This OER enables you to:
- describe the importance of leafy vegetables in our diet
- retain the green color in leafy vegetables during cooking
- select good leafy vegetables from the market
Miss Neeta was expecting guests in the evening so she went to market to buy coriander. The vender had sprinkled water to keep the leaves fresh. She was in a hurry to make bhel. So she hurriedly cut the roots of the bunch and chopped the leafy portion of the bunch fine to make green chutney and use as a garnish. The guest enjoyed the bhel. Then next day everyone faced stomach problem. What must be a reason you think?
Let's try to know more about leafy vegetables and help Neeta in understanding the same.
Parts of plants used as vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are leafy parts of the plant which are edible. They look green as they contain chlorophyll. They contain 70-80% moisture. They provide us with following food elements.
- Salts and minerals,
- minerals such as iron, calcium and phosphorus
- carbohydrates and fats is low quantity
- vitamins such as vitamin K, E, folic acid, ascorbic acid and beta carotene
- add appetizing flours to food
- Being low in calories greens are good for health
One should take care while selecting vegetables. Following points may be noted for the same.
- They should look fresh (eye Appealing).
- Color should be deep green.
- They should be crisp and intact.(many times venders use dirty water to make leaves crisp)
- They should not look water soaked or mushy.
- Leaves not be eaten by insects.
State true or false:
When you bring green leafy vegetables home, you should remove roots, stems and ensure that you wash them in ample water before cutting or cooking. This is needed to remove sand and soil from leaves, separate stiff fibers that are difficult to eat and digest.
After the leaves are plucked clean and store them in the perforated bag /wrapped in the cloth or paper in the refrigerator. Leafy vegetable respire and water given out . This gets condensed and leaves become mushy.
Blanching is a process of cooking vegetables. For blanching leaves are put into boiling water with pinch of salt and removed quickly and set aside Blanching prevents overcooking of vegetables.It retains natural colour of the leaves and make their look appealing, Blanching also help to retain flavor and nutrients of the commodity.
Effects of ingredients on vegetables
While cooking we add certain other ingredients. All leaves contain chlorophyll and give green colour to leaves. Chlorophyll changes color while cooking. In an alkaline medium the color becomes brighter intense green; in acid dull olive green.Though addition of alkali like cooking soda is not recommended as it destroys vitamins. Addition of acidic material make vegetable tasty but it looks vegetables mushy and spoils the texture.
Leafy vegetables play very important role in our diet.Selecting good vegetable makes lot of difference in your food preparation. Blanching greens for proper time with salt gives it good green color.You should store leafy vegetables cleaned, properly wrapped kept in the refrigerator.
Answer the following questions based on the day to practices in cooking vegetables.
- Have you ever wondered why spinach cooked along with curd or tomato or kokum loses its bright green color. Find out the reason .
- Should you add cooking soda while cooking spinach?Explain.