As a vegan, you’re already committed to living a healthy lifestyle. You’ve found animal-free recipes that are delicious and easy to prepare, and you’ve already noticed the health benefits that being dairy-free, egg-free and meat-free can offer.
To bring your healthy cooking and eating up a notch, it’s also important to pay attention to the water you use for cooking. While you might already drink bottled or filtered water, filling your pots and pans with high-quality water is just as important.
The potential dangers of tap water
Although the Environmental Protection Agency has set minimum testing schedules for certain pollutants to ensure that our drinking water is safe, it can still become contaminated. For example, it might contain chemicals from industrial waste or minerals like lead or mercury. Some cities fluoridate the tap water or add chlorine, which you may wish to avoid. In many cases, people simply do not like the smell or taste of their local water.
How tap water influences the taste of food
When you use tap water to boil pasta or cook veggies, the unpleasant taste is absorbed into the food and can negatively impact the flavor and color of the food. For example, if your city’s tap water contains chlorine, it will bleach veggies as they cook, leaving them looking drab and dull instead of vibrant. Unwanted minerals that make water “hard” can also have an impact on the way yeast performs in dough. If you bake a lot of your own bread and rolls and use tap water in your recipes, you might be frustrated that the baked goods don’t rise properly.
The solution: a high-quality water purifier
To make sure the water that flows from your tap is as clean, healthy and as great-smelling as possible, purchase a high-quality water purifier. This way, you can still take advantage of the convenience of filling your pots from the kitchen faucet without the worry of using water that makes your food look and taste funny. One unique option is the eSpring water treatment system by Amway that combines ultraviolet and carbon filter technology to reduce more than 140 contaminants in water while still allowing beneficial minerals like calcium and magnesium to flow through.
(QV note: I started using a DuPont water filter recently due to concerns about environmental contaminants and have noticed a marked change in the way the water tastes. I do all my cooking with it and make sure only to drink from the tap with the filter installed.)
A few words about washing fruits and veggies
Most of us already know the importance of washing our produce before eating it; in addition to removing soil from the food, it also helps to wash away contaminants and pathogens that can make us ill. To ensure that your fruits and veggies are as clean as possible, you want to do a bit more than rinse them under filtered tap water.
- First, clean your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap, and wash your fruits and veggies under the filtered water.
- If the food has a lot of nooks and crannies, like broccoli or asparagus, soak it in filtered water for two minutes and then rinse.
- Pat the produce dry using a clean paper towel, not the dish towel you used to dry your hands; this will remove even more bacteria from the food.
Please note, even if you are eating only organic fruits and veggies, it’s still important to follow these steps. (QV note: There may not be any pesticides, but produce can get fairly dirty during shipping, packing and stocking!)
Don’t waste all the hard work involved in preparing healthy vegan meals by using unfiltered tap water. Make sure your food looks and tastes amazing by rinsing, washing and cooking your food with high-quality filtered water. Your family will thank you for it.
Thanks to Alison Stanton for this post! Alison has been a freelance writer for the past 15 years. She enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, and always looks for opportunities to learn about new subjects.
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