Most mothers know that oranges are an excellent source of Vitamin C, the element which gives protection against scurvy. Luckily oranges are usually eaten raw, and few people think of cooking them.
With green vegetables, however, there is a tendency towards over-cooking, which destroys precious vitamins essential to good health. Carelessness in the kitchen can deprive the family of Vitamins B and C present in these vegetables.
In the first place, these elements are soluble in water; they may be destroyed by excessive soaking or because too much water is placed in the saucepan. Over-cooking destroys vitamins too, so cook vegetables just long enough to make them tender.
If they are prepared a long time before being used, the greens will be stripped of vitamins be fore they reach the table. Avoid keeping vegetables hot for long periods after they have been cooked; Vitamins B and C gradually diminish in quantity under such circumstances.
When possible, try to use greens while they are fresh. Always place them in a cool, damp place – preferably an ice chest or the refrigerator. Should a lettuce or a cabbage be bruised, use it at once. When soaking, add 2 teaspoons of salt to each pint of water. Leave the chopping or shredding as late as possible.
Use the minimum amount of water and have it boiling when greens go into the saucepan. By adding the vegetables slowly, the water can be kept at boiling point. Once the greens are tender; they should be eaten as soon as I possible.
Don’t waste the water, it can be used for gravy or soups.