Vegetable Cooking Tips for Beginners

Green leafy vegetables are rich sources of nutrients. But when not cooked properly, they don’t yield tasty results. One of the most common mistakes for beginners is the timing of cooking vegetables. Some would under cook while others prefer to overcook. However, it’s best to under cook vegetables so they retain crunchy characteristics as well as valuable nutrients.

I personally recommend these tips to help you cook vegetables with desired results.

Vegetable cooking tips for beginners

* Start cooking larger cuts of vegetables and harder ones ahead of others since they will take longer to cook.

* Cook dense veggies (carrots, turnips, potatoes) first, then softer veggies (peppers, onions and garlic last) for the same reason as above.

* To keep green leafy vegetables fresh longer, add a paper towel to the bag they’re stored in.

* Remember garlic burns easily and imparts a bitter taste when burnt.

* To minimize tears, it’s best to chill onions before cutting them.

* Chop and mince all vegetables before you begin, then you will be able to devote full attention to cooking.

* Tomatoes peel faster and easier when they’ve been blanched. But a little quick step will also make it that much quicker.

* Invest in a quality vegetable peeler. It has many uses and is invaluable in the kitchen.

* Roast or grill your veggies with salt, pepper, and a little olive oil. This concentrates the flavors in a wonderful way. It often works best with the vegetables whole or in larger pieces.

* For boiled corn on the cob that literally explodes in your mouth, bring a pot of water to a boil; put the corn in the pot and wait for the water to return to a boil. Boil 3 minutes. No longer. Remove and enjoy real corn flavor.

* Don’t overcook cabbage, which will result in a strong, sulfurous odor and mushy texture.

* Purchase a quality knife set for chopping all those vegetables and keep them sharp. More cuts are due to a dull knife than a sharp one.

* Waxed cucumbers should be peeled. Unwaxed cucumbers may be peeled with a swivel peeler or left unpeeled.

* When making mashed potatoes, be careful not to “overwork” them. Don’t overcook the potatoes or mash them in a food processor. This will result in a gluey, rather than fluffy, end product.

* Storage of fresh cucumbers may be prolonged by peeling, slicing and storing in the refrigerator in a sealed container filled with 1 cup water, 1/4 cup vinegar and 1 tablespoon salt. Sounds a little like pickles, huh?

* While onions and garlic will keep quite a while without refrigeration they will lasts longer and you can prevent them from sprouting if you store them in the frig.

* To make lighter and fluffier mashed potatoes, add a pinch or two of baking powder to the potatoes before whipping.

* Processed vegetables by steaming are probably the best way to cook all types of vegetables. This method can maintain nutrition and vegetables ripen in a short time.

* Roasting is quick, simple, and is an excellent way for cooking vegetables as it preserves the vitamins, flavors and minerals.

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