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No. 11 (July 1955)
– 60 –

WINTER VEGETABLES

Vegetables fresh from the garden are a source of many appetising and health-giving meals. The bright colours of carrots, pumpkins, and red beets contrasted with the green of spinach, silver beet and cabbage add interest to the dinner plate.

When green leafy vegetables are removed from the ground they immediately begin to dry and some of their vitamin content is destroyed. Therefore, whenever possible pick green vegetables just before they are to be used. Wash them quickly in clean, cold water, and put them in a small quantity of boiling, salted water. The saucepan should have a tightly fitting lid. Green vegetables should not be overcooked; cabbage, for instance, or puha should not be cooked for more than 20 minutes, while silver beet needs only 5–10 minutes boiling.

Root vegetables are hardier than greens, and may be stored for several months out of the ground without any great loss of nutrients. Some of their vitamin content is destroyed, but they are better able to withstand storage and cooking than the leafy vegetables. Artichokes, kumaras, potatoes, red beets, parsnips, carrots, leeks, onions are example of winter root vegetables, and pumpkin, too, is placed in this class of hardy and useful roots. All are best cooked in a steamer with a tight fitting lid. When vegetables are boiled some of their chemicals and vitamins dissolve in the

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Potatoes baked in their jackets and garnished with parsley. (Department of Agriculture Photograph.)

water and they are lost unless the vegetable water is used for making gravy. Growing children need large helpings of freshly cooked vegetables and the whole family will benefit from a generous daily ration of mixed vegetables—some root ones and some green leaves.