Growing up we’ve all been told over and over again “eat your vegetables, they are good for you!” yet they still remain one of the food components that we love to hate. Many of us are so traumatized by the mushy/overcooked vegetables served to us as a child that we now refuse to eat them altogether…But truth be told, mothers know best!
Vegetables are one of the most important component of the human diet. As stated by MyPlate.Gov, this fat-free, cholesterol-free food group helps reduce our risk of developing chronic diseases such as: obesity, diabetes, cancers and cardiovascular diseases. Due to the high amounts of essential vitamins, minerals and fiber present in this group, we are able to reduce our calorie intake without necessarily reducing the amount of food we have on our plate. The high nutrient density of vegetables enable us to feel full quicker and for a longer period of time then would process foods. And, they help reduce our food cravings throughout the day.
…Now mom may have been right about forcing us to eat our vegetables but perhaps she wasn’t an expert in the cooking department. No one wants to eat mushy overcooked vegetables so, I’ve come up with a few helpful tips to make them more appealing.
- Reduce the amount of water you use when cooking vegetables.
- Reduce cooking time.
- Bring your salted water to a boil.
- Take 1-2 handfuls of vegetables and place in the water. You don’t want to add too much at once otherwise you will drop the temperature of your water and you’ll end up with mushy veggies.
- Let the water come back up to a boil or until your vegetables becomes vibrant. It should take about 5-7ms depending on the vegetable. Size also plays an important role the smaller they are cut the quicker they will cook. Therefore, it is extremely important that you try to keep everything uniform–you want everything to cook evenly.
- Remove the vegetables from the pot and place them in ice water to stop the cooking process. This will help maintain that vibrant color AND your vegetables won’t get mushy.
- In a large pot place a small amount of water and let it come to a boil.
- Place the colander filled with vegetables on top of the boiling pot and cover it just enough so that some steam is able to escape. Remember, your vegetables should not be touching the water.