I think this question below is great, as the winter months draw near I know some of us just can’t choke down a salad when it’s 40 degrees outside!
Q: “I don’t like vegetables raw and prefer to lightly blanch them before munching on them. Am I losing a lot of the nutrients by doing this?”
A: Good news! It’s still best to eat your veggies whether cooked or raw. In an article, by Dr. Greger the research shows that cooking some vegetables – such as dark green leafy vegetable – the cancer fighting components are cut in half, but on the other hand cooking can double the body’s ability to absorb the nutrients. Similarly, cooking vegetables increases the soluble fiber content of vegetables, which is shown to decrease insulin levels (important for blood sugar and weight management control); however, cooking will decrease the insoluble fiber content.
The moral of the story is that both cooked and raw fruits and vegetables offer health-promoting benefits, so try to mix it up and eat lots of raw and lots of cooked fruits and veggies!
One of my favorite autumn side dishes are anything involving squash, but especially the following recipe with acorn squash.
- 1 Acorn squash
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
- Dash of Salt
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Using a strong chef's knife, cut the acorn squash in half, lengthwise, from stem to end. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff in the center of each half. Score the insides of each half several times with a sharp knife. Place each half in a baking pan, cut side up. Add about a 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the baking pan so that the skins don't burn and the squash doesn't get dried out.
- Coat the inside of each half with 1/2 a Tbsp of butter. Add a dash of salt if you are using unsalted butter. Add a Tbsp of brown sugar to the cavity of each half. Dribble on a teaspoon of maple syrup to each half.
- Bake in the oven for 50-75 mins until the squash is very soft and the tops are browned. When finished, remove from oven and let cool a little before serving. Spoon any buttery sugar sauce that has not already been absorbed by the squash over the exposed areas.