At first glance, you might think that there’s nothing wrong with boiling your veggies. Hey, a veggie is a veggie, right? And if the kiddos like ‘em so soft they can be gummed rather than chewed, who are you to deny them?
There’s just one problem: boiled veggies aren’t nearly as good for you as steamed veggies. It’s not that they’re bad per se — they’re just not at all what they could be. Why not?
There are no two ways about it: boiled veggies pack less of a nutritional punch. The reason why is all in the water — literally. When you boil veggies, their water soluble vitamins and minerals leach out into the water. In fact, boiled veggies can lose up to 50% of their vitamin content and 15% of their minerals. The longer you boil your veggies, the greater this loss becomes. This is mitigated somewhat if you actually drink the water along with the veggies, but uh…ew. Boiled carrot water, anyone?
Blander Taste, Duller Colors
Not surprisingly, when you lose so much of what makes your veggies great to the water it’s boiled in, the result is both a blander taste and duller colors. This may leave you or your diners reaching for the butter or salt, rather than simply enjoying the full range of subtle flavors that are inherent to the vegetable. And if you’ve got a picky kid on your hands, those boring colors will only take a little bit more of the magic out of eating healthily. After all, it’s much more fun to chow down on a vibrant rainbow than it is to nibble dejectedly on a faded piece of broccoli that looks like an ancient sun faded floral couch.
Why Steaming is a Rock Star
Compare all of these downsides to steaming and you’ll find there’s no competition. When you steam vegetables either in a steamer or in a pot lid, you’re still taking advantage of boiling water, but without all of that leaching. And because you can steam for a much shorter amount of time, your veggies will not only retain nutrients but they’ll also keep their color, flavor, and their crispiness, too. How’s that for deliciousness?
Given all of this, it shouldn’t be surprising that we here at Pure Spoon are big fans of steaming rather than boiling (blech!). We believe that steaming gives our products the biggest nutritional punch — something that’s important when you’re feeding babies, who don’t eat that much anyway and therefore need as much quality in their few calories as possible. Of course, this is also important for the elderly and anyone else who eats Pure Spoon on the go. The greater the nutritional quality in each bite, the more meaningful each of those calories become.
We also steam our products to ensure that your littlest eaters become accustomed to — and grow to love — the flavors in fresh, healthy foods from the start. This way there won’t be a big transition from overly sweet, traditional jarred or pouched baby food into a healthier solid food diet. Instead, with steamed purees, your toddler diner will already know and love the flavors you’re now simply feeding them in solid form.
In the boiling vs. steaming debate, there’s no competition. Steaming wins gold, every time!