VEGETABLES

The How & Why
Garlic & Onion

VEGETABLES

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So… WHAT IS A VEGETABLE??? (I love them!)

It quite simply is a PLANT or PART or a plant that is used either RAW or COOKED as FOOD for Me and You!

They can be divided into 8 different PARTS:

LEAVES – like cabbage, spinach or lettuce
SEEDS – like beans, lentils or peas
ROOTS – like beet, carrots or sweet potato
TUBERS – like root ginger or potato
BULBS – like chives, garlic, onions or leeks
FLOWERS – like artichoke, broccoli or cauliflower
FRUITS – like cucumber, aubergine, peppers, pumpkin, squash, snap peas or tomato
STEMS and SHOOTS – like asparagus or celery

What do I look for when BUYING fresh vegetables?

Vegetables should always be FIRM, CRISP and BRIGHT in COLOUR, with no defects!

Nerd Alert:

Defects

bruising on the skin, insect damage, , skin punctures and decay

 

PRE-PREPARATION

Vegetables are usually grow IN or NEAR the ground,

so it is important to always RINSE them under cool running water as microorganisms can be in the soil that clings to your vegetable!

 

COOKING

So…WHY do we COOK our vegetables?

Cooking our veggies makes them easier to eat and digest!

And some veggies actually have a better flavour after cooking – I definitely prefer cooked to raw!

BAKE, FRY, STIR FRY, STEAM or BOIL,

All of these methods can be used to cook your veggies, but its best to know which ones work best for each type of vegetable and how long they cook for…

Vegetable Portion Form Boiling time Steaming time Baking time
Artichoke 450g Whole, pared 30 min 35 min 30—60 min
Asparagus 450g Whole, Woody ends removed 10-15 min 25 – 30 min
Beans 340g Whole or broken 20-25 min 25-30 min
Broccoli 1 bunch Florets, woody stems removed 10-15 min 25 – 30 min
Cabbage white 450g Shredded 8 – 10 min 10 – 12 min
Cabbage red 450g Shredded 15 – 20 min 25 – 30 min
Carrots 450g Whole 20-25 min 25 – 30 min 35 – 45 min
Halved or quartered 10 – 15 min 20 – 30 min
Cauliflower 675g-900g Florets, woody stems removed 8 – 10 min 10 – 15 min 30 min
Potato 450g – 675g Whole 30 – 35 min 40 min 40 – 60 min
Halves or quartered 20 – 30 min 30 – 35 min 40 min
Sweet potato 450g – 675g Whole 30 – 35 min 35 – 40 min 30 – 50 min
Halves or quartered 20 – 30 min 30 – 35 min 30 – 40 minutes
Spinach 450g Stems and roots removed 3 – 6 min 5 – 10 min
Summer squash 675g-900g Pared and sliced 5 -15 min 10 – 20 min 15 – 20 min
Tomato 450g Whole 5 – 10 min 10 min 20 – 30 min

Nerd Alert:

Pared:

Paring is to cut away all external parts of fruits and vegetables, both outside and under skin layers such as barks, shells, skins and pith so that the fruits and vegetables flesh is all that is left.

 

Boiling:

when vegetables are partially or fully covered in water and the water is so hot there are large bubbles

 

Steaming:

cooking in steam, when the vegetable is suspended on top of simmering water

 

Baking:

when we place vegetables in the oven under direct heat

Happy Cooking :)

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Megan Potgieter
megan@mykitchendirt.com

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