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Do you eat the skin of pumpkin?
Tender roasted pumpkin skin adds a chewy caramelised deliciousness to meals with the nutrition bonus of extra fibre. The skin of Kent pumpkin is wonderful.
Some varieties have skins that remain tough; Qld Blue pumpkin is one of them. For the tough skinned varieties, scrape the cooked flesh away from the skin at the table or before blending into a soup.
The no peeling before cooking approach means you waste less edible pumpkin flesh and you save your own flesh from a wayward knife injury.
Cook your next pumpkin with the skin on and decide for yourself.
Not peeling before cooking certainly saves time in vegetable preparation.
Here are 8 time saving nutrition boosting tips for you to start doing today.
Food and cooking is not just about delicious nutrition. More than ever before, as a community, we are conscious of the need to reduce food waste, spend our food budget wisely, conserve power and shift to less manufactured foods. Many of these time saving suggestions tick those boxes as well.
I’d love to read your tips. Please share them at my FaceBook page.
1. Scrub. Don’t peel.
Scrub the skins of pumpkin, carrot and potato to remove dirt. Cut into pieces before cooking. Not peeling before cooking saves time in vegetable preparation and adds fibre. Uncut, unpeeled vegetables, such as baby carrots and baby chat potatoes, retain more nutrients than cut vegetables when boiled. The intact skin acts as a barrier to protect and prevent nutrients leaching out into cooking water.
2. Steam or microwave vegetables to preserve nutrients.
Partly fill a saucepan with water (say a couple of cm in the bottom). Place cut vegetables directly into pan or onto a steamer and cover pan with a snug lid. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat a little and steam vegetables until cooked. Steam and microwave cooking is fast.
3. Pre-cut for another day.
While you have the chopping board out, cut up extra vegetables and salad items into the size and shape needed for another night’s cooking, for use in salads or as a planned snack food. Place chopped vegetables in an airtight container or plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can from the bag.
4. Pre-cut raw meats before freezing.
Be careful and sure to do this after you have cut and packed all vegetables (previous tip) to avoid contaminating the vegetables with blood and raw meat (a food poisoning risk). Use clean utensils and cutting boards. Wash hands very well before preparing raw meats and freeze immediately after cutting.
5. Cook more than you need ready for another meal.
It takes less time and effort to cook a recipe for six people than it does to cook the same recipe for two people on three different days. Double or triple up recipes with the plan to freeze down or use on another day. Think you’ll be bored with the same meal?
6. Avoid onion tears by using pure onion powder.
Raw or semi-cooked onion in rissoles and fast cooking meals is a taste disappointment. Onion powder adds a homely flavour to recipes and marinades without the need to shed tears or pre-cook the onion. A real time saver. One teaspoon equals about ⅓ of a medium onion. Although, you lose volume and bulk when you eliminate whole fresh onion, you add a new level of flavour with the powder.
7. Use the oven to its maximum potential.
With the oven on, you may as well roast up two trays of vegetables as one. Small oven? No problem. After you’ve cooked the main meal and before you settle down to eat, pop extra trays of vegetables into the oven to bake.
8. Freeze leftover tomato passata, tomato concentrates and paste in ice cube trays.
If you are short on ice cube trays, once frozen, release the cubes and immediately return them to the freezer. Concentrated tomato is both flavoursome and an excellent source of vitamin A and lycopene. The nutrients are preserved with freezing.
Share your time saving tips with me over at FaceBook.
You might also like to check out this page for more effort saving tips.