Does Microwaving Veggies Kill The Nutrients?

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We tend to eat a lot more fresh vegetables in the spring and summer just because I love going to all of our local farmers markets. Typically we throw them on the grill but a lot of times we’ll cook them in the microwave, which is fast, easy and makes for easy clean up.

Sometimes I’ll partially cook the fresh vegetables in the microwave and then finish them off in a sauté pan, with a bit of olive oil and seasonings, which cuts down the cooking time but still gives the vegetables a ton of flavor.

We had some friends over for dinner the other night and my girlfriend saw me cooking fresh corn and green beans in the microwave and she told me she had heard that microwaving vegetables made them lose their vitamins and nutrients. Well, challenge me and I’ll have to look it up!

I had always thought that microwaving vegetables actually helped with keeping the veggies “healthier” because you don’t have to add much water or cook them for very long, therefore keeping the nutrition from leaching out. Well, from everything I researched, microwaving doesn’t kill the nutrients and vitamins, of course if you add a ton of water and cook them until they are mushy, that’s going to make a difference.

The best way to microwave fresh vegetables is to…

  • Use a microwave safe dish.

  • Add a SMALL amount of water. Green beans, peas and broccoli need about 3 tablespoons of water per pound. Heavier vegetables need a bit more and leafy vegetables don’t need any water at all because you’ll have enough water left on the leaves after washing.

  • Cover with a glass lid or paper towel.

  • Cook until the vegetables are crispy and tender, not mushy. (I cook for shorter times and check occasionally so I don’t overcook them.)

  • If your microwave doesn’t have a turntable, rotate the dish occasionally.

  • Season after nuking, especially when using salt because salt can make microwaved food tough.

  • Steam vegetables whole or cut in the same size so you’ll have even cooking.

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