Parents have long harped on their kids to “eat your vegetables.” At a recent health and cooking conference in northern California, we also got an earful about why it’s important. Happily, we also learned a lot about how to make vegetables taste even better.
First the science: Vegetables contain nutrients – including antioxidants, folate, fiber, and phytochemicals – that can protect you against heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and more.
Cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts, cabbage and broccoli “have the most protective properties,” said Connie Guttersen, nutrition instructor at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley. Studies suggest they play a “protective role” in breast, bladder and lung cancer, she noted.
She says certain cooking methods work best with certain vegetables. The butternut squash pictured above, for example, are roasted in the oven with extra virgin olive oil.
Here’s the rundown:
- Stir-fry: Zucchini, carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, green beans, peas, snow peas, sugar snap peas, spinach, broccoli, Napa cabbage, green onions
- Grill/Broil: Mushrooms, peppers, radicchio, zucchini, sweet potatoes, tomatoe
- Sauté/Stew/Braise: Chard, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, mushroom, green beans, bell peppers, summer squash, tomatoes, fennel, leeks, eggplant
- Roast: Corn, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, potatoes, squash, pumpkins
- Crisp & Raw: Arugula, radicchio, spinach, mizuna, endive, fennel, carrots, celery, bell peppers, broccoli
Claude S. Weiller
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
California Olive Ranch