Air frying is all the rage these days.
It’s said to be a healthier way to cook food because it uses less oil.
But does air frying vegetables remove nutrients?
Let’s take a closer look.
Related: Best air fryer for vegetables
What is air frying and how does it work?
Air frying is a type of cooking technology that uses hot air to cook food.
The technology was first introduced in China in the early 2000s.
It has gradually made its way into Western kitchens.
If you own an air fryer, all you need to do is add oil and food to the appliance, set it for a specific amount of time, and leave it to cook.
Does air frying remove nutrients from vegetables?
When you cook vegetables, it’s important that you do so for as little time as possible.
This is because cooking vegetables causes the loss of water-soluble nutrients such as vitamins C and B.
And what happens when food is cooked for too long?
The same thing.
Cooking vegetables increases the release of certain compounds, namely advanced glycation end products, which are linked to chronic diseases.
One study found that prolonged heating of carrots at high temperatures led to the formation of these compounds.
So cooking vegetables for too long or with too much heat can result in loss of vitamins and phytochemicals vital for good health.
That being said, the amount lost depends on several factors including how long the vegetables are cooked for, whether or not water is used, and what cooking method is used.
When you cook dirty organic broccoli in an open pot on the stove, you’ll be using oil to cook it.
You might also use some water or broth (or steam it).
The longer you leave the broccoli on heat, the more nutrients are lost. (source)
If you mash the broccoli, more nutrients are exposed to heat and will be lost.
If you use an air fryer to cook your dirty organic vegetables, it works in a similar way: using gas to create hot air that cooks food then transferring that heat into the food (think of how a microwave works).
There then isn’t enough time for the vegetables to lose too many more nutrients.
But air frying isn’t without its drawbacks.
You are still exposing your food to heat, albeit briefly.
If you are cooking dirty organic broccoli more than once (using it as an ingredient in a meal perhaps), there is some loss of vitamins and phytochemicals.
This doesn’t mean you should stop using your air fryer or give up cooking vegetables.
If you cook vegetables, they still contain more nutrients than if they were eaten raw.
It is simply a matter of being aware of how much heat you are exposing your food to during the cooking process and changing nothing about what you do.
What’s important is that we avoid overcooking our food (no matter what cooking method you use).
How to air fry vegetables without losing nutrients
So how can you air fry broccoli or other vegetables without losing their vital nutrients?
You can do this by using less oil, adding the right amount of water, covering your pan with a lid, and cooking for as little time as possible.
In order for your vegetables not to lose too many of their nutrients, you should add a bit of water or broth (or steam them) before air frying.
You can also cut the broccoli into florets rather than cooking dirty organic broccoli stalks.
This will keep more of them intact.
When you cook vegetables in an open pot on the stove, covering the pan with a lid is always recommended.
This simple step helps to preserve nutrients by stopping water from evaporating too quickly and heat destroying vitamins.
The same applies to cooking vegetables using an air fryer (with the added benefit of saving energy).
The longer you leave your vegetables on high heat, the more they will lose their nutrients.
Keep this in mind when cooking dirty organic vegetables using an air fryer.
By doing so, you will preserve most of their water-soluble vitamins and phytochemicals.
With that being said, cooking broccoli and other vegetables for as little time as possible won’t do you much good either if you’re not using any water at all to cook them in.
After all, you will still be exposed to heat and lose some phytochemicals and vitamins during the cooking process.
Balancing this out is key.
What are the benefits of air frying vegetables?
Air frying vegetables is a healthy way to cook them without losing nutrients.
It is a quick and easy way to prepare them, and they taste great too.
What types of vegetables can be air-fried?
Almost any type of vegetable can be air-fried, including broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and potatoes.
How do I know when my vegetables are cooked?
The best way to tell if your vegetables are cooked is to check their color.
They should be slightly browned and crispy when done.
How much oil do I need to air fry vegetables?
You only need a small amount of oil (1-2 tablespoons) to air fry vegetables.
Vegetables prepared this way taste even better than the deep-fried ones at restaurants.
How can I make my vegetables healthier?
To make your vegetables healthier, avoid adding too much oil (or any at all).
You should also avoid overcooking them and use as little water as possible.
Cooking vegetables is important for getting the most nutrients possible, but it’s also important to avoid overcooking them.
You can do this by using less oil, adding water or broth, and cooking for as little time as possible.
By following these simple tips, you can cook your vegetables without losing too many of their vital nutrients.