Vegetable Cooking Tips

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Vegetable Cooking Tips.

It’s nice knowing some vegetable cooking tips. Tips can save time, improve flavor, improve shelf lifetime, and more. Here you’ll find some tips on preparing, storing, and cooking vegetables.

Carrots in cucumbers

11897594_f260To cook carrots faster, provide a larger cooking surface –

Carrots can cook a little faster by having a larger surface area. How to do this is to slice the carrot diagonally at a 45 degree angle instead of straight across.

They also cook faster by being cut thin, and that can be achieved by cutting them in thin (julienne) strips.

Diced carrots make a nice addition to pasta sauce.

A refreshing and nutritious snack can be made with fresh carrots and cucumbers. Use an apple corer to hollow the seeds out of the cucumber. Insert carrot into the cucumber and slice into rounds.

Did you know that baby carrots in the store may not be babies; they may be full grown carrots that have been cut and trimmed.

Cucumbers

11897576_f260Burpless Cucumbers: How to take the burp out of cucumbers.

Some people have said that cucumbers made them burp. One day I was watching my aunt, and she said that she was getting the bitter out, taking away the substance that caused the burping.

How to take the bitter out of the cucumber, is first you wash the cucumber and then slice the stem end off, about ½ inch in from the end. Then take the two cut edges of the cucumber and rub then together in a circular motion against each other. A milky white substance will start to appear. Do this for around a minute and then rinse it off.

Ceramic knives can cut thin slices in most vegetables. – These knives are lightweight and help maintain the freshness of the produce.

The blades are white, and the handles are assorted colors.

9836878_f260Lettuce

An easy way to keep lettuce fresh and other green leafy vegetables

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

Onion

There are several tips for onions. There are less tears if you chill them first before cutting.

11897641_f260If you don’t have a chopper or food processor, use the pattern of the onion to help chopping and dicing to go faster. Also, leave the root end attached and just slice almost to that side of the onion, but not quite. It will give you something to help hold and it keeps the onion more secure. Once you have made the cuts away from the root end, then slice it horizontally for a diced onion.

If not using the whole onion, slice off the part you need, leaving the top with the root end intact on the remaining part. Partial onions stored with their root still attached will keep longer. Store sliced onions in the refrigerator.

See food processor here

Potatoes – Mashed

When cooking mashed potatoes, you can cook the potatoes with or without their skin. Most of the potatoes nutrition is found right underneath the skin, so they will have more nutrients if you leave the skins on. When leaving the skin on, scrub them real well first with a vegetable brush first and remove any eyes. Then chop and boil as normal.

When the potatoes are ready to mash, you can choose to mash them with the skins or without. If you want smoother mashed potatoes without the skins in the serving, a potato ricer will help in separating the skins from the cooked potatoes.

See potato ricer

My favorite additions are some butter, milk, and a little salt and pepper.

Potatoes – Fries with a seasoned coating

I’ve seen various method for french fries. A new one that I’m going to try out is to partially cook your fresh cut fries for a couple of minutes. Then get them out and let them drain til cooled. Then let them set in evaporated milk for several minutes. Then dip in an egg and water mixture, then dip into a seasoned flour mixture. Then deep fry again till done. I saw this on TV and they look very good. The fries in this recipe were made by slicing them into wedges.

Another common french fry is the crinkle cut method.

The Crinkle Cutter adds a decorative edge to potatoes, carrots, and cucumbers.

Cut your own crinkle edge fries and more.

The crinkle cutter makes a decorative edge on potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, etc.

Potato Peeler: I’ve used the old metal handle potato peelers before, and love the comfort of using the Y handle by OXO.

When using the potato peeler, it is best to peel away from your body. I prefer the peeler having a rubber handle; it gives a better grip.

Another quick way to peel potatoes:

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

9836985_f260Sweet potatoes can be cooked in the microwave, follow manufacturer’s instructions. They can also be peeled and chopped and cooked on the stove top like white potatoes.

The mashed sweet potato, without the seasonings, makes a great dish for the baby that is starting to eat foods.

Mash it with some water or milk for baby, then add your cinnamon, etc. to the rest for the older ones.

When cooking in the microwave, a glass measuring bowl that is microwave safe should be a good choice. Be sure to not fill it too full to keep the food and or water from cooking out over the top.

Peeling Tomatoes

9836911_f260Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water, but first –

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

Before placing the washed tomatoes in the boiling water, slice an X at the bottom of the tomato, just below the skin. Then when you’re waiting for the tomatoes skins to loosen in the water, it will only take about a minute.

Then set them aside and let them cool a bit before handling.

A small pairing knife is handy for slicing the X on tomatoes:

Pesto Recipe using fresh basil.

Fresh Herbs in Pesto taste so much better than dried. I got a tiered garden bed and planted fresh basil. I used the basil from the garden and fresh parsley from the market, and the recipe came out so much tastier than any pesto that I had ever made before. Click on the postcard for the recipe, and or to order the pesto recipe:

A timer comes in so handy;

Sometimes I need more than one!

There is a timer on the microwave and another one on the stove. But sometimes, there is a need for another one.


This one also has a clip on it so that you can clip it onto your belt.

An immersion hand blender can be used in a variety of containers, – making preparation time shorter.

Using a hand blender can reduce the amount of dishes used. An immersion hand blender lets you blend right in the pot, pitcher, etc.

It comes in handy for making mashed sweet potatoes.


This blender comes in a choice of 7 colors.

Fruits and Vegetables are Good For You

The most important vegetable tip is to eat a variety of colors. In most cases, raw is also best. Spinach is one that is usually best for you when it’s cooked.

Tomatoes are good for you both raw and cooked. Raw tomatoes have more vitamin C. Cooked tomatoes increases the amount of lycopene that can be absorbed by the body.

Different colored vegetables offer different vitamins and nutrients. Make sure to include a variety of color in your diet.

Cooking can sometimes enhance vitamin absorption and benefits, like when eating spinach. However, most vegetables retain their best nutrition when eaten in their raw state.

 

Cheryl Paton is an artist with a positive attitude that is reflected in her work. She writes about various art subjects and techniques. She enjoys creating art to help celebrate special occasions and events. She also writes about her favorite music, movies and the products she uses and recommends. She is also a specialist in adult literacy and is a published author. See more of her articles here and her art here.

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