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Vegetables and legumes: how to choose the best!

After reading these tips you will never have problems choosing and varying vegetables in your diet again.


Discover the main tips for choosing, cleaning and preserving vegetables, as well as learning how to include them in your diet with delicious recipes.

Vegetables and legumes They are an essential part of anyone’s diet, providing the vitamins and fiber needed to maintain a healthy and balanced routine.

However, many people face a problem when they have to buy these vegetables: knowing how to choose the ideal ones to consume or preserve during the week is a question that concerns almost everyone.

So the question remains: which vegetables to take? Can you choose those who have blemishes on their skin? The more yellowish or greenish ones? Are the softer ones or the firmer ones better? The ones that are hollow or heavier?

In this article we will tell you everything you need to know to choose the best vegetables for your week! Read on to find out more!

What is the difference between vegetables and legumes?

Before talking about how to choose vegetables, it is important to learn what vegetables are, what legumes are and the differences between these two foods.

Vegetables, also called greens, are plants that have the shape of leaves or flowers. They have a low calorie content and for this reason they are highly recommended for those following a diet.

Vegetables popular among Brazilians include lettuce, spinach, cauliflower, kale, arugula, broccoli and even mint.

Vegetables are plants that can grow both outdoors and underground. Therefore, vegetables are divided into certain categories. Are they:

  • Fruit: vegetables, generally savory, including squash, chayote, cucumber and tomato;
  • Roots: characterized by the edible part that grows underground, such as beets, carrots, cassava, manioc and onions;
  • Tubers: Tubers are roots that store a certain amount of energy nutrients, i.e. carbohydrates. One of the most famous examples of tuber are potatoes;
  • Legumes: are cereals that grow in pods, such as beans, chickpeas, peas and soybeans;
  • Cereals: seeds or cereals, such as rice and corn;
  • Oilseeds: These are seeds with a high calorie content, such as walnuts and chestnuts.

How to choose vegetables?

Picking vegetables is relatively easier than picking vegetables. This is because, since they are foliage, it is easier to choose them simply by looking at them.

So, the tips for choosing vegetables are as follows:

  • Always give preference to leaves that have very bright green colors and avoid those with yellowed, whitish, torn, burnt or withered leaves;
  • Watch out for the smell: fresh vegetables don’t smell bad;
  • Just as important as the leaves, it is important to pay attention to the stems of the vegetables, which must be firm and not fall apart when pressed lightly.

How to choose vegetables?

When it comes to choosing vegetables for your meal, a little more care is needed.

The first piece of advice, therefore, is to always prefer seasonal vegetables: in addition to being fresh, they cost more and are tastier on the plate. Buying vegetables at the market is a good option to find the freshest ones, as sellers’ stocks are renewed every day or week.

You must then pay attention to the appearance of the vegetable: always avoid those that are peeled, crushed, that have dark or whitish spots (which could be a sign of mold), withered leaves or with bruised, pierced or open skin.

It is also important to make sure that nothing is growing out of the vegetable, which is a sign that it is old.

Finally, it is essential to pay attention to the smell of vegetables: strong odors can be a sign of aged or spoiled food.

How to clean vegetables?

Cleaning vegetables correctly is essential not only to prevent them from spoiling prematurely, but also to ensure the health of you and your family.

This process is very simple: just mix a spoonful of bleach for a liter of water. Simply leave the vegetables to soak in this mixture for a while and then wash them well under running water.

In addition to this mixture, there are also specific products in the markets for sanitizing vegetables.

And, although they are popular, mixtures with vinegar, baking soda or salt do not completely sanitize fruits and vegetables. Therefore, always prefer safe methods to ensure complete cleanliness of these foods.

How to store vegetables?

Cleaning vegetables well is the first step towards good preservation!

Next you need to separate the vegetables.

This is because vegetables must be dried and stored in jars interposed with sheets of absorbent paper. This way it is possible to absorb moisture and preserve the foliage for longer.

And always remember: vegetables should be stored in the refrigerator, preferably in the lower drawers, which are less cold than the upper shelves.

Vegetables need special attention, because the best option for storing them is not always the refrigerator.

Roots, such as carrots and beets, keep best when stored in jars of water in the refrigerator. Therefore, they can last up to 15 days without spoiling or losing their nutritional properties.

Cereals, on the other hand, should be stored in airtight sealed containers in the pantry, away from humidity.

Fruit, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, can be stored at room temperature. But, once cut, they should be stored in the refrigerator in tightly closed containers.

How to include vegetables in your diet?

Now that we know how to choose, clean and store vegetables, it’s important to know how to include them in your diet.

This is because, although the most common way to consume them is in salads, there are countless recipes that feature vegetables!

For those who don’t like eating cold vegetables, an option is ratatouille, the French dish made famous by the Pixar cartoon and prepared with courgettes, tomatoes and aubergines.

Soups and broths, such as bean broth – which contains bacon, sausage and cabbage – or cassava broth are also alternatives for including vegetables in your diet.

Prefer to eat for an afternoon coffee? No problem: appetizers, such as caponata or pepper appetizer, contain vegetables and are an excellent option to make your diet healthier and more out of the ordinary (as well as surprising your guests).

At Terra Degusta you will find other options for including vegetables in your diet! Read now!

Source: Terra

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