion, sweetcorn, aubergine, broccoli and many others, is also pretty easy. Long cooking, boiling, baking and braising, as well as reheating, are real vitamin killers.
Ripe or unripe?
Ripe fruits have the highest vitamin content and the best aroma. Many fruits are harvested before they ripen. And you can buy them and bring them home. Think, apricots, avocados, bananas, kiwifruit, mangoes or tomatoes. Just make sure any unrepentant fruit isn’t damaged, because they won’t ever repair themselves. Fruit and vegetable varieties you should consider buying when they are fully ripe are pineapples, aubergines, berries, cucumbers, cherries, peppers, grapes and citrus fruits.
One apple a day.
Most vitamins and minerals in fruit and vegetables are lost by cooking. So it makes sense to eat fruit raw when it can be eaten raw. This way, apples will have signifi cantly more vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, iron and folic acid, than say, an apple sauce that has been stewed. Particularly valuable for many fruit varieties is the shell or skin. An apple for example has between 2 and 10 times as many vitamins in the skin as the actual apple flesh.
Long, longer, longest freshness.
Fruit and vegetables can quickly lose many of their important nutrients when they’re not correctly stored. Make sure your refrigerator is set to the correct temperature. Potatoes for example, should be stored somewhere cool, but not in the refrigerator. The Bosch VitaFresh Pro in your refrigerator keeps your fruit and vegetables fresh for up to 3 times longer*. Store fruit, vegetables and meat in the Vitafresh compartments provided for this purpose and not in other areas of the refrigerator.
*for refrigerators with VitaFresh Pro
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