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Posts Tagged ‘Roasted vegetables’

Have you had a bounty of okra in your garden this summer? My co-workers have had great luck with the okra they grew – evidently the plants like the heat and extra rain we had in Southern Ohio. Because of their bountiful okra harvests, we have had a number of discussions of recipes and how to prepare this vegetable that you may not be as familiar with as others. Here are some okra basics.

Selection – okra pods are best when they are small to medium in size, about 2 to 4 inches long and bright in green color. Okra plant

Storage – the pods can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For best storage, refrigerate unwashed (but dry) okra pods in a vegetable crisper. They may be loosely wrapped in a perforated plastic bag. The ridges and tips of the pods will turn dark, which indicates deterioration and need for immediate use.

Freezing for Longer Storage – By water blanching okra for 3 minutes you can hold the quality when freezing. Start by carefully washing, then lower okra into a pot of boiling water for 3 minutes. Use a metal blanching basket if you have one. Immediately plunge blanched okra into an ice bath for 3 minutes and carefully dry. Package into freezer containers and date.

Okra can also be pressure canned, follow this link to more information on that process OKRA.

Nutritional Value – 7 okra pods = a 25 calorie serving. They contain no fat or cholesterol, and are very low in sodium. They have 6 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of fiber. You can also get 30% of your Vitamin C for the day, as well as some folate, and magnesium with okra.

Skillet of roasted vegetables with okra, tomatoes, onions, and beansHow to Prepare – while there are a number of ways to prepare okra, several popular choices are roasted, grilled, or with tomatoes. Here is a link to several from the USDA Mixing Bowl – go.osu.edu/okra. The Italian Vegetable Medley with Okra, the Spicy Okra, or the Veggie Stir-Fry with Okra look like great ways to clean out the end of summer produce in your garden or to use up wonderful Ohio produce from the Farmer’s Market. Leave a comment below to let us know your favorite okra dish, especially something creative like the roasted okra, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and beans with olive oil and mixed herbs that my co-worker fixed this week.

Sources:

National Center for Home Food Preservation, https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_04/okra.html.

USDA Mixing Bowl, http://go.osu.edu/okra.

Michigan State University Extension, http://msue.anr.msu.edu/resources/michigan_fresh_okra

Photo credit: Debra Calvin, Program Assistant, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Reviewer:  Tammy Jones, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pike County.

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roasted-vegetablesWhen I was growing up, my mother served most of our vegetables hot and moist. That’s because we ate a lot of home-canned veggies. When you open up a Mason jar filled with garden produce, the vegetables are “pre-softened” from the liquid and the canning process.  So that was how we ate most vegetables.  As a consequence, I grew up disliking the taste of many of them.

As an adult, I have changed my status to vegetable “lover” by utilizing a different cooking method, which is roasting. Hallelujah! What a difference roasting makes to the taste and appearance of a vegetable (mothers out there—take note of this for your picky eaters).

Roasting is a little more time-consuming than boiling or microwaving a vegetable, but the extra minutes are worth the effort. Roasting vegetables in the oven caramelizes the outside of the veggie, giving it a sweet, but crispy, taste.

What Vegetables to Roast?

Root vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots are the most common choices, with broccoli, cauliflower, squash, and brussels sprouts coming in a close second. But don’t be afraid to try other vegetables such as summer squash, peppers, green beans, asparagus, onions, or even tomatoes.

If you want, you can mix two or more veggies together. Just make sure they are compatible, time-wise.  For example, roast cauliflower with broccoli, or butternut squash with potatoes.

Roasting Pointers

First cut the vegetables down to bite-sized pieces, then toss with your favorite oil or seasoned oil mixture. Generally a tablespoon or two of oil will suffice, unless you have a large amount of veggies to roast. The oil helps the vegetables crisp up in the oven and adds a rich flavor.

I like to use olive oil when roasting vegetables, but any oil will work. Use a couple of large spoons to mix or just stick your (clean) hands into the bowl and combine until everything is evenly coated.

Spread the vegetables onto a baking sheet that’s been lightly coated with cooking spray. They need lots of space, so use two baking sheets if necessary. Crowding will make the vegetables steam instead of roast. Once the veggies are on the baking sheet, sprinkle with a little seasoning—salt, pepper, or other herbs. I like to use sea salt for extra crunch.

Roast Until You See Toast

Make sure the oven is good and hot before you put the vegetables in to roast. 425°F is ideal for roasting most vegetables–if the oven temperature is too low, the vegetables will overcook before they’ve had a chance to brown.

Roast your vegetables until they are tender enough to pierce with a fork. Don’t worry if you see charred bits. Those crispy brown bits are the best part of the vegetable!

General Roasting Times for Vegetables

Cooking times are for roasting vegetables at 425°F.

  • Root vegetables (beets, potatoes, carrots): 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how small you cut them
  • Winter squash (butternut squash, acorn squash): 20 to 60 minutes, depending on how small you cut them
  • Crucifers (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts): 15 to 25 minutes
  • Soft vegetables (zucchini, summer squash, bell peppers): 10 to 20 minutes
  • Thin vegetables (asparagus, green beans): 10 to 20 minutes
  • Onions: 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how crispy you like them
  • Tomatoes: 15 to 20 minutes

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-roast-any-vegetable-101221

http://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/cooking-basics/how-to-roast-vegetables/

Written by: Donna Green, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County

Reviewed by: Melissa Welker, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fulton County

 

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