MISTAKE #1. Buying fresh tomatoes instead of canned.
Cooking tomatoes makes them more nutritious, and the longer you cook them, the better. Heat changes the lycopene into a form our bodies can more readily absorb and — surprise! — canned tomatoes are much higher in phytonutrients, thanks to the heat of the canning process. Tomato paste, being more concentrated, is even better.
MISTAKE #2. Storing lettuce wrong.
You might think that damaging your vegetables before storing them is a mistake, but when it comes to lettuce, tearing the leaves triggers a protective blast of phytonutrients that you can take advantage of by eating the greens within a day or two. Lettuce that is torn before storing can have double the antioxidants of whole lettuce leaves.
MISTAKE #3. Boiling spinach — or any vegetable really.
You may have heard that boiling vegetables is a no-no because water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C leach out of the food and into the cooking water, but you might not know that boiling also reduces the antioxidant content. The difference in spinach is especially dramatic: after 10 minutes of boiling, three-quarters of its phytonutrient content is in cooking water, not in the vegetable itself. (Of course, if you consume the cooking liquid, as you do when making soup, you consume all the nutrients in the water as well.)
Steaming, microwaving, sautéing, and roasting — cooking methods that don’t put vegetables in direct contact with water — result in more nutritious vegetables on the plate.
MISTAKE 4. Eating your salad with fat-free salad dressing.
We’ve known for a few years that you absorb more of the nutrients in salad when you eat it with fat, but the type of fat can make a difference. Most commercial salad dressings use soybean oil, but extra-virgin olive oil is much more effective at making nutrients available for absorption. Unfiltered extra-virgin olive oil is even better, as it contains double the phytonutrients of filtered.
MISTAKE #5. Cooking garlic right after chopping it.
If you mince a clove of garlic and quickly throw it in a hot pan, you consume almost no allicin, the beneficial compound that makes garlic such a health star. That’s because the enzyme that creates allicin is not activated until you rupture the cell walls of the garlic — and is quickly inactivated by heat. Just two minutes in a hot pan or 60 seconds in the microwave reduces the allicin in just-chopped garlic to almost nothing.
Letting the chopped garlic sit for 10 minutes before exposing it to heat gives the enzyme time to do its work, so your finished dish contains the maximum amount of allicin. Using a garlic press is even better than mincing, as it releases more of the compounds that combine to create allicin.
MISTAKE #6. Throwing away the most nutritious parts of the vegetable.
Most American recipes call for only the white and light green parts of scallions, but the dark green parts have a higher concentration of phytonutrients. Instead of throwing out the nutritious tops, you can ignore the recipe instructions and toss in the green parts as well, or explore recipes from elsewhere in the world — such as Chinese scallion pancakes — which utilize the entire green onion.
Beet greens are another often-discarded vegetable part that we would be better off eating; they have more antioxidants than the beet roots, which are already high in phytonutrients. Try cooking and eating the greens alongside the roasted roots in recipes like Warm Golden Beet Salad with Greens and Almonds.
And don’t forget vegetable peels, which often contain a higher concentration of antioxidants than the rest of the vegetable. Try roasting them and eating them like chips!
MISTAKE #7. Eating potatoes right after cooking them.
Many people avoid white potatoes because they are a high-glycemic vegetable, spiking blood sugar after eating. But chilling potatoes for about 24 hours after cooking converts the starch in the potatoes to a type that is digested more slowly, making them a low-glycemic vegetable. So potato salad chilled overnight is a low-glycemic food, as is a cooked, chilled, and reheated baked potato.
MISTAKE #8. Cutting carrots before you cook them.
Cooking carrots whole and cutting them up after they are cooked keeps more nutrients in the vegetable. And speaking of cooking, carrots are one vegetable that is better for you cooked than raw — cooking helps break down the cell walls, making the nutrients easier to absorb.
MISTAKE #9. Buying broccoli florets, instead of a whole head.
Broccoli looks like a hardy vegetable, but from an antioxidant standpoint, it is shockingly perishable, quickly exhausting its stores of powerful phytonutrients after harvest. “I call it one of the ‘eat me first’ vegetables,” says Robinson. One study found that after 10 days — the time it took to get the vegetable from field to supermarket produce section — broccoli lost 75 percent of its flavonoids (a type of antioxidant) and 80 percent of its glucosinolates, the compounds in cruciferous vegetables that are associated with numerous health benefits.
Cutting the broccoli into florets doubles the rate of antioxidant loss, so in addition to buying the freshest broccoli you can find and cooking it right away, you should choose whole heads rather than the bags of pre-cut florets.
MISTAKE #10. Cooking beans from scratch and discarding the cooking liquid.
Dried beans are some of the most phytonutrient-rich foods out there, but the big surprise is this: canned have more antioxidants! If you prefer from-scratch beans, let the beans sit in the cooking liquid for about an hour after cooking to reabsorb some of the nutrients that have moved into the liquid. And try using a pressure cooker to cook beans; one study found that beans cooked in the pressure cooker had more antioxidants than those cooked with other methods
Surprised? Intrigued? Check out Jo Robinson’s book, Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, for more information on choosing, storing, and preparing vegetables for maximum nutrition.
Honey Dew – shake the honey dew til you hear the seeds. If you dont hear the seeds, it is not ripe enough.
Orange – Buy thin skin, not thick!
Tangerine – Ugly, Thin Skin
Vegetables – Green Bottoms
Light Pomelo King Gu-wah Dang Eww
Make Tart Crust
* cold flour
* mix in cold water
* do not pull/stretch crust. just lay over with the rolling pin. push on the lid rim to create the perfect shape
Rice without Rice Cooker
1 rice: 2 parts water
turn off heat. wait for 5 minutes before lifting lid
Toss into the bean pot
Chains I Ate
– Red Mango
– Lotteria (Shake Fries are sooo good)
Chains Left To Go
– Dunkin Donuts
– The Frypan
– Baskin Robbins
– Holly’s Coffee
– Family Mart
– E Mart
– Home Plus
– Hyundai Market
– Lotte Market
• 1 cup of borax
• 1 cup of baking soda
• ¼ cup of table salt
• 2 packets (half an ounce) of unsweetened lemon Kool-Aid
You can try to save even more by buying ingredients in bulk, but another idea is to find smaller and much cheaper boxes at your local dollar store: a good idea to since you’ll want to try a small amount at first to see if you like the results. The amounts listed above are good for 16 loads — one tablespoon each — so even small batches will last a while.
Other recipes online vary: For example, we found one that suggested combining only borax and baking soda, 1 tablespoon each per load. Another suggested adding a little citrus essential oil to make it smell nice: We didn’t try that one, however, because we had difficulty finding inexpensive citrus oil online. Then there’s this recipe, which goes in a different direction altogether:
• 2 bars of shredded Octagon soap
• 1 cup of baking sod
• ¼ cup of washing soda
• ¼ cup of lemon juice
This one calls for melting the shredded soap in five quarts of water and then mixing in the other ingredients. If that sounds a little like the recipe for laundry detergent we wrote about last year, that’s because it is.
• 4 cups of water
• ⅓ bar of cheap soap, grated
• ½ cup washing soda (not baking soda)
• ½ cup of Borax (20 Mule Team)
• 5-gallon bucket for mixing
• 3 gallons of water
First, mix the grated soap in a saucepan with 4 cups of water, and heat on low until the soap is completely dissolved. Add hot water/soap mixture to 3 gallons of water in the 5-gallon bucket, stir in the washing soda and Borax, and continue stirring until thickened. Let the mix sit for 24 hours, and voila! Homemade laundry detergent.
Other Cleaning Products
If you like the results of your homemade concoctions on clothes and dishes, why stop there? The next time you’re at the store, instead of picking up a bottle of some expensive cleanser, grab these six items and make your own cleaning supplies:
• Vinegar. It may smell a little weird, but vinegar can handle everything from dishes to laundry and even weeds. We’ve written about the wonders of vinegar before.
• Baking soda. Eliminates odors and helps with stains, and also works as a natural method of pest control — ants hate it.
• Borax. This mineral salt beats bleach as a toilet cleaner and is also useful for scrubbing walls. And as you see in the recipes above, works with laundry, too.
• Fels-Naptha soap. This one’s actually made by one of those big cleaning companies: Dial. They recommend it for “pre-treating” stains. In other words, “use this in addition to a bunch of our other expensive products, like Purex!” But you can turn the tables by using it as part of a recipe for your own laundry detergent, and they can keep the Purex.
• Rubbing alcohol. Works as a disinfectant and is also a great glass cleaner. It also gets grime off plastic and metal surfaces like patio furniture or bathroom fixtures.
• Lemon juice. This cuts through dish grease and is an ingredient for homemade furniture polish — but it’s not the easiest thing to preserve long-term.
“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be lighted.” Aristotle