Vegetable News from around the World
The noun vegetable usually means an edible plant or part of a plant other than a sweet fruit or seed. This typically means the leaf, stem, or root of a plant.
However, the word is not scientific, and its meaning is largely based on culinary and cultural tradition. Therefore, the application of the word is somewhat arbitrary and subjective. For example, some people consider mushrooms to be vegetables even though they are not plants, while others consider them a separate food category.
Some vegetables can be consumed raw, some may be eaten cooked, and some must be cooked in order to be edible. Vegetables are most often cooked in savory or salty dishes. However, a few vegetables are often used in desserts and other sweet dishes, such as rhubarb pie and carrot cake
As an adjective, the word vegetable is used in scientific and technical contexts with a different and much broader meaning, namely of “related to plants” in general, edible or not — as in vegetable matter,vegetable kingdom, vegetable origin, etc. The meaning of “vegetable” as “plant grown for food” was not established until the 18th century.
“Vegetable” comes from the Latin vegetabilis (animated) and from vegetare (enliven), which is derived from vegetus (active), in reference to the process of a plant growing. This in turn derives from the Proto-Indo-European base *weg- or *wog-, which is also the source of the English wake, meaning “become (or stay) alert”.
The word “vegetable” was first recorded in English in the 15th century, but applied to any plant. This is still the sense of the adjective “vegetable” in science. The related term vegetation also has a similarly broad scope. Likewise in the all-purpose question, “Animal, vegetable, or mineral?
Vegetables are eaten in a variety of ways, as part of main meals and as snacks. The nutritional content of vegetables varies considerably, though generally they contain little protein or fat, and varying proportions of vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Vitamin B6, provitamins, dietary minerals and carbohydrates. Vegetables contain a great variety of other phytochemicals, some of which have been claimed to have antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anticarcinogenic properties. Some vegetables also contain fiber important for GI function. Vegetables contain important nutrients necessary for proper Hair and Skin as well. A person who refrains from dairy and meat products, and eats only vegetables is known as a Vegan.
However, vegetables often also contain toxins and antinutrients such as ?-solanine, ?-chaconine, enzyme inhibitors (of cholinesterase, protease, amylase, etc.), cyanide and cyanide precursors, oxalic acid, and more. Depending on the concentration, such compounds may reduce the edibility, nutritional value, and health benefits of dietary vegetables. Cooking and/or other processing may be necessary to eliminate or reduce them.
Diets containing recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables may help lower the risk of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. These diets may also protect against some cancers and decrease bone loss. The potassium provided by both fruits and vegetables may help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
For food safety, the CDC recommends proper fruit handling and preparation to reduce the risk of food contamination and foodborne illness. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be carefully selected. At the store, they should not be damaged or bruised and pre-cut pieces should be refrigerated or surrounded by ice. All fruits and vegetables should be rinsed before eating. This recommendation also applies to produce with rinds or skins that are not eaten. It should be done just before preparing or eating to avoid premature spoilage. Fruits and vegetables should be kept separate from raw foods like meat, poultry, and seafood, as well as any cooking utensils or surfaces that may have come into contact with them (e.g. cutting boards). Fruits and vegetables, if they are not going to be cooked, should be thrown away if they have touched raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs. All cut, peeled, or cooked fruits and vegetables should be refrigerated within 2 hours. After a certain time, harmful bacteria may grow on them and increase the risk of foodborne illness.
Proper post-harvest storage aimed at extending and ensuring shelf life is best effected by efficient cold chain application. All vegetables benefit from proper post harvest care.
Many root and non-root vegetables that grow underground can be stored through winter in a root cellar or other similarly cool, dark, and dry place to prevent the growth ofmold, greening and sprouting. Care should be taken in understanding the properties and vulnerabilities of the particular roots to be stored. These vegetables can last through to early spring and be nearly asnutritious as when fresh.
During storage, leafy vegetables lose moisture, and the vitamin C in them degrades rapidly. They should be stored for as short a time as possible in a cool place, in a sealed container or a plastic bag.
This weeks top Article:
What To Do With Fall Vegetables
Frozen vegetables throw off so much water they turn mushy before they ever brown. And they can be expensive.
Don’t give up on roasting because summer is over. Each season has bargains. For instance, right now the low price tags are on carrots, onions, potatoes, parsnips, sweet potatoes, the cabbage family, beets. rutabagas, turnips and greens.
Earthy tasting vegetables like rutabaga and turnips sweeten with roasting, especially if you mix them up with sweet potatoes and onions. Put some chard in the mix and let it get crisp. It’s delicious.
This recipe is a template. Switch vegetables and seasonings, but keep the proportions of earthy tasting vegetables to sweeter ones like onions, to greens as accents. Cut soft faster cooking vegetables into larger pieces and hard, slower cooking ones into thinner pieces.
Roasted Sweet and Earthy Vegetables with Indian Spices
Serves 4 to 6
20 minutes prep time; about 60 minutes oven time
The vegetables reheat easily, can be done a day or two ahead and are good at room temperature and in sandwiches.
2 medium to large onions, cut into large wedges
1 large sweet potato or yam cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks
1 large rutabaga, peeled and cut into thin 1/2-inch thick pieces
3 branches chard or escarole, torn into bite-sized pieces with stems chopped
1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch chunks (optional)
½ pound cauliflower or Brussels sprouts, cut into large flowerettes (halve the sprouts)
about 3 tablespoons good tasting extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon medium-hot chile powder
generous ½ teaspoon each ground coriander, cumin, black pepper and allspice salt
8 large garlic cloves, halved
juice of 1 lime
1. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Slip in a large, shallow baking pan (a half sheet pan is ideal) to heat up. In a large bowl, toss together all the ingredients except the garlic and lime. Taste for seasoning and adjust as you’d like.
2. Once the pan is hot, pull out the oven rack and carefully turn the contents of the bowl into the pan so as not to burn yourself. Spread everything on in the pan. Turn the heat down to 425ºF.
3. Roast the vegetables about an hour, turning several times during cooking for even browning. Add the garlic to pan halfway through cooking. Once browned and easily pierced with a knife, the vegetables are done. Serve them hot, warm or at room temperature. Squeeze the lime over the vegetables shortly before serving. Whole milk yogurt spooned over the warm vegetables is delicious.
Carrots are the VIP of vegetables
Vegetarian, Raw and Vegan with Bill & Sheila
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