When to Start Cooking Vegetables in Cold or Hot Water

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When to Start Cooking Vegetables in Cold or Hot Water

There’s more to cooking vegetables than tossing them in a pot. Some cook more evenly when heated up gradually, while others should be put directly into boiling water. So when do you use which?

http://lifehacker.com/cook-vegetable…

This rule is simple to remember:

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  • Vegetables that grow underground (potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips), should start off in cold water.
  • Vegetables that grow above ground (greens, peas, corn) should be placed into already boiling water.

Farmers’ Almanac explains why this technique works:

Cooking the corn, peas, etc. simply entails softening their cell walls to make them more palatable and easier to digest. Because most green vegetables are small and/or thin, this doesn’t take long. So you add those to boiling water. Root vegetables contain a great deal of starch, which needs to be dissolved before they can be eaten. As root vegetables cook, “It takes a while for the heat to penetrate. Starting root vegetables out in cold water and heating the outside layers gradually allows the cell walls get reinforced and become more resistant to the effects of overcooking.”

This works especially well on starchy root veggies, like potatoes, since the gradual temperature change keeps the outer edges from overcooking and turning mealy.

When to Boil Water | Farmers’ Almanac via Facebook

Image from janitors.

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Get Kids to Like Vegetables by Introducing Them Very Early

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Get Kids to Like Vegetables by Introducing Them Very Early

Lima beans, brussel sprouts, and spinach aren’t often the foods kids beg for. However, a recent study says you can get kids to like most vegetables if you put them on the menu as soon as you start solid foods.

The research was done in the UK, Denmark and France with children ranging in ages from 4 months to 38 months. The 332 kids were introduced to a vegetable they hadn’t tried before: artichokes. After between five to ten meals, 75% of the children under 24 months old ate the artichokes. The older children were more likely to reject the artichokes.

The study suggests that if you want your kids to eat a larger variety of vegetables, instead of the typical carrots and peas, try giving them a larger variety of vegetables at a younger age. As your children get older, they’ll be less willing to try new things. Sure, you may not like some those vegetables personally, but you can avoid passing on that trait to your children.

Photo by Janet Hudson.

Learning to Eat Vegetables in Early Life: The Role of Timing, Age and Individual Eating Traits | PLOS ONE via EurekAlert

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