Vegetables, especially leafy vegetables, are part of almost every food we eat daily. So many delicious Nigerian meals and soups are prepared with vegetables. Vegetables are readily available in the market, and very affordable too. However, a lot of vegetables that are used in preparing meals have to be chopped into smaller pieces. Thus, most people prefer to buy and cut them into small pieces at the market. After which, they proceed to wash them and cook with them at home.
The truth is picking, washing, and cutting leafy vegetables, can sometimes be the hardest part of cooking, especially when you are making something like edikan ikong or afang soup.
Nonetheless, it is important to know what is healthier to do, especially as it concerns what you eat. And it is better to wash your vegetables at home before cutting them. But why should you wash your vegetables before cutting them? This article briefly explains why.
Why vegetables should be washed before cutting
It is important to wash your vegetables before you eat them to make sure they are clean and safe to eat. However, it is also vital they are washed before you cut them.
Here are some reasons why vegetables should be washed before cutting:
Loss of nutrients
Many leafy vegetables are a rich source of nutrients. They are high in dietary fiber, folate, ascorbic acid, vitamin K, Magnesium, Calcium, Iron, and Potassium. They also contain plenty of phytochemicals, such as β-carotene flavonoids.
Cutting leafy vegetables before washing opens up pores in the vegetable, and washing the vegetable after they’ve been chopped can lead to a loss of nutrients. You will notice that the water is greener when you wash uncut vegetables than cut vegetables.
If you want to ensure that your vegetables are properly washed and clean, it’s better to wash them thoroughly at home and cut them. A lot of sand and debris can be eliminated after you wash them first. Additionally, some of these vegetable sellers at the market will have cuts on their hands while cutting the vegetable, and the blood will start dripping on the vegetable. To avoid these and ensure food safety, it’s best to wash your vegetables at home and cut it yourself.
One of the causes of food poisoning is through poor washing of vegetables. Thus, you should also know to wash your vegetables properly.
How to wash your leafy vegetables
Washing your vegetables well will help remove bacteria, such as E.coli, from the surface of the vegetable. These bacteria are usually attached to the soil in the vegetables.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before and after washing your vegetable
- Cut out any damaged areas on leaves or stems before washing
- Wash them under a running tap and rub them under a bowl of water.
- Rinse your leafy vegetables with salt water
- Clean the knife and chopping board very well before chopping the leafy vegetables.
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