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Jamaican Articles - Tips on Jamaican Vegetable Recipes

Jamaican vegetables and vegetable recipes are very important and Get Jamaica has put together several hints and tips abbot Jamaican vegetables and vegetable recipes. There e are five major aspects the selection of Jamaican vegetables, the care and storage of Jamaican vegetables, the preparation of vegetable for cooking, cooking to retain the protective element and the importance of the Jamaican vegetables in the diet. Treatment of green, white, red and yellow Jamaican vegetables during preparation to retain the minerals and vitamins is very important.

When buying Jamaican vegetables you should try to buy these in season. Many Jamaican vegetables are in Jamaican markets all year round and modern agriculture has greatly extended the season for many others, but some when out of season lack flavor and freshness. Jamaican vegetables should be fresh, firm and ripe. Do not buy Jamaican vegetables that are old withered; moldy, bruised, under ripe or overripe, there is no saving in cost from purchasing Jamaican vegetables in these conditions. Head Jamaican vegetables should be should be solid with few waste leaves. Jamaican cauliflower should be white and firm, with no blemishes. Leafy Jamaican vegetables should be crisp. Jamaican peas and beans should have crisp pods. Buy only Jamaican vegetables of medium size and regular shape. Buy only the amount of summer Jamaican vegetables you can use immediately, because they deteriorate in quality very quickly and are best when cooked soon after gathering. Jamaican vegetables that are canned can remain longer and out of season, but the minute that the cans are opened they must be used as they cannot remain refrigerated for over 2 -3 days.

Caring of Jamaican vegetables is very important. If Jamaican vegetables are not prepared once they are purchased they must be refrigerated Peas and corn should be cooked soon after being purchased because they will lose their flavor quickly. Greens and crisp Jamaican vegetables should be washed and placed in closely covered enamel or porcelain containers. Jamaican vegetables such as sweet potatoes and dasheen should be kept in a firm and good condition, uninjured and stored in a dry, cool, well ventilated place. Most of them keep better if they were packed in an airtight container. In essence wrapping some of these Jamaican vegetables in newspaper can prevent the Jamaican vegetables from rubbing together and bruising.

 Before preparing the Jamaican vegetables wash all the Jamaican vegetables even if they look clean. A vegetable brush is almost a necessity. Dry Jamaican vegetables may be improved by soaking them before cooking for several hours.  Jamaican vegetables that are soaked after they are pared lose some soluble Jamaican food materials. Scrape thinned-skinned Jamaican vegetables and pare thick-skinned Jamaican vegetables or remove the skin after cooking. Make thin parings except in the case of turnips, from which a thick layer of corky material should be removed. Many Jamaican vegetables, particularly of the bud, head and Jamaican fruit groups, should be immersed in cold salt water for at least ½ and hour. This freshens the fiber and drives out any insects that have taken refuge in crevices. Leaf Jