From the humblest pea to the immensest squash.

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4
votes
1answer
913 views

What causes changing blue and purple pigments in food?

I've noticed that many foods, such as cabbage, garlic, and ginger, either turn blue or purple in certain conditions, or that, like purple string beans, they lose these colors when cooked. Why is this?
14
votes
3answers
35k views

Are Green Potatoes OK?

Sometimes when peeling a potato, I find that areas of it are a bright shade of green. Does this mean that: A) The potato is OK to eat? B) The potato is OK to eat, as long as the green parts are ...
4
votes
4answers
6k views

Counter to bitterness in soup

My minestrone turned out too bitter. How can I counter it? The soup contains tomatoes, pasta, Savoy cabbage, celery, carrots, burnt sautéed garlic, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Sugar seems to be ...
22
votes
1answer
30k views

What does the refrigerator crisper compartment actually do?

In most refrigerators you will be able to find a compartment for your vegetables and fruits. This compartment is called the crisper and it is supposedly able to keep your vegetables and fruits fresh ...
20
votes
4answers
8k views

What are the differences between different types of onions, and when do you use them?

I used a recipe for a mean black-eyed-pea salad this past weekend which called for a red onion. Since I wanted extra onion flavor in the salad anyway, I decided to pick up a Vidalia onion to throw in ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

Why blanche vegetables before freezing?

I have a bumper crop of french beans, runners, and (earlier in the summer) peas. I know that we're supposed to blanche vegetables prior to freezing and my general purpose cookbooks tell me how long to ...
7
votes
4answers
52k views

What is the best way to store chopped vegetables?

To speed up our cooking during the week, I would like to chop up all the vegetables I will need for the week on a Sunday and then just use them throughout the week. What would be the best way to ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Why sweat but not brown?

Many recipes require that you sweat vegetables (celery, onions, etc). Why not saute them and brown them a little instead? Would not that develop the flavors even more? Why would you not want that?
5
votes
6answers
6k views

What can I do to prevent the gaseous side effect of sunchokes?

I'd love to eat sunchokes (aka Jerusalem artichokes or topinambour) more frequently, but the side effects (gas, abdominal discomfort) are a bummer. In a home kitchen, how can I prepare the sunchokes ...
5
votes
3answers
32k views

Are vegetables poisonous if they have roots, are sprouting or are many weeks old?

Can I use sprouting vegetables? Are they poisonous? When cooked, does the sprouting have an effect to foods taste? Can I use my potatoes or carrots if they already has some roots...? How about when ...
4
votes
6answers
783 views

how to use CSA vegetables most efficiently

I belong to a CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) and get a basket of assorted vegetables every week. I have very little cooking experience, and if I search the ingredients online I get a ton of ...
9
votes
3answers
964 views

How to keep fruits and vegetables fresh

I enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, but the problem is that they seem to go back extremely quickly. It isn't realistic for me to go shopping multiple times a week. Are there any tricks to keeping ...
27
votes
2answers
716 views

Which vegetables to use for stock?

Which vegetables and/or fresh herbs should be used when making vegetable stock? Are there any vegetables/herbs that should be avoided? Can parts of vegetables that would otherwise be discarded be ...
22
votes
3answers
8k views

Is it possible to preserve color in steamed vegetables?

When I steam green vegetables, like broccoli, they come out bright green. A few minutes later though, and they have darkened and dulled. Is this a symptom of cooking them for too long or is there some ...
27
votes
7answers
4k views

How should I keep the vegetables from flying off the board when I cut them?

Whenever I chop veggies like onions or carrots they sometimes just fly off the chopping board into the open space of the kitchen. Carrots do that especially often – I cannot chop them (...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are non-orange coloured carrots so uncommon?

Carrots come in a great variety of colours, from almost white to dark purple. However, the most ubiquitous colour variety is orange, and often the only to be found in regular supermarkets. Why is this?...
10
votes
6answers
11k views

Should asparagus be peeled before cooking?

I have it from two sources that asparagus should be peeled before being cooked in simmering water (Julia Child) or fried in butter (Heston Blumenthal). I tried Julia's method once and I've been ...
10
votes
4answers
40k views

Difference between boiling and steaming vegetables?

I have eaten both boiled vegetables and steamed vegetables (e.g. broccoli, carrot, zucchini etc.), and I cannot tell the vegetables are cooked in one way or the other, whether by texture or by taste (...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

How to wash vegetables without running water?

I live in a subtropical climate where most people cook vegetables, rather than eat them raw, so when making green salads, I must be careful to ensure that everything is clean. I have seen ...
11
votes
3answers
66k views

Which fruits and vegetables should be kept in a fridge, and which outside?

I'm a bit unsure about which fruits and veggies should be kept outside the fridge and which inside. It seems that apples, oranges, and bananas, are normally kept outside, and melons, watermelons, etc ...
8
votes
2answers
926 views

What are the major differences between yams and sweet potatoes?

I was just wondering what the major difference between yams and sweet potatotes. I know yams are more orange and I love yams!
8
votes
4answers
6k views

Is it really necessary to properly heat oil in a pan before frying veggies?

As an example, we often lightly fry onions in (preferably) Olive Oil before adding them to any number of dishes, such as scrambled eggs for breakfast. My talented cooking friends frequently remind me,...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Will vegetables and fresh herbs last longer in the refrigerator in a plastic bag?

Is there a difference between how long fresh herbs and vegetables last if they are in a plastic bag or in the open? If it does, is there a break-down of which ones it does make a difference for - ...
7
votes
5answers
52k views

When should I add spinach to homemade pizza?

When making pizza, do you put the spinach on raw or cooked? I would prefer to put it on raw, but I am concerned that the high water content in the spinach will release in the oven and make the crust ...
6
votes
7answers
579 views

How can I get more umami in a veggie burger?

I'm not a vegan, so let me get that out there as the first sentence. I can find recipes all over the place for veggie burgers, but all I've tried have been bland. I may indeed have an umami flavor ...
5
votes
5answers
659 views

Hints on storage of vegetables and fruit

Different fruits and vegetables require different treatment in order to preserve their integrity, micronutrient contents and especially taste over the longest period possible. Time and again I am ...
5
votes
4answers
260 views

What are some good ways to Roast Peppers

I'm looking for a safe method to remove the skin.
5
votes
4answers
4k views

What can I do to prolong vegetable and meat freshness in the freezer?

In an effort to improve my eating habits I am thinking of buying more vegetables and meats while at the store so that I have them to cook with. However, with a busy schedule it is hard to try and ...
14
votes
5answers
11k views

Ham and Pea Soup with whole dried peas instead of split peas?

I am making Ham and Split Pea Soup, however I only have whole dried peas. Will the shell on the whole pea make the soup more difficult to digest? Will the shell spoil the flavor? Or is it just adding ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

How do you wash fruit and veggies effectively?

When eating or preparing fruit and vegetables, you should wash them beforehand to get rid of pesticides, bacterias, fertilizers, etc. However, I notice that I (and others I know), just put the thing ...
9
votes
4answers
15k views

Why would cooked spinach contain more iron than raw?

I've been researching the nutrient content of various foods and I've found that cooked spinach appears to have more iron than raw spinach (3.57 mg / 100g vs 2.71 mg /100g). Intuitively, I would have ...
8
votes
10answers
631 views

What do I do with a kohlrabi? [closed]

I've recieved several kohlrabi from my CSA, and I have no idea what to do with them. I found a recipe for a curry using kohlrabi, but it wasn't great. Does anyone have suggestions on how to get the ...
7
votes
1answer
323 views

Are large veins in a rhubarb leaf safe to eat?

I've got a lovely rhubarb plant. Nice stalks, huge leaves. The biggest leaves have veins in them bigger than some of the smaller stalks. It seems a shame to throw them away— but obviously I am not ...
7
votes
4answers
17k views

Why do cauliflower or brussels sprouts sometimes taste bitter, and (how) can I avoid it?

Cauliflower or Brussels Sprouts sometimes taste slightly bitter after cooking. Is this some mistake in the way they are cooked or is that just the vegetables themselves?
7
votes
3answers
1k views

How to wash pesticides from fruit skins?

We eat many fruits and veggies at home and I am concerned about the amount pesticides on fruits like strawberries. Is washing the fruit effective enough? Does a thorough wash vs. a quick rinse make ...
6
votes
10answers
33k views

Cooking “purple sweet potatoes” or “purple yams”

I recently bought something that was labelled at the grocery store as a "purple sweet potato". They were larger than what I am used to for sweet potatoes, but looked similar, although they had a ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

What helps against astringent mouthfeel from spinach or chard?

Spinach and chard dishes, if prepared from fresh veggies, have a somehow astringent mouthfeel, that can be unpleasant. Does anybody know what exactly causes this mouthfeel chemically and/or knows a ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

Substituting tomatillos

I have lately come across good recipes, which happen to require tomatillos. Sadly, I don't have a source for tomatillos. Is there some way to substitute them in recipes? Physalis berries? Underripe ...
6
votes
2answers
46k views

How can I tell whether beetroot is still edible?

I have some raw beetroot I bought about a week ago, having stored them at room temperature since. It's the first time I bought it raw, and I'm unsure whether it's still edible. It is already soft, ...
6
votes
2answers
8k views

Can I use the same board for meat and vegetables?

I've heard that it's not good to use the same board for vegetables and meat, not only when you are making a salad but in general. Something about the bacteria in dirt and the bacteria in the meat is a ...
6
votes
4answers
9k views

Why does my chard taste bitter when I cook it?

I've tried cooking it in various ways, but it always ends up tasting bitter. What am I doing wrong? I'm using fairly young chard (homegrown), using the whole leaves.
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Water vs olive oil when sautéing

I was recently watching a friend sauté vegetables (specifically artichokes and broccoli) and instead of using olive oil, she used water. What's the difference between using oil as compared to using ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

How does produce grading in the US work?

The US has a lot of standards about grading produce. Is everything graded on the same scale (with the same labels)? What characteristics do the grades generally depend on, and what characteristics do ...
3
votes
2answers
960 views

Why do purple snap beans turn green when cooked?

We often get snap beans from the CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) that are either entirely purple or mottled purple. When cooked (at least when steamed or blanched), however, the purple color ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Using Unused Pickling Juice

2 weeks ago I made 10 gallons of pickling juice for vegetables and only used 7 gallons. Today I decided to use the 3 remaining gallons of juice. I boiled the juice I made which was water, white ...
2
votes
2answers
257 views

After you bake eggplant, is it fine to not drain the water?

An eggplant can be baked or grilled; then you peel it. I read that you have to drain it then (e.g. in a colander), even overnight. What if you don't drain the water-does the taste change considerably? ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What are ways to reduce cellulose in vegetables and fruits?

I (and some family members) have a medical condition that affects the ability to digest cellulose, so we have to avoid most fresh fruits and vegetables. We have found that cooking vegetables helps a ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

Why are Zucchini's refrigerated, but not acorn and spaghetti squash?

I stock food and follow this procedure, but can see that these are not only the same family - the gourd family, but also the same species. Both have a hard outer shell. Why does one ( Zucchini ) ...