5 Cooking Myths That, In Real Life, Don’t Help

5 Cooking Myths That, In Real Life, Dont Help

Photo by Michael Stern

There are many myths and misinformation in the cooking world. From old wives tales to supposed anecdotes, much of what we have been taught is just wrong.

Even though this information can be found all over the internet, these myths are repeating all over again.

It is not that we hear these myths repeated from home cooks and novices, but many of this misinformation are still held as gospel by many professional chefs. So these are the top 5 cooking myths:

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1. Microwaving destroys nutrients

Many people think microwaving vegetables removes all the nutritional benefits out of them. But, like steaming, microwaving vegetables helps to preserve many nutrients — in broccoli’s case, it preserves 90 % of its vitamin C content. Be sure to avoid cruciferous veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale and others, because it can cause them to lose nutrients.

2. Fresh is healthier than frozen

Similarly, the word “fresh” does not always mean healthier. Fruits and veggies that have been frozen are generally picked at the peak of ripeness, making them equally, if not more nutritious than fresh fruits and veggies. They are also very convenient. Stock your freezer with frozen fruits and veggies, and you won’t have to worry about the food going badly for months! Just make sure they do not have added cheese, sugars or sauces, which are packed with calories, sodium and fat.

3. The recipe is from a cookbook, so it must be accurate

This myth refers to beginning cooks the most, but it also catches a lot of experienced cooks. There are numerous mistakes in recipes: from wrong measurements to missing ingredients. So, before you start cooking from a recipe, you have to read it all the way to the end and make sure you understand it and that all the instructions and ingredients make sense.

Also, you should watch mostly on cooking times to guide you, and not fast and hard rules. Even though many cookbook authors make a big effort to get cooking times correct, everyone’s ovens and stoves are not the same.

4. Marinating meat will make it more tender

Fact, acids will act upon meat, effectively cooking the proteins, making it more tender. So why is this myth? Very simply, because marinade doesn’t penetrate very deep into the meat. It is true that dairy based marinades (like buttermilk and yogurt) can penetrate further into meat but even then they do not penetrate very far. The best what you can really do to tenderize a tough piece of meat is breaking its muscle a fiber mechanically, either with cutting or pounding.

5. Boiled vegetables lose all nutrients

While boiled vegetables do not have the fresh taste as steamed ones, they still contain many important fibers and minerals. Vitamins are water soluble so they may partially vanish when boiled. Some raw food experts claim that cooked vegetables contain fewer enzymes than raw ones, but registered dietitians say that while heating foods above 190 C can cause deactivation of certain plant enzymes. But those enzymes that are lost are actually made to support the growing of plants and are not essential to people.