What’s the right way to chop and prepare vegetables and fruits to get the most from them? In this article, we give great tips on how to prepare vegetables for your vegan recipes.
Prepare Vegetables In Advance With Your Veg-Match
Home-cooked meals are fast becoming a luxury, with a study published in the Nutrition Journal showing that while in 1965, up to 95% of meals were prepared at home, by the start of the new millennium, only 72% of people were doing so.
The shift in gender roles, rising housing prices, and the need to pay off student loans are just a few reasons for this phenomenon, although any vegan will tell you that time management is key to enjoying healthy meals regularly. Of course, if you are busy, then you may struggle to come up with varied enough meals throughout the week.
By prepping vegetables the right way, you can ensure your produce retains the maximum amount of nutrients and remains in the best possible state for your vegan sautés, sandwiches, wraps, snacks and soups. By preparing your vegetables together, the process can be as much an opportunity for romantic connection as the meals themselves.
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Investing In Quality Equipment
If you are vegan, then your shopping cart probably wields a host of colorful vegetables of all shapes, textures and sizes.
When prepping this produce, it is important to use the right utensils, since your slices or pieces should be uniform to ensure even cooking.
You should have a very sharp knife for shredding leafy vegetables like cabbage and lettuce, as well as good peelers and graters.
There are many fancy electric tools around that shred, slice and dice, but if you have a small kitchen, simply have a good set of knives for small, medium and larger vegetables will most probably suffice.
Wrapping Chopped Vegetables In Plastic
If you are concerned about the possible loss of nutritional value caused by cutting and prepping vegetables beforehand, know that there are good ways to slow down nutritional loss.
As stated by Dr. A Kader of the University of California at Davis, by wrapping cut produce in plastic, you can reduce nutritional loss to about 10% for Vitamin C, 7% for folate, and just 3% for beta carotene.
Keep the vegetables in your fridge, and keep them in airtight containers. Buy fresh, seasonal vegetables if possible so you consume food with the maximum possible nutritional content.
Choose The Right Vegetables To Prepare
Some vegetables – including broccoli and cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, celery, sweet potatoes, winter squash and zucchini – can last in an airtight container in the fridge four around three days.
Others – including eggplant, potato and avocado – oxidize, and are better prepped on the same day they will be cooked.
There are also specific hacks that work well for some vegetables. For instance, you can prepare potatoes a day in advance, placing them in a bowl of water and popping them in the fridge.
You may buy an extra large batch of vegetables that the two of you won’t be able to consume in a few days. If so, freezing is a good way to save your purchases.
Those vegetables that freeze particularly well include peas, broccoli, green beans, squash and cauliflower. Greens like spinach also retain their texture when frozen, as do herbs.
Avoid freezing vegetables with a high moisture content (including lettuce, mushrooms, and cucumbers) as they can freeze up then take on a mushy texture when thawed.
If you are excited about prepping your vegetables for beautiful vegan meals with your partner, ensure you save as much money as you can.
You can achieve this! Freeze excess produce and prepare vegetables all at once so you are more likely to use them over the next few days. For freezing, concentrate on low-moisture vegetables, planning meals in such a way that you utilize high-moisture produce first.
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So there you have it! There’s no excuse not to prepare vegetables for your next date! 🙂
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