Some fabulous helpful tips when cooking with potatoes, onions and carrots
Potatoes are GLUTEN FREE, making them a great alternative to pasta and bread and perfect for those suffering Coeliac disease.
Try making Gluten Free Lasagne with thinly sliced potatoes instead of pasta sheets!
Wondering why potatoes are green? This means they have been exposed to too much light and the chlorophyll has formed. Cut out green patches or discard if they become very, very green.
Potatoes are suitable for Vegans and Vegetarians – providing a nutritious and delicious base to any meal!
Preparing potatoes is much faster if you don’t peel them! Plus you get extra fibre and nutrients if you keep the skin on.
Want hot, steaming baked potatoes when you get home from work? Wrap them in foil and pop them on LOW in the slow-cooker in the morning, and beautiful baked spuds will await your return.
Of all vegetables, potatoes are probably the most versatile. They can be baked, mashed, boiled, sauteed, scalloped, cut into wedges, potato skins, roasted, fried, added to soups, added to salads, pies and much more.
No need to put potatoes in the fridge – just store them in a cool, dark place.
Avoid soaking peeled potatoes in cold water, as some nutrients can dissolve in the water.
Par-cooking or blanching potatoes makes for the best kind of roasties – soft and fluffy on the inside and crunchy and golden on the outside!
New potatoes have a high vitamin C content so only boil these for a maximum of 15 minutes. Place them straight into boiling water and don’t leave soaking.
Try steaming potatoes! It’s a gentle way of cooking and is particularly good for floury potatoes.
Carrots can be eaten raw or cooked and are found in savoury and some sweet dishes e.g. cakes and muffins. Young carrots do not need peeling. Simply wash well or lightly scrape. Only old and large carrots need to be peeled.
Carrots suit most cooking methods and may be boiled, steamed, baked, roasted, barbecued, stir-fried or microwaved. They should be cooked until tender, and depending on preference, still slightly crunchy. Cooked tender carrots can be mashed or pureed.
Raw carrots are one of the quickest and healthiest snacks. Don’t forget to include them in packed lunches. Raw grated carrots are an excellent addition to fresh salads. Vary the size of your grater and experiment with some of the more interesting coarse graters or peelers.
To preserve their natural sugars and sweet flavour, cook carrots in as little liquid as possible. Steaming and baking both help seal in the flavour.
Young carrots can go straight into the roasting pan! They’re super sweet when they’re roasted and caramelised. Just give them a quick scrub and put them in with the other roast vegetables.
If you buy carrots with the green tops on, cut them off straight away as they’ll suck out the moisture and dry the carrots out.
Young carrots do not need peeling. Simply wash well or lightly scrape. Only old and large carrots need to be peeled.
Choose carrots that are firm, well formed, smooth and blemish- free with a good orange colour. A deeper colour indicates more vitamin A.
Avoid carrots that are wilted, flabby or cracked and those with large green "sun-burned" areas at the top.
Smaller carrots tend to be sweeter and more tender.
Remove the green tops before storing because they increase the respiration rate and draw moisture from the carrots, causing shrivelling.
Keep carrots in the refrigerator in plastic bags with air holes to ensure adequate ventilation. Air circulation prevents condensation build up and premature decay.
Store onions in a cool, dark and well ventilated place – not in plastic bags as this encourages them to sweat. If you purchase your onions in a plastic bag, remove them as soon as possible when you get home to avoid them deteriorating and prevent sprouting.
Avoid refrigerating or storing your onions with other foods that may absorb the onion flavour.
Onions are relatively low in energy or kJ, making them a great and healthy addition to any savoury meal.
You never have to worry about the availability of onions – as they are available all year round!
Use onion rings as a mould when frying eggs. Cut a large onion into thick slices. Using the outer rings, fry in a pan until brown, turnover and crack an egg inside. Add a little water to pan and cover until the egg is cooked to your liking.
Onions can help to repel insects! Simply by rubbing an onion on your skin, you can keep the bugs away.
Onions can also help to soothe insect bites, stings and even burns – by rubbing them onto the affected areas it will help to ease the pain.
Can onions really soothe a sore throat? Apparently yes! Onion tea is thought to help. Bring to the boil 1 cup of water with the peels of ½ an onion. Once boiled remove onion and serve.
Got a splinter? Try taping a piece of raw onion to it with tape or a bandaid. Try to leave it for an hour and it should help to remove the splinter.
Need to clean your Grill or BBQ? Chop an onion in half and turn it on. Using a fork glide the onion around the grill to scrub it clean.
Onions can help polish metal! Simply slice and crush an onion and combine with water. Using a cloth dab it the onion-water mix on the metal surface and rub it clean.
Forgot about your rice and slightly burnt it? Let the onion help. Simply place half an onion on top of the rice and it will help to absorb the burnt taste.