Cooking for Nutrition and Flavor

Herbalist Kareem’s Guide to Retaining Nutrients in Plant-Based Foods

Cooking nutritious and flavorful meals doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, with the right techniques, you can retain the maximum amount of nutrients while creating dishes bursting with flavor. Whether you’re new to plant-based cooking or a seasoned pro, Herbalist Kareem shares his simple tips to help you elevate your meals to the next level.

Steaming is one of the best methods for retaining nutrients in vegetables while preserving their natural flavors. Simply place your vegetables in a steamer basket over boiling water and cover with a lid. Steam until tender-crisp, being careful not to overcook. This method works well for broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and leafy greens like spinach and kale.

Sautéing vegetables in a SMALL amount of oil or broth is another excellent way to lock in nutrients and enhance flavor. Heat your cooking oil or broth in a skillet over medium heat, then add your chopped vegetables and cook until tender. To add extra flavor, experiment with herbs, spices, and aromatics like garlic and onion.



Roasting vegetables at a high temperature caramelizes their natural sugars, resulting in a rich, flavorful dish. To retain nutrients, cut your vegetables into uniform pieces and spread them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs and spices. Roast in a preheated oven until tender and golden brown.


Blanching involves briefly immersing vegetables in boiling water, followed by a quick plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process. This method helps preserve the vibrant color and crisp texture of vegetables while retaining their nutrients. Use blanched vegetables in salads, stir-fries, or as a standalone side dish.

Eating certain vegetables raw is an excellent way to maximize their nutrient content. Leafy greens, bell peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes are all delicious when enjoyed raw in salads, wraps, or as crunchy snacks. Be sure to wash your vegetables thoroughly before consuming them raw to remove any dirt or bacteria.

Flavorful Additions:
Don’t forget to add flavor-enhancing ingredients to your dishes to elevate their taste without compromising nutrition. Fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, and parsley add brightness and freshness to any dish, while spices like cumin, paprika, and turmeric can add depth and complexity. Experiment with different flavor combinations to find what works best for you.

Cooking nutritious and flavorful plant-based meals is all about using the right techniques and ingredients to bring out the best in your food. Whether you’re steaming, sautéing, roasting, blanching, or enjoying vegetables raw, there are plenty of ways to retain nutrients while creating dishes that are as delicious as they are nutritious.

So roll up your sleeves, get creative in the kitchen, and enjoy the incredible flavors of plant-based eating! For more tips on holistic health and wellness, visit Herbalist Kareem’s website at