Preserving the Nutritional Qualities of Vegetables
Eating a variety of vegetables is an important component in maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. Although it’s impossible to eat fresh, raw veggies every day, there are a number of ways that you can preserve the nutritional qualities of vegetables so that they can be enjoyed all year round.
Blanching is a common technique used to preserve vegetables. The process helps to stop the natural enzymes from developing, thus preserving the nutritional content of the vegetable. Blanching helps to retain the flavour, texture, colour and vitamins of a vegetable. The process can be done on a variety of vegetables, and it’s important to remember to cool vegetables quickly after the blanching process is completed.
Another option for preserving the nutritional content of vegetables is by freezing them. Freezing is a convenient and cost-effective way of preserving vegetables as it requires little energy and can be done at home. Vegetables that are frozen maintain their vitamins, minerals and flavour when kept in the freezer for up to a year. Freezing is an ideal technique for preserving root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes, as well as broccoli, peppers and leafy greens.
Dehydrating vegetables is a great way to preserve them while retaining their nutritional content and flavour. The process helps to remove the water content of the vegetable without cooking or using heat. You can easily purchase a food dehydrator or use a conventional oven for the process, and it’s an effective way to enjoy the taste and nutritional benefits of vegetables such as mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers and onions all year round.
Pickling is one of the oldest methods of preserving food, and it’s a great way to preserve the nutritional content of vegetables. Pickling involves submerging vegetables in a vinegar-based liquid and adding some other flavourings such as garlic, herbs and oil if desired. Pickled vegetables are particularly high in probiotics, which aid in digestion. Popular vegetables for pickling include cucumbers, onions, beets, carrots and peppers.
Preserving the nutritional qualities of vegetables is an important way to ensure that you maintain a healthy, balanced diet throughout the year. There are a variety of techniques that can be used to preserve the nutritional content of vegetables, from blanching to freezing and pickling. No matter which technique you use, you can be sure that you’ll be able to enjoy the nutritional benefits of vegetables all year long.