We all know that vegetables are good for us and we have to include them in our diet to stay healthy. However, many people don’t like to eat them. Part of that is due to the freshness and quality of the vegetables, as well as the way they were prepared. Believe it or not, freshness and quality speak volumes. No matter how good you are of a cook, if you don’t have good quality vegetables to start with, no cooking method or sauce of any type can make up for it.
Having said that you don’t need to buy expensive organic vegetables in order to cook a good meal. We just want you to buy what you can afford and pick the best out of the bunch. With good quality vegetables and proper preparation, you will love them as much as we do in our family!
Below is a list of tips of what to look for to pick veggies of maximum sweetness, richest texture, and most beautiful appearance. Good quality vegetables should either smell fresh and sweet or have no smell at all. Any vulgar smell is an indication of the vegetables going bad. Please avoid them.
Aubergines, tomatoes and peppers, also known as vegetable fruits should have firm, smooth, and shiny skins. Avoid buying those that are pulpy or wrinkled.
Roots and tubers
These include carrots, potatoes, beetroot, celeriac and radishes. They should be firm, with thick flesh and wrinkle-free skin. They should not give when touched and have no discolouration or wilting.
Leafy greens and brassicas
Look for crisp, fresh-looking leaves in Swiss chard and spinach. Be sure to check for any signs of insect damage or wilting. As for cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, the fresh ones have tight compact heads.
The best mushrooms are firm and fresh-looking with no sign of damp smell. Check the stalk end which should be moist.
Pods and seeds
Bright green is the colour of the pods of peas and beans you want. They should be firm and plump. When picking sweet corn, look for the plump ones with tight green husks when you open them. They should be tightly packed with shiny kernels on the cob.
Stalks and shoots
The celery, globe artichokes, fennel, asparagus and chicory should have firm heads with no brown patches on the outer layers.