Updated December 20, 2016.
Gluten free vegetables are a GF-foodies best friend.
Their sheer simplicity and the fact they are naturally gluten-free, make vegetables one of the easiest foods for those who have Celiac Disease or who are gluten intolerant.
Gluten free vegetables contain a high concentration carotene and Vitamin A, what the human body needs for longevity, and good mental and bodily health.
These nutrients are essential for great vision, smooth and glowing skin, healthy mucous membranes tissues, and an optimum immune system that helps keep the body free from bacterial infections.
Crucial for tooth enamel and bone development, and for the creation of red and white blood corpuscles, carotene and Vitamin A play a vital role in reproduction, development before birth and lactation.
The deeper, more intense color of vegetables is a good indicator of rich nutrition.
Colorful vegetables, such as carrots, yellow squash, sweet potatoes and yams are valuable sources of carotene, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C and phyto-nutrients, as are all leafy green vegetables and seaweed.
With the right recipe, strong tasting vegetables, the ones best for health, such as mustard and beet greens, kale, collards, chard, spinach and other greens, can be delicious.
Where vegetables are grown, condition of the soil, amount of sunshine and rain affect the amount and quality of nutrition.
Consider choosing vegetables from organic sources.
Fresh cut vegetables have the best nutrition and flavor, both of which, go hand-in-hand. When nutrition is lost, so is flavor.
The longer vegetables lay in the fields, are stored or sit on the store shelf, the more nutrition and flavor are lost. Significant losses also occur in processing such as freezing, drying and canning.
Nutrition is only health building if the human body absorbs and assimilates it. Cooking can help or hinder this process depending on the vegetable.
Let’s explore carrots as an example. Carrots are a delicious vegetable extremely high in carotene. They are commonly eaten raw in sack lunches, on salads and for snacks. In the raw state less of the carotene in carrots is absorbed.
Yet when cooked, the carotene in carrots becomes more bio-available and absorption rates soar. The same is true for the previously mentioned greens.
Incredible as it may seem, almost all of the nutrition in vegetables is absorbed by the human body when they are freshly juiced or liquefied, and consumed immediately.
Soaking, boiling and excessive washing of vegetables washes away most of their nutrition, particularly valuable Vitamins B2, Vitamin C and phytonutrients.
The next greatest loss in nutrition is by peeling, because most of the nutrition and flavor is found in the peel. In root vegetables, the same holds true, except nutrition and flavor is held in the tissues just below the peel. Using vegetables with the peel left on adds color, interesting texture and a pleasing flavor complexity.
When preparing vegetables for a meal, use rapid cooking methods such as sauteing chilled vegetables in coconut oil or lightly steaming them in as short as time as possible, just until they are crisp-tender. Add winter butter before serving.
In her book, Let's Cook It Right, Adelle Davis wrote, “Your ability as a cook is shown not by the desserts you make, but by the quantity and variety of vegetables your family demands.”
There’s a certain amount of truth to this. It’s a motivating challenge!
How fortunate we are to live in a time when so many varieties of fresh vegetables are available year around.
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