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Fascinated with news from the world, we ignore our traditional vegetables. Now they are the tastiest and deliver the best. So let's eat them as much as we want! Learn how to buy and prepare kale, kohlrabi, green peas, pumpkin, broad beans, turnips, parsnips, swede, squash and scorzonera.

We are happy to buy lamb's lettuce or arugula, we throw asparagus, cook artichokes out of curiosity or snobbery, underestimating the taste of good pumpkin or turnips. And who eats kale or parsnips today? Most children do not even know the taste of kohlrabi, fresh peas. It's time to change it! Let's rediscover the values ​​of the slightly forgotten vegetables.

How to buy vegetables?

When choosing vegetables, don't just look at them, because beauty can be deceptive. The most plump specimens tend to be unpalatable, and also unhe althy, because artificial fertilizers and chemical pesticides are often used to breed them.

Choose plants that are not necessarily beautiful, but fresh, preferably from organic farming (the manufacturer provides this information on the packaging) or directly from a proven gardener.

Pay attention to whether they are not damaged, withered or soft - such vegetables have already lost a lot of nutrients.

Storing and preparing vegetables

Fresh vegetables are best stored in a cool airy room (pantry or cellar), protected from light. In urban conditions - on the lower shelf of the refrigerator in specially designed drawers (they will stay fresh for several days).

Heat and light destroy some nutrients, especially vitamin C, vitamin B, and beta-carotene, and accelerate wilting. So it's best to buy them on a regular basis - only as much as you need.

Vegetables should be cleaned and washed just before cooking. You have to remember not to throw away anything edible. Kohlrabi leaves, for example, contain a lot of vitamin A. Kale leaves also contain more beta-carotene than the pale leaves.

Vegetables with edible skin that come from organic farming should not be peeled. The most valuable ingredients are found in the skin and directly underneath it. Young kohlrabi or parsnips should be washed thoroughly.

Vegetables from uncertainthe sources must be thinly peeled or scraped. Rinse the vegetables under running water. They would lose many valuable vitamins while soaking.

10 underestimated vegetables:

1. Kale

Popular in Scandinavian cuisine, it is treated here as an ornamental plant. Extremely impressive curly and colorful leaves (they can be in various shades of green, purple-green and violet-brown) are usually used to decorate dishes.

Meanwhile, kale is rich in protein, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin PP, vitamin H, vitamin E and vitamin K, beta-carotene, B vitamins, as well as mineral s alts - calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron , potassium.

Among vegetables, only peppers and parsley have more vitamin C. Due to the high content of antioxidants, it protects against cardiovascular diseases and cancer. The leaves can be added to salads or prepared blanched like spinach. They enrich the taste of salads and vegetable dishes with rice, groats or noodles.

2. Kohlrabi

What we call kohlrabi is a thickened stalk that experts refer to as "apple". Provides calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamins PP and C. Young leaves are also edible. Interestingly, they contain vitamin A, phosphorus and much more calcium than kohlrabi alone.

Young kohlrabi is best to munch raw, sliced. It can be stuffed (e.g. with minced meat), stewed, served as a salad.

4. Turnip

She was and is a symbol of robustness. It contains a lot of calcium, phosphorus, iron, but also potassium, magnesium and iodine. It is a good source of vitamin PP, C, beta-carotene and B vitamins. It has a tonic, bactericidal and diuretic effect.

Supports the treatment of urinary tract infections, acne and abscesses. In addition, it prevents hair loss. With colds, catarrh, angina, it is good to wash down sweet turnip juice. It is enough to hollow the vegetable, add a little sugar and after a few hours a syrup will form.

You can make a salad of it, bake it under béchamel, add to stewed vegetable dishes, stuff it with meat, rice or other vegetables.

4. Parsnips

It used to be eaten instead of potatoes. Today it is slowly coming back into favor. Edible roots are almost spherical, flattened or elongated, white, covered with a smooth skin. It contains a lot of protein, carbohydrates, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron and vitamin C and B group vitamins, but also a lot of calories. M

and diuretic and detoxifying properties. It's good for kidneys, bladder and rheumatism. It can be prepared as a vegetable or added to a vegetable soup. It is a perfect substitute for potatoes.

5. Skorzonera

Black roots are edible, hence the second name of this vegetable - "black roots" (another name for scorzonera is snakeskin). But when the skin is peeled off, there is white flesh underneath. The taste of the scorzonera is similar to asparagus, only more flourish. Although it has been grown in Poland since the 17th century, it is one of the completely unknown vegetables here. That is why we export it, and in our stores, black roots can lie for weeks and dry, waiting for customers.

