After creating a dish for your family, most people have the common task of dealing with leftovers. Leftovers can be a great thing for your family as your lunch the next afternoon or for the base of a new dinner the next day. Since you have spent all that time cooking a healthy meal, you want to reheat your leftovers in a manner that minimizes the loss of nutrients.
There are a couple of tips you will want to follow to safely reheat your meals. First, store your leftovers appropriately. Then choose a method that will heat your leftovers without overcooking them. Storing your food in the refrigerator and/or freezing it does not cause it to lose very many nutrients. It is heating process that causes food to lose nutrients. Here is an article on the nutritional impact of cooking your food and other food processes.
Tips for Reheating Leftovers
1. Food loses the most nutrients when reheated. Minimize the loss of nutrients, by only reheating the leftovers you plan to eat. So instead of reheating the whole pot of spaghetti, only reheat one serving for your lunch.
2. Reheating food on the stove top is the best way to keep nutrients in your food. The heat gradually warms the food to it’s original state without destroying its nutritional value.
3. Using the oven to reheat food is another great option to retain the vitamins and nutrients in your leftovers. Be sure to preheat the oven to around 300-325 F to reheat food. Cover the food and only cook until it is heated through.
4. If you have frozen your leftovers, be sure to thaw them properly in the refrigerator before reheating and serving them to your family.
5. If you are only able to use a microwave to reheat your food, place it in a microwave-safe dish and cover it so that it heats thoroughly and retains most of the moisture. Be sure to take the time to stir or mix the meal while it is reheating to make sure it is thoroughly heated through.
6. If you are adding leftovers to another dish, add the leftovers at the last possible moment and just cook until they are heated through.
By following these simple tips you can safely reheat your food while retaining the most amount of nutrients in your meal.