Professionals give tips on how to optimize your kitchen for a diet rich in vegetables

“Only one in ten adults meets the federal government’s vegetable recommendations,” reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in one of their one Weekly morbidity and mortality reports. “As a result, we lack essential vitamins, minerals and fiber,” noted the study’s lead author, adding: [you] at risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. “

Are you 90% of the time who don’t get enough vegetables in your diet? Is it something you want to change? If so, these veggie storage and preparation tips from these professionals can be your resource for healthier eating now and year round. (A companion article in two weeks will focus on fruits and outdoor cooking.) Wellness design can aid your healthy eating goals.

Mama was right

“Eat Your Vegetables” was a meal order heard by millions of American children. It was good advice too, according to registered nutritionist and fitness chain Life Time’s weight loss program director Anika Christ. “Products naturally provide some of the best sources of the vital nutrients (fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals) that are responsible for so many metabolic processes in the body,” she says.

Most customers are aware of their importance but need help finding ways to incorporate it into their meal planning and how to best prepare them. Otherwise, these well-intentioned purchases often spoil before they’re cooked or eaten. Add outdated, underperforming equipment and thousands of dollars and food options may be wasted.

Product Preparation Optimization Pro

Nutrients can be lost in product cleaning and preparation if you’re not careful, comments Christ. “Stick to leafy greens for soaking, while rinsing more porous vegetables like carrots or celery instead. I also like to encourage my customers, if possible, to leave the skins on, ”and particularly points out the additional nutrients and fiber in cucumbers and carrots.

A hands-free kitchen faucet and a professional sink with accessories can make preparing products easier and more convenient. Hands-free calling means you won’t spread foodborne diseases from raw meat to production or seasonal viruses between family members.

Pro-inspired space planning

When designing kitchen spaces, the professional cook, equipment trainer and entrepreneur for regenerative foods, Bridget Bueche, is inspired by what she calls the logic of a large kitchen: reception areas for ingredients, preparation room, cooking functions, storage space for ingredients and tools, plus a tidying area all in a sequential order.

“I love vegetable prep centers because they look for space to clean, prepare and cook.” They can be designed into a kitchen – possibly on an island opposite the refrigerator or equipped with refrigerator drawers – for all of the functions it mentions and around cooking utensils such as small appliances and pots Stow pans, cutting boards and utensils as close as possible to where they will be used. (You can also plan your storage space for left-handed or right-handed people, depending on your needs.)

For those who spend long hours in the kitchen, Bueche suggests padded mats. Easy-care countertops such as porcelain or artificial stone made from hybrids also make your cooking experience more convenient as you don’t have to worry as much about stains if your products spill on them and you don’t notice it anytime soon.

Improvement of product retention

A common question is where to store fruits and vegetables in the kitchen. Bueche responds with chef-level insights for the most popular purchases. “I would say there are several important ‘non-cooling items’: potatoes, garlic, onions and shallots encourage a certain amount of air movement (baskets, cloth bags / mesh bags) when stored in a cool, but dark and dry place.” This means that in the pantry or closet, and placing this near your refrigerator in a “food storage zone” will make meal preparation more convenient.

“Tomatoes are best ripened on a counter and eaten straight away,” she advises. Your refrigerator is great for members of the cruciferous / Brassicaceae family, like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, says Bueche. Brussels sprouts and leafy greens also like to be chilled with a touch of moisture to keep them alive and crispy, she adds.

“New cooling columns or units are supplied with separate containers with controls for humidity and temperature,” notes Bueche, who also works as an equipment trainer for showrooms and manufacturers. “This is ideal for the longer life of your organic products.” The luxury brands offer air purification and the elimination of gases and pollutants, creating a fresher compartment. Some manufacturers offer blue light technology for preservation, she adds.

Household appliance chain owner and blogger Steve Sheinkopf of Yale Appliance in the Boston area agrees. “The two compressor or evaporator systems are better. The blue lighting in the refrigerator mimics sunlight so that the vegetables continue photosynthesis and last longer, ”he explains.

Tips for cooking products

“There are ups and downs in every cooking method,” observes the nutritionist Christ. “Some can cause a loss of minerals or water-soluble vitamins (e.g. cooking) while other methods (e.g. microwaves) can do this [decrease] Antioxidants in some foods (e.g. cauliflower) but not in others (e.g. peppers). ”Her approach, she says, is to find out which cooking method is best for each individual and suggest vegetables to them. that is best prepared this way.

Christ often recommends steaming foods as it can reduce the GI symptoms associated with some products like broccoli or Brussels sprouts, and then recommends adding a healthy fat and sea salt to make the result tastier. Roasting is another cooking method preferred by the nutritionist: “I’ve found it to be one of the best ways to enhance flavor and absorption.” Vegetables can also be eaten raw as a snack or combined with fresh salads.

“Combination ovens have been at the top of my list for preparing vegetables for over 20 years,” says Bueche about the hybrid steam / convection devices. “The combination of wet and dry heat produces the amazingly tender and crispy results, even browning.” She also likes counter-mounted steamers for vegetable prep centers. “This allows blanching, steaming and sous vide to be processed in one device,” she says.

Sheinkopf is also a fan of Combi-Steam and Sous Vide, he says and promotes the potential of smart home technology. “WiFi functionality will be a good idea in a few years, if it can really help beyond the basic functions.” Some brands help budding home cooks to best prepare their ingredients.

An essential requirement for your kitchen is good, properly installed cooking ventilation. “I think that venting is particularly important when stirring, cooking in the wok, grilling and grilling food,” says the equipment professional. Some of the latest models can be synchronized with accompanying hob elements to adapt to the required speed and intensity.

Specialized countertop appliances can also be a feature of a vegetable prep center, says the chef. “Having a food processor for grating, slicing, chopping, grating, chopping and pureeing is irreplaceable. A circulator sous vide thermostat and cryo-vacuum machines are also incredible machines for cooking, storing and reheating vegetables, ”she comments. Two other items Bueche likes for a prep center are an induction burner and a composter for anyone growing their own vegetable garden.

last words

Conclusion, as Nutrition Pro Christ emphasizes: Eat more vegetables! “There tends to be a lot of confusion in this category depending on which diet is trending or what we might see in the latest study. When I coach clients, they worry too much about which vegetables are the best. No matter what the latest science or the food trend shows, what we always know are real food wins. ”

The second part of this short series will be published in two weeks and will focus on fruit and outdoor cooking.

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