Vegetables are indispensable in the kitchen. Some might love them, some hate them, but they will always be around in most, if not all meals. Mastering vegetable preparation in the kitchen will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. You will keep your veggies fresh longer, they will taste better, and cooking will be easier and faster.
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, it is an important skill to master to create dishes that will satisfy your appetite. If you are a mom, this will help you feed your children nutritional meals and make cooking a lighter chore for you. If you have a small kitchen or prep counter, these tips will help you keep your kitchen clean and avoid cluttering your sink.
Check out our veggie preparation tips that you need to master today.
01. Washing your veggies
Before we start cooking, the most important step is the washing and cleaning of your vegetables. Not everyone can get high-quality pre-washed vegetables from the grocery store. And chances are, even the vegetables from the local market are not pre-washed either because of pre-washing risks of spoiling and rotting the vegetables before you take them home. Washing your veggies is an important step to ensure you are washing away dirt, insects, and any unwanted things in your food.
If you are preparing a leafy vegetable, check each leaf for signs of rotting or worms. If you are preparing a chunky vegetable, check for bugs and other insects that may be hiding. It is a good rule to scrub your veggies with warm water and baking soda to remove any dirt and keep your veggies fresh and crisp.
A Peeler or sometimes called apple peeler is an important tool in the kitchen. It does not just peel apples but a variety of vegetables that needs to be skinned like potatoes, carrots, and yams.
It is handy to have a vegetable chopper in the kitchen. Most vegetable choppers in the market have numerous functions. Vegetable choppers come equipped with a grater, a mandolin, garlic press and dicers of varying sizes. It is a cheap yet useful tool that will save you a lot of time when preparing your vegetables.
There are plenty of ways to cook vegetables and here are the basics you have to master:
Boiling is a very easy method to prepare vegetables especially starchy ones like potatoes, yam, parsnips, and carrots. While it is easy to forget about it while doing something else simultaneously, it is important to master the timing and keep a bowl of ice-cold water to stop the vegetables from overcooking.
Steaming is best for small vegetables that only need slight cooking before serving. It is the best way to not overcook your veggies and brighten up their natural colors.
Blanching is a method to soften vegetables and to easily remove skins on veggies such as tomatoes or shallots. It is also a method you should do before you store your veggies in the freezer to remove bacteria and enzymes that might promote rotting.
If you have an oven, there are plenty of vegetables that are suitable for roasting that will give them so much flavor. Squash, tomatoes, and potatoes are some of the favorite roasted vegetables. Just sprinkle some salt and seasoning and pop them in the oven for an easy side dish.
Stir-frying is one of the easiest methods that will yield a flavorful vegetable dish. To cook your veggies using the stir fry method, you need a quality wok. The preparation requires oil and a variety of sauces to add flavor to your crisp veggies.