Understanding Food Chapter 17: Vegetables
Webster’s dictionary refers to vegetables as “any plant,” but more specifically as those that are edible. Vegetables may be derived from almost any part of a plant: Roots Bulbs Stems Leaves Seeds Flowers Classification of Vegetables
Composition of Vegetables • Plant pigments fall into three major groups: • Carotenoids • Chlorophylls • Flavonoids • Carotenoids and chlorophylls are found in plastids and are fat soluble. • Flavonoid pigments are water soluble, and have a tendency to be lost in cooking water.
Vegetables can be prepared by: Dry-heat methods Baking Roasting Sautéing Deep-fat frying Moist-heat methods Simmering Steaming Microwaving Preparation of Vegetables
Preparation of Vegetables • Regardless of the cooking method or serving style selected, some general principles governing the handling and preparation of vegetables should be followed: • Buying • Storage • Washing • Cooking liquid • Timing
Preparation of Vegetables • When heated, vegetables undergo several changes in: • Texture • Flavor • Odor • Color • Nutrient retention • Understanding these phenomena can help to retain as much of their quality as possible during preparation.
Refrigerated A cooler temperature is the most important factor in reducing respiration rates, and most fresh vegetables will last at least three days if refrigerated. Storage times for various vegetables are ultimately based on their water content. Some vegetables require special storage treatment. For example: Bean sprouts are best stored in a bowl of cold water in the refrigerator, and the water should be changed frequently. Ginger root should be frozen or stored in an airtight container to trap its moisture. Storage of Vegetables
Storage of Vegetables Dry Storage • Proper storage does not automatically imply refrigeration. For instance: • Tomatoes (unripe) • Eggplant • Winter squash • Tubers (potatoes) • Dried legumes • Most bulbs (onions) …should never be stored in a refrigerator.