Vegetables may be classified as plants which are cultivated for human consumption. They are usually cooked or eaten raw as part of the main or savoury course.
Vegetables are an essential part of the diet. They supply, in varying quantities, vitamin A in the form of carotene, vitamin C and vitamins of the B group as well as natural sugars and starch. Leafy vegetables introduce cellulose into the diet, which is essential for natural bodily functions.
Vegetables are available fresh, frozen, dried, bottled or canned. Green veget-ables should be bought while they are as fresh as possible and preferably prepared and eaten the same day. However, they may be prepared, washed, drained, stored in a plastic box or bag and chilled in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Root vegetables may be stored in a cool, airy place for up to 5 days, but are best prepared and cooked as soon after they have been ‘pulled’ as possible.
Many vegetables may be eaten raw and those that call for cooking should only be cooked long enough to make them tender.
Vegetables may be cooked by boiling, steaming, braising, frying and in some cases baking and roasting.