While most vegetables are not improved by cooking, we do not mean that they should never be cooked. Many diet reformers go to extremes when they claim that all the organic salts in fruits and vegetables are rendered inorganic by cooking. This is an exaggera-tion. Cooking is merely a mechanical process of subdivision, not a chemical process of transformation. Mechanical processes of division do not dissolve or destroy organic molecules to any great extent.

Nevertheless, it remains true that the green leafy vegetables are not improved by cooking. It is different with the starchy tubers and roots like potatoes, turnips, etc., and with other starchy foods such as rice and grains. Here the cooking serves to break up and separate the hard starch granules and to make them more pervious to penetration by the digestive juices.

How to Cook Vegetables

After the vegetables are thoroughly washed and cut into pieces as desired, place them in the cooking vessel, adding only enough water to keep them from burning, cover the vessel closely with a lid and let them steam slowly in their own juices.

The leafy vegetables (cabbage, spinach, kale, etc.), usually contain enough water for their own steaming.

Cook all vegetables only as long as is required to make them soft enough for easy mastication. Do not throw away a drop of the water in which such vegetables as carrots, beets, asparagus, oyster plant, egg plant, etc., have been cooked. Use what is left for the making of soups and sauces.

The organic mineral salts contained in the vegetables readily boil out into the water. If the vegetables, as is the usual custom, are boiled in a large quantity of water, then drained or, what is still worse, pressed out, they have lost their nutritive and medicinal value. The mineral salts have vanished in the sink, the remains are insipid and indigestible and have to be soaked in soup stock and seasoned with strong condiments and spices to make them at all palatable.