Vegetables are an essential part of a normal diet, since they provide vitamins and mineral salts, a good deal of roughage and, in the case of pulses, some protein and carbohydrates. They are also important as they help to made a meal look attractive and appetizing.
Vegetables provide vitamins A and C in imporant quantities. The amounts vary considerably, depending on the kind of vegetable, the season and the soil in which they grow.
It is more important to include one or two helpings of vegetables in your meal each day, rather than worry what types of vegetables you use.
Canned, frozen and dehydrated vegetables retain their vitamin and mineral content, other than a slight loss of Vitamin C.
Dried vegetables (such as split peas) contain no vitamin C at all
When you choose vegetables, ensure that 'green' vegetables retain a good colour with no hint of yellow. Roots and tubers such as carrots and parsnips should feel firm.
Most vegetables do not store particularly well, so buy in small quantities, frequently, and kept in a cool dark place.
When cooking, greens should be washed (cut, if necessary into smaller pieces), and cooked in fast boiling water.
Roots are scraped or peeled and cut in to even sized pieces and cooked in salted simmering water. The exception to this is beetroot which should not be cut or peeled prior to cooking.
Beans and peas are mainly washed and left whole if they are small and early in the season. Peas and Broad beans should be shelled - and if the Broad bean is older the outer bean casing of the inner bean removed. The flavour of peas is improved with a small addition of a little sugar. Watch Runner beans later in the season as they go stringy really quickly - its definitely better to pick them small
Other methods of cooking for vegetables:-
Preserving Vegetables can be achieved by Freezing, Pickling, bottling and Drying.