You’ve probably seen a cooking technique known as Sous-vide on one of the many cooking shows on television at the moment. Sous-vide (French for ‘under vacuum’) is a cooking technique where food is placed in a bag, sealed and heated in water. This method is becoming increasingly popular for a variety of reasons. In particular, Sous-vide allows food to be cooked delicately, while juices are retained providing ample flavour as well as many important nutrients for overall health.
Cooking food can increase absorption of many nutrients, but can also cause losses of some nutrients, such as vitamin B and C. Some vitamins are sensitive to increasing temperatures, and can be destroyed through cooking processes, while others can be lost into water when cooking.
Fortunately, there are ways to compensate this. An easy solution to reduce the nutrients lost whilst cooking, especially those lost to water, is to consume the liquid that the food has been cooked in. This is the way by which Sous-vide cooking can be very beneficial. Nutrients within the vacuum sealed bag have combined with flavour-packed juices and marinades, which can be consumed at the dinner table.
Temperate-controlled cooking, such as steaming or Sous-vide, helps to avoid nutrient depletion under high temperatures, allowing for more delicate cooking in the process. Controlling the temperature when cooking particular vegetables, such as broccoli and peas, can make a real difference to taste, enjoyment and reduce food wastage. In addition, the more tasty vegetables are, the less likely we need to add additional flavours, such as butter, salt, oils or sauces.
Where possible, regulating cooking temperatures while cooking certain foods allow for better control of not only perfectly cooked food, but meals that are nutrient dense. When nutrients are preserved with more flavour, this can largely impact on how much we enjoy food and our level of satisfaction afterwards.
Emily Farrugia is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Provisional Sports Dietitian. For more information about how you can use nutrition to improve your health or performance, please contact a member of Sport Dietitians Australia (SDA), Australia’s peak professional body and credible source of sport nutrition information www.sportsdietitians.com.au