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You’ve probably heard about diets claiming raw versions of food are the most nutritious. Is it possible that cooking food actually causes nutrition to be lost? Since many people have a diet that contains cooked food, how do you ensure you’re not missing out on the right nutritional
components?

Blogger Lauren Grier from Climbing Grier Mountain posed this question to BestFoodFacts.com and they tracked down an expert answer from Alice Henneman, MS, RD, and Extension Educator of Nutrition, Food Safety and Cooking at the University of NebraskaLincoln.

Are we cooking nutrients out of our food?

Henneman: “Vitamin C and several of the B vitamins are sensitive to heat and air, and are the most likely to be affected by cooking. However, cooking can actually make some vegetables healthier! For example, cooking tomatoes increases their lycopene absorption, which may lower your risk for cancer and heart disease.

“Although it is impossible to give an exact maximum for roasting or sautéing vegetables, it is important to remember – the healthiest vegetable is the one that gets eaten!“  A good general guideline for roasting and sautéing vegetables is to avoid heating them longer than needed to achieve a desirable texture and taste.”

So cook some veggies and enjoy this yummy, comfort-food recipe – and freeze some for later!

{ Make-Ahead Chicken Pot Pie }

Ingredients
(makes 2 pies)

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half & half or evaporated milk *
2 cups chicken, cooked, chopped
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 unbaked pie crusts

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Prepare crusts. Roll them out and place the bottom crusts in the pie plates and set aside
the top crusts until ready to cover.

3. Saute the first 3 ingredients in butter in a big skillet over medium heat until tender.

chickenpotpie (1)

4. Add flour; stir until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth and
half & half/evap. milk; cook, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly

chickenpotpie (2)

5. Stir in chicken, peas, salt, and pepper. Cool before pouring into pie crusts. VERY
important!

6. Pour into bottom crusts and cover with top crusts. Fold edges under and crimp. Poke
slits in the top (you can make a nice pattern here too!)

7. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, then cover with foil and bake 30 more minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting. Serves 16 (from two pies- if you’re just making one pie it will just serve 8).

chickenpotpie (3)

8. An alternative to making 2 pies is to make one and freeze the other half of the filling in a Ziploc bag for another time. Freezes very well separately or fully prepared in the crust.

Jen Sill

For nearly 15 years Jennifer spent her time clawing her way up the chain as a television producer and newsroom manager. She's helped create and produce newscasts and talkshows. Just as she was realizing some of her professional goals, she decided to give it all up for a family. Although Jennifer has lived in Miami and L.A., she has always called Nebraska home. She always knew she wanted to raise her children in the Midwest. Jennifer is now trying to find her way in a new world. She may be frenzied and frazzled sometimes, but she would not give up being a mom to her almost four year old and her almost two year old for anything.

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