Long and Low
For optimum health, you want to cook your veggies using the “long and low” method. This means cooking slowly, for a long time, at a low temperature and with no added water. So, rather than cranking up the heat and scorching your veggies, or steaming or boiling the nutrients out of them, you’re going nice and slow.
Why do this? It’s all about getting the most nutritional bang for your buck. When you go long and low, you’re using heat to break down parts of vegetables that would otherwise be indigestible, and you use heat to make the phytochemicals more readily available so that your body can absorb the maximum amount of nutrients from every bite.Becca Tapert
By cooking without water in the Long and Low method, you keep many of the valuable water-soluble vitamins from migrating into the boiling water, which means more nutrients available to you.
One of famous long and low dishes is a simple pan of tomatoes, onions, garlic, butternut squash, and collard greens.
- Wash all of your produce.
- Peel the skin of the squash and scoop out the seeds.
- Peel the onion.
- Leave the skins on your tomatoes.
- Remove the chunky stem of the collard greens.
- Chop everything into large chunks.
- Toss everything into a stock pot.
- Put an airtight lid on the pot.
- Cook on medium heat until the pot is hot to the touch or filled with steam, or the veggies start “sweating,” and then turn down the heat to the lowest setting.
- Cook over low heat for sixty minutes—or longer, if necessary.
- If your stove runs extra-hot, place a heat diffuser between the pot and the element to drop the temperature a further few degrees.
- If you find you don’t quite have the technique right at the beginning and your veggies are burning, then you can add a small splash of water if the veggies are sticking to the sides of the pan. But try to get the technique of sweating your veggies to produce the moisture your dish needs to not cause a burning or sticky mess.
- Keep the airtight lid on your pot at all times so as to not let the steam escape.
- After sixty minutes, you’ll have a beautiful pan of soft, stewed veggies that are positively jam-packed with nutrients and flavors that your body will love.
- Top with a delicious dressing or eat as is.
When you’re done cooking your veggies, you might notice some extra liquid in the pan. This is liquid medicine—don’t throw it away! You can drink it straight from the pan, add it to a pot of soup, shake it into a salad dressing, or add it to your next glass of juice.
Did you know that you can “fry” veggies without using butter or oil? It’s true.
It’s all about using the long and low method. You can practice with an onion. Peel off the outer layer of brown, papery skin. Chop it up. Toss it into a saucepan. Cook it long and low. Stir occasionally. If your onion begins to stick to the sides of the pan, add a few tablespoons of water. Not too much. Just a tiny bit. Keep stirring. When the onions start sticking again, add a few more tablespoons of water. Keep stirring. Eventually, you’ll have a beautiful pan of deep, rich, buttery, caramelized onions that look and taste like they’ve been fried, even though you haven’t added a single drop of refined oil.
As a busy parent who also runs five different businesses, baking is a life-saver! I love baking veggies because you can chuck things into the oven, set a timer, and walk away. You don’t have to hover over the pan. You can go do something else and let the oven work its magic.Theme Photos
Here’s how to do it. Gather together a bunch of veggies—squash, onions, potatoes, carrots, whatever you’ve got—and gently wash everything in filtered water. Always leave the edible skins on the fruits and veggies and be careful to not scape away the skin while washing them, as many of the valuable nutrients live just below the skin’s surface. Then I chop the veggies into chunks. They don’t have to be perfectly uniform. Toss everything onto an oven-safe glass or stainless-steel dish, plop it into preheated oven (around 275–350° F or 177° C), and bake for about sixty minutes.
Every oven is different, so get to know your oven intimately. Use the lowest temperature that will allow you to bake veggies until tender within sixty to ninety minutes.
Firm veggies (like potatoes) need to bake for the full sixty minutes. Softer produce (like zucchini and squash) take less time, more like thirty minutes, depending on how thickly you’ve sliced them.
Follow these steps when making the kidney-cleansing Hippocrates Soup, or any other soup recipe.
- Wash the ingredients
- Chop veggies into large chunks—they’ll either be blended or milled, or will break down into smaller sizes while cooking, so don’t waste your time cutting them into bite-size pieces
- Place all ingredients into a large soup pot
- Fill the pot with distilled or filtered water to the same height as the top of the veggies. This will always give you a wonderful soup consistency. If you like your soups thicker, or more like a broth, then add less or more water
- Mill, blend, or eat soup as is,