It contains a lot of carbohydrates, iron and phosphorus, little vitamin C and B group. It tastes best when cooked or baked with béchamel sauce and sprinkled with parsley. Cooked scorzonera can also be added to scrambled eggs or an omelette.

6. Rutabaga

Contains 88 percent water, more than milk. Provides carbohydrates, little protein and fats. It contains vitamin C and vitamin B. However, it contains almost no mineral s alts. It should be eaten by obese people and people on slimming diets, because it is full of satiety and does not provide a large amount of calories.

Turnip syrup is a good remedy against cough. Vegetable protects against skin diseases, strengthens hair and prevents hair loss. Young swede is the tastiest. The old one causes gas and is difficult to digest.

Peeled raw rutabaga can be munched like kohlrabi, and cooked to make mashed potatoes half and half with potatoes. Turnip flakes are baked in the oven and the diced vegetables are boiled and seasoned like a carrot.

7. Squash

It is closely related to pumpkin and zucchini. The most delicious are young squashes, up to 40 cm long - they have a whitening skin and greenish flesh. Squash provides beta-carotene, vitamin C and B group vitamins, potassium, phosphorus and calcium. It is easily digestible and has a diuretic effect.

Squash can be served straight from the water, bake, and stew with a variety of vegetables and fry. It can also be hollowed out and stuffed with e.g. minced meat, rice, other vegetables.

8. Green peas

Young ones with a pod are best eaten raw. It is much richer in vitamins and mineral s alts and easier to digest than dry peas. It has a lot of protein, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin C, PP, B group, and fiber that regulates digestion and promotes the removal of cholesterol from the body.

Young peas are a mine of vitamin E. It goes well with salads. You can cook cream soup, stew it, and freeze it in reserve (it keeps its beautiful color).

9. Pumpkin

The popular variety weighs 8-10 kg, has orange flesh anddelicate sweet flavor. It is rich in minerals, incl. potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. In addition to provitamin A and vitamin E, it provides a lot of vitamin PP, C, B1 and B2, folic and pantothenic acid, as well as fiber and pectin.

The highest content of provitamin A and vitamin C is contained in fully ripe pumpkin, then their amount gradually decreases. Pumpkin is easily digestible and does not cause allergies.

Pumpkin seeds improve the work of the brain and nervous system, prevent prostate diseases. Pumpkin is suitable for salads, soup (e.g. cream), casseroles, for stewing and stuffing. It can also be marinated.

10. Broad beans

It was already known in the Neolithic period. Its seeds were found in excavations in Biskupin. It is a good source of protein, carbohydrates and fiber. It contains many mineral s alts - a lot of calcium, phosphorus, iron and magnesium, vitamin PP, B group, beta-carotene and vitamin C. It is very nutritious and replaces meat in vegetarian diets.

Young broad beans are boiled for 20-30 minutes, dried must be soaked before cooking like all legumes. The broad beans are s alt at the end of cooking (note, it's easy to forget!) Or shelled - on a plate. It tastes best on its own, served with dill. It goes well with salads, soups and bread spreads. Due to the fact that it is difficult to digest, it is not recommended for young children, the elderly and those who lead a sedentary lifestyle.


In posts, straws, diamonds

Cutting vegetables is of great importance in macrobiotic cuisine because, according to its principles, the nutritional value of the plant is unevenly distributed. According to macrobiotics, it is best to cut root vegetables along the vertical axis or in diamonds, cabbage and potatoes - in a straw.

Root plants of oblong shape should be cut diagonally, alternately changing the direction of cutting. Cutting vegetables into bars is popular in many Asian countries. Cubes and diamonds are typical of Chinese cuisine.

The art of preparing vegetables

At least half of the daily portion of vegetables should be eaten raw. Salads are best prepared just before eating, because shredded vegetables quickly lose their nutritional value. Use stainless or plastic knives and graters for cutting. When composing a salad, it is best to combine sweet and sour vegetables, mild with aromatic, non-colored (e.g. turnips) with colorful, not very juicy and juicy vegetables. The food will be more flavor and appearance.

Any heat treatment leads to the loss of nutrients, mainly vitamins. To reduce this, it is best to cook the vegetables whole (the more you cut them, the more ingredients will penetrate the water),briefly, in a little water (they should be barely covered) or steaming. Covering the pot shortens the cooking time and prevents the escape of valuable aromatic oils.

We use enamel or stainless steel pots. Let us not shorten cooking by adding soda, as it accelerates the oxidation of vitamin C. Acidification of water prolongs cooking, s alting extends cooking time of legumes.

Vegetables can also be stewed in their own juice or baked. The best for stewing are soft and juicy vegetables (e.g. squash, pumpkin), for baking - root vegetables (e.g. rutabaga, parsnips).

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