Cook your veggies for a healthier and tastier meal!
By Morgan Hannah, Life & Style Editor
Fact: eating hot salads can be healthier than eating cold salads
Do you remember that silly little jingle, “you don’t make friends with salad, you don’t make friends with salad”? Well, whoever came up with that line obviously never had a kickass salad.
I’m about to change your definition of the word salad with this article. And hey, for those of you who are already “in the know” with what I am about to say, good for you—you’re living life outside the lines; you’ve taken conventional and turned it upside down. Alright, ready? Hot. Salad. That’s right. Hot salad is the most delicious and nutritious way to eat salad. And it’s trendy! And as a bonus, you will want to eat more salad, like, actually want to eat more salad!
What is a hot salad, you ask? It’s literally a salad that you steam and then pan fry. Just throw together your favourite salad ingredients into a rice maker and steam them for around 30 to 40 minutes, then get ‘em in a sauce pan with a generous amount of your favourite kind of oil, seasoning, stir it all around until everything has marinated (but not wilted), and BAM, you’ve got a hot salad! It’s fucking delicious, easy to make, and tastes better because of the oil and choice seasonings acting as yummy dressing! My recommendation is to go with kale, spinach, or quinoa as a base rather than romaine or green leaf lettuce for more structure to your overall salad.
Fact: eating hot salads can be healthier than eating cold salads (especially if you’re one to douse your salad with heavy cream and sugar-based dressings that you buy at the store) because cooked veggies supply more antioxidants, such as carotenoids, lycopene, and ferulic acid for the body than they do when raw. But it does matter how you cook those veggies! Deep frying, for example, is not okay—the oil used when deep frying veggies is continuously oxidizing as it heats up, causing free radicals, which in turn can increase the risk of cancer and other health problems. A report published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry said that boiling and steaming the veggies better preserves their nutrients and antioxidants.
However, not all vegetables benefit from being cooked, like tomatoes and other high in vitamin C veggies—vitamin C is unstable and easily degrades through oxidation, exposure to heat when cooking, and boiling. So, for the sake of the hot salad, try sun-dried tomatoes or thin slices of raw tomatoes instead! That way you don’t compromise on taste or nutritional value!
Weighing the pros and cons of all your food cooked versus raw can be challenging and time consuming. Instead, why not just ensure you always eat your fruits and veggies however they are prepared and remember to enjoy them by mixing things up a little. Just because a grapefruit is usually cold doesn’t mean you can’t put it in the toaster oven with some caramelized sugar—and just because salads are traditionally served cold doesn’t mean yours has to be!