(BPT) - Want to obtain the most nutrition out of your meals? Incorporate fresh ingredients and pay attention to how they are prepped. A variety of cooking techniques can make certain foods are more flavorful while maintaining high nutritional levels.
'To boost the flavor and nutritional value in our meals, we are constantly on the lookout for the freshest foods. Our go-to ingredients are wholesome foods like fresh vegetables and lean proteins like Eggland's Best eggs, which are packed with more vitamins to help us feel great,' says Registered Dietitians Lyssie Lakatos and Tammy Lakatos Shames of The Nutrition Twins. 'We also prepare our meals in ways that capture the most nutrients from our fresh ingredients.'
Here are a few simple tips from Lyssie Lakatos and Tammy Lakatos Shames on ways to maximize the nutritional benefits for certain foods:
* Keep the golden nugget: Yellow is the new black when it comes to the egg. The majority of vitamins and nutrients of an egg are found in the yolk. Keep in mind that some eggs contain more nutrients than others such as Eggland's Best eggs, which provide four times more vitamin D, double the omega-3s and 10 times the vitamin E when compared to ordinary eggs. When it comes to taste, there's nothing like the flavor of freshness. In fact, a recent study from The Journal of Applied Poultry Research confirmed that the hen feed and processing production of Eggland's Best eggs make them the leader in egg freshness.
* Goodbye to boiling, hello to steaming: Boiling your vegetables is a surefire way to lose nutrients. The water soluble vitamins like vitamin C and folate will leach into the water instead of going into your body. If eating raw vegetables isn't for you, try steaming them to retain nutrients. By steaming, you'll also get tender, crispy and flavorful veggies.
* Keep the peel: The skin of fruits and vegetables like apples, potatoes and cucumbers is packed with nutrients and fiber. By peeling the skins of these fruits and vegetables, you are also peeling away valuable nutrients. Some foods, such as potatoes, provide even more fiber in their skin than in the whole item. And, when it comes to flavor, the crispy skins are often the best part.
Veggie Frittata Bites
Recipe from the 'The Nutrition Twins' Veggie Cure: Expert Advice and Tantalizing Recipes for Health, Energy, and Beauty'
Yields 10 muffin size servings
6 Eggland's Best eggs
1/2 cup skim or 1 percent milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) low-fat or fat-free shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup zucchini
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
Pinch of salt (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F
Beat eggs, milk, pepper and salt (if using) in medium bowl until blended. Add cheese, zucchini, tomato, mushrooms, bell pepper, and onion: mix well.
Using a 1/4 - cup measuring cup, scoop and pour evenly into 10 lightly sprayed muffin cups. Bake until just set, 25 minutes. Cool on rack 5 minutes. Remove from cups by loosening sides with a knife, and serve warm.