How to cook greens and vegetables
How are you cooking the vegetables? If your stomach shrinks from just thinking about eating vegetables, you may not have been able to cook them properly. And, yes, there I am with you.
There is no one who can fall in love with something badly cooked. Although I promise you that, with these tricks, you will surely be encouraged to try more vegetables, if they are not your forte or to adore them completely, if they are already present in your dishes. Let us begin.
¿ C OW overcook vegetables?
The vegetables are an almost unlimited source of vitamins and nutrients that are cast if not properly lose kitchens.
- You have spent your life forcing yourself to eat more and more vegetables and you had not realized that you were not even getting the most out of all their nutritional power by cooking them badly.
- So as a general rule remember this: the less time you cook vegetables and the less amount of liquid you use in cooking, the better. They will lose fewer vitamins and better retain all their properties.
- It is preferable to shorten the cooking time by raising the temperature, than to leave them on medium heat for a longer time.
- If you cook the vegetables in a closed container and with salt, you are making the minerals and the water-soluble vitamins automatically stay in the water. In addition to that thermolabile will be destroyed by heat. The result: more bland vegetables , with less aromas and a less powerful color. Does that sound familiar to you?
- But you still have solutions. Use the cooking water from the vegetables to make broths or soups. In this way, you would be taking advantage of soluble non-thermolabile minerals and vitamins .
- If you wash cut vegetables or soak them , they also lose some of their properties.
!? Qu é beneficial part of the vegetable’ve eaten so far! ?
If vegetables are cooked for a long time, they may be losing more than 50% of their vitamins and minerals. It is better to eat the vegetables “al dente” , so that more properties are preserved.
As you may have already realized, if what we need is to cook them as quickly as possible, with a higher temperature, pressure cookers are your great allies. But the microwave , too, although it is not the most suitable for all vegetables.
How to cook your vegetables
It is best to steam vegetables for 2 to 5 minutes, with just a little water … let’s say that about 10 tablespoons is more than enough. And since you’re steam-boiling them, the water itself never touches the vegetables. Exactly, you will be left with vegetables with more vitamins and minerals.
In the microwave , use its maximum power and place the vegetables in a container suitable for the appliance. The plastic ones, as much as they say yes, they are not.
Always cover the container , but not that it is not hermetically closed (vegetables will generate steam and pressure can cause the lid to fly off).
NEVER, I repeat, never use transparent plastic film to cook in the microwave. Did I already say “never”?
Do not add water or other liquid to the container.
The best thing about the microwave is that the food is cooked in its own juice , which is why they tend to have a more powerful flavor.
The steamer that comes with your microwave is not necessary. In fact, it is the opposite. The steam comes from the vegetable, not from another appliance.
And the baked vegetables ? Of course. The microwave cooks, but the oven roasts or bakes.
In steam ovens, you have to use water, yes, but also leave them for a long time … Remember that I mentioned above that you overcook má s r uick possible to avoid losing part of their property? Well then, these ovens are not the most convenient.
Kitchen robot steamers like the Thermomix are better than cooking vegetables in a container full of water. But they will never beat microwave or steam cooking, as I mentioned at the beginning.
Vegetables in the microwave
I have already mentioned that it is one of the best options you have for cooking your vegetables. It is fast , practical and makes good use of nutrients. And knowing that in 3 minutes you would have the food ready … what’s the point of opening an ultra-processed food because it is faster to prepare? Always opt for the healthiest and most nutritious version for your diet.
- Green beans, peas, sliced carrots, broccoli, and green asparagus should be ready in 2:30 minutes. If you try to cook about 400 g of these vegetables, better try about 3:30 minutes. In both cases, if they are not as you like, you can prolong their cooking by lengthening it minute by minute. Anyway, remember that if they are al dente, better, better.
- Chopped squash, celery, kale, collard greens, endives, and onions in chunks, start with 4 minutes. If they need more cooking, add a minute at a time.
- Microwave potatoes, sweet potatoes, yuccas and chard stems , start with 6 minutes. Depending on the quantity and size of the pieces, continue adding for a minute until they have the texture you are looking for.
Tips to make you look perfect in the mike
- Every time you uncover the container to check how your vegetables are, take the opportunity to mix and stir . So they all cook evenly.
- If you are going to use them later, remember to cool them with cold water so that the internal heat does not prolong the cooking.
- Before we talked about potatoes and sweet potatoes cut into pieces. But you can wash them well, prick them several times and put them directly in the microwave.
- Depending on the size of the pieces, you can start with 6-8 minutes and you increase the cooking time to one minute at a time. There are some bags that you can use in the microwave and they help to reduce cooking time.
The result is a very tender potato or sweet potato inside, ready for you to season with a little salt, EVOO and pepper. It is one of the most practical companions you can have for your dinners. And don’t mess up extra saucepans!
How to steam
This technique is very simple and you only need a container to which you can add water (or another liquid) that is not in contact with food. There are pots that have a kind of strainer that are great for this. Ideally, place the vegetables once the water is already boiling, to avoid poaching.
Of course, before you buy more things, use your head. A strainer can work perfectly to help you steam.
The pans are on our side if we want to steam some vegetables that we will later incorporate into a rice or a wok .
Take the pan put a little water (a little too little, remember), put the vegetables, put the lid on and use medium heat. In less than 3 minutes you will have your vegetables al dente.
If you need, you can leave them a little longer. The trick of the frying pan for steaming is on the lid. It has to fit very well and, if possible, have a dome shape, so that the condensation of the steam does not end up soaking the food.
Always keep in mind the quantities. If you use several layers of vegetables , chances are that those that have more direct contact with the steam (usually those at the bottom) will cook much more than the ones above. So you either cook in several shifts, or mix a little bit every once in a while.
Another detail to consider. When you cook different vegetables, remember that each one has its own particular cooking time. It will be a good idea to put ingredients má first big s or need more time to be ready. Then you are incorporating smaller pieces or those of faster cooking.
The Brussels sprouts . Cooking them means that your house will smell like them for some time. The best thing is to slice them vertically and toss them in the pan with a little oil.
A couple of turns so that the cooking is even. If then you think they need a little more cooking, add a little water, a quarter of a glass will suffice, then cover the pot or pan. They will be ready soon without losing their crisp texture .
Vegetables cooking time
Remember that these times can vary depending on the quantity and size of the pieces and the power of the microwave.
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