Cooking with Vegetables
 
There are many different ways to cook vegetables including roasting, baking, boiling, steaming, blanching, deep frying, stir frying, sweating, grilling and marinating. The following information and can be used as a guidance.
Different cooking methods can make a distinct difference to the taste of vegetables and often, strong flavored vegetables such as onions, taste milder if they are cooked as opposed to being left in their raw natural state.
 
Vegetables
 
Healthy Foods Index
 
Cooking with Vegetables

The cooking process softens the vegetable so it depends on the type of recipe you are making as to if and how you cook it. For example, peppers are excellent in salads when sliced and eaten raw. However, they are also excellent when using a cooking method such as stir frying.

There are many different ways of cooking vegetables and each method should be considered carefully as it is a fact that a lot of nutrients, vitamins and minerals are lost during the cooking process. For example, when boiling vegetables, a lot of the essential vitamins are retained by the cooking water in which the vegetable is being boiled. If this cooking water can be used to make an accompanying sauce the this will help to save some of the healthy nutrients.

Different cooking methods can increase or decrease the amount of calories, fat and carbs that the vegetable will provide as the end result, therefore, it is good to consider a healthy way to cook vegetables such as boiling them.

If you are wondering how to prepare vegetables for cooking, the following tips and information will help:
Always try to leave the skin where possible as opposed to peeling it off, this is because the vegetable's skin contains the richest source of goodness, essential vitamins and nutrients that benefit our health.

Try buying fresh vegetable to cook as they will contain the highest amount of benefits and nutritional value. Home grown, fresh or fresh frozen vegetables are the best source of nutrients.

Boiling Vegetables is a very common cooking technique and a healthy way to cook vegetables. It is very important not to over boil the vegetables for too long or to leave them on an unnecessarily high cooking temperature as this increases the loss of vitamins and nutrients that are essential to our health.

These essential nutrients are actually lost through the cooking water in which the vegetables are boiled. Therefore, turn the heat down a little and remember that vegetables do not actually take very long to cook when they are boiled.

Blanching is a cooking method that is used to cook a vegetable a little more - often when they are going to be used in salads, stir frys or to cook roast vegetables. The following information provides refreshing and blanching instructions for vegetables:

To
blanch vegetables:
Firstly place them in a pan of boiling water
Bring back to the boil for a couple of minutes
Drain immediately

Refreshing vegetables prevents the blanched vegetable from cooking further. To refresh vegetables, follow the instructions below:
Place the blanched vegetables in iced water for a couple of seconds
Drain immediately

 
 
Cooking Vegetables

Another way of cooking vegetables is a method called sweating. This is usually a preliminary cooking method where the vegetable is cooked very gently in a little oil.

Steaming vegetables is a very easy way of cooking, all you have to do is set the steamer over a pan of simmering water, allowing the water to simmer rapidly. Ensure the steamer is covered throughout the steaming process. This way of cooking should leave the vegetables tender when they are ready to eat.

The cooking method for
sautéing and shallow frying vegetables is to pour a little oil or to place a knob of butter into a frying pan and place over the heat. Once the oil becomes hot or the butter has melted the cooking process can being, add the vegetables and cook them or a fry them on a moderate heat, stirring regularly.

A
vegetable stir-fry is one of the quickest and most healthiest vegetable recipes to cook, as well as tasting absolutely delicious! Heat a little oil in a wok and place over the heat. Wait for temperature of the oil to increase a little before adding the vegetables for cooking. If you are preparing the vegetables yourself, try to cut them evenly so that they all cook at the same speed.

The vegetables do not need to be stir fryed for too long and you should begin to notice a significant difference after just a few minutes of stir frying - They will start cooking almost immediately. The vegetables shouldn't be too soft when you eat them, with stir frys the vegetables are not to be over-cooked and will usually be a little crunchy. It is important not to overcook the vegetables as this will result in essential vitamins, nutrient and minerals being lost. The less time the vegetables are left cooking or stir fryed for, the richer the vitamin and nutrient content will remain - therefore being more beneficial to our health. Stir frys are a very healthy way of cooking.

Many varieties of vegetables can be baked or roasted and this cooking method provide a delicious and unique tasting vegetable. Potatoes are a very popular roasting vegetable. This method may not be as healthy and beneficial to our health as other cooking methods due to the amount of oil the vegetables absorb during the roasting process.

Pour approximately 1 tablespoon of oil into a roasting or baking tray and place in a preheated oven, add the vegetables to the tray once the oil has become hot. You can roast lots of types of vegetables including carrots, onions, sweet potato, yams, swede, squash, courgettes (zucchini) and peppers.

There are many other varieties to consider when selecting a vegetable for cooking or roasting. For most people, the roasted vegetable has a preferable taste as it is often a little sweeter and tastier.

 
 
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