Leafy Greens---Boiling vs. Steaming

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Leafy Greens---Boiling vs. Steaming

Postby jamesndawson » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:46 pm

I just read in Vegan for Life that steaming leafy greens "doesn't work".

I'm a little disappointed with this because I've found it very convenient just to steam kale along with my carrots, and have been doing this for about the last year or so. VFL says that leafy greens should be boiled, and that first they should be "plunged" in cold water. I know I'm lazy, but this sounds like so much more work than just steaming them all in one basket. Do they have to be "plunged" in cold water? Can't they just be rinsed. And if they've been rinsed at the supermarket---it seems like they're constantly being sprayed with cold water---is even that necessary?

Sauteeing after boiling or steaming is also recommened, but just to bring out the flavor. I usually dispense with that too, and just pour a little oil or vegan margarine on & shake on some herbs & spices.

Does anybody here steam kale and other leafy greens? Have you heard of the boiling recommendation? If so, do you agree? How important is it, that is, what are the actual nutritional differences between boiled vs. steamed greens, in actual numbers, like percentages of nutrients?

I like to simplify and save as many steps as possible.
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Re: Leafy Greens---Boiling vs. Steaming

Postby hardcore iv » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:20 pm

Which page is that on? I don't think it matters all that much and can't imagine Norris or Messina making a big deal out of it.
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Re: Leafy Greens---Boiling vs. Steaming

Postby Adena » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:15 pm

What in the world? I thought that in general boiling any vegetable makes some nutrients disperse throughout the water, so you would be leaving some nutrients in the water and only getting some of the benefit that you could be getting. I've never heard boiling veggies was beneficial in anyway. Unless you're making soup and are going to eat all the liquid anyway.
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Re: Leafy Greens---Boiling vs. Steaming

Postby tal » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:35 pm

I always wear a tinfoil hat when cooking my vegetables so the nutrients don't escape.
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Re: Leafy Greens---Boiling vs. Steaming

Postby baldy » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:40 pm

[quote="hardcore iv"]Which page is that on? I don't think it matters all that much and can't imagine Norris or Messina making a big deal out of it.

Yeah can't say I remember that section or maybe I just ignored it. Interesting to know the theory behind it.
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Re: Leafy Greens---Boiling vs. Steaming

Postby jamesndawson » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:03 pm

It's on page 246, "Cooking Leafy Greens".

I don't know how big a deal they think it is, but it does have it's own section, so I'd think they gave it some importance.

When I steam vegetables, I usually drink the water they're steamed in.
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Re: Leafy Greens---Boiling vs. Steaming

Postby hardcore iv » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:46 pm

[quote="vegan for life"]Cooking Leafy Greens
Steaming vegetables is one of the most healthful ways to cook them, but it
doesn’t work for leafy greens like collards, kale, mustard, and turnip greens.
Here is a good technique from the cookbook Greens Glorious Greens.

1. Tear the greens into bite-size pieces. You can include the stems or
not—it’s up to you.
2. Plunge the greens into a big bowl of cold water and swish them around
to clean. Drain the water. Repeat a couple of times to remove the grit
that sometimes clings to the leaves.
3. While cleaning the greens, bring about two cups of water per pound of
greens to boil in a large pot. Add the greens. Cover and boil for eight
to ten minutes. Drain the greens.

As we directed for the vegetables above, you can give the greens a quick
sauté in a bit of olive oil and season them. Here are tasty flavoring ideas for
leafy greens:

Sauté onions with a clove of minced garlic and a pinch of cinnamon. Stir
in the cooked greens.
Sauté chopped onions and garlic in olive oil. Add ¼ teaspoon of ground
cayenne (more or less to taste) and salt and black pepper. Add a pound of
cooked greens.
If you find that the taste of fresh greens is too strong at first, try tempering
them with something creamy and bland. Puree silken tofu and mix into the
greens with salt and pepper. Or mix in leftover mashed potatoes and soymilk.


I think this is more of a suggestion for taste and texture rather than health. The "plunging" is just to wash them.

From Norris's blog http://jacknorrisrd.com/?p=2849 talking about cooking greens and calcium
[quote="Jack Norris"]|So, it appears that cooking greens results in only negligible calcium loss, if any.

15-20 minutes seems rather long to cook collards, but steaming can take longer than steeping (which is what I do), so I’m not sure. You could try steaming for 10 minutes to see if that’s long enough

Even Jack doesn't boil!
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Re: Leafy Greens---Boiling vs. Steaming

Postby vCLaW » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:46 pm

What does he mean by "steeping"? Is that different from boiling?
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Re: Leafy Greens---Boiling vs. Steaming

Postby Speciell » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:21 pm

[quote="Talyn"]I always wear a tinfoil hat when cooking my vegetables so the nutrients don't escape.


Helpful as always! How ever, I am interested in seeing you in that hat of yours.

BTW, I don't have anything helpful to say, I would just do what ever and hope for the best. Avoiding poo, grit and the like.
You simply have a sledgehammer down your pants!
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