Vegetables – Baby’s Challenge Adults!

Lets eat
If you want to taste the ‘full’ flavor of your fresh garden vegetables, let them mature in your garden before harvesting. Harvest young less mature ‘baby’ vegetables for vegetables that are more tender, ‘milder’ in taste.

In some vegetables, flavors intensify as the plant matures, which is why the so called baby versions have a wide taste appeal with just as many health benefits. Experiment with baby artichokes, turnips, squashes, and carrots, the ones sold in bunches, with greens still attached (not those sold in plastic bags, which are simply regular carrots, trimmed down).

You can find the ‘baby’ vegetables at larger supermarkets, specialty grocers, and farmers’ markets; some vegetables such as younger brussels sprouts, can even be bought frozen. Not only do many people find ‘baby’ vegetables more flavorful and less bitter, but they prefer the texture, too: Younger vegetables are more tender and require less cooking, says Barbara Klein, PhD, professor of foods and nutrition at the University of Illinois.

Oil them up-judiciously using fats especially heart healthy ones like olive oil can go a long ways in helping you love your garden fresh vegetables. When fat binds with seasonings and spices, it can transform vegetables from a duty diet item to something downright yummy. The link between vegetable avoidance and certain cancers is strong enough to justify the extra calories.

Raw veggies probably aren’t the first thing you crave when a snack attack strikes, but you’ll be much more tempted to eat them when they’re dunked in a low fat dip, or your favorite ‘low fat’ salad dressing. Try munching garden fresh vegetables at work, in front of the TV or when surfing the internet. Snacking on veggies away from the dinner table makes eating them feel less like a health chore.
mamas vegetables

The lonely onion family, which includes leeks, shallots, and garlic, is rich in compounds suspected to fight cancer, says nutritionist Valerie Green. But for onion haters, the sharp flavors and strong smells can be almost nauseating. Try slow roasting onions or garlic, which brings out the sweetness and cuts the sharpness. Brush leeks or sliced onions with a little olive oil, wrap in foil packets, and toss on the grill to mild down their strong flavors.

Tomato’s little secret is making sure you buy those that are vine ripened which eliminates almost all the bitter flavors, says Autar Mattoo, PhD, a molecular biologist with the USDA. Ask for them in season at farmers’ markets, and at better and specialty grocers.

Over mature eggplants are bitter, but the size of this fiber and potassium packed vegetable isn’t your best clue: *Hint: If your thumb leaves an indent that doesn’t bounce back, the eggplant will be spongy, tough, and bad tasting, even if it’s a little one. To further improve taste, check out its “belly button”: At the blossom end, eggplants have either an oval or round dimple. Buy only the ovals.

To reduce eggplant’s bitter tendencies even more, after you slice it, sprinkle it with salt, then allow them to set for a half hour, rinse and proceed with your recipe. Salt draws out water which contains the bitter tasting compounds. Eggplants are worth the trouble: The insides of these veggies are high in cancer fighting polyphenols the same chemicals that make apples so good for you.

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3 responses to “Vegetables – Baby’s Challenge Adults!

  1. Thank you for the info. Very helpful.


  2. I’m so looking forward to growing and harvesting our vegetables this year. You are right, there is nothing like eating home grown veg – whether baby or more mature!!!


  3. Nice post! We love baby zucchini in stir fry. (Cary, North Carolina)


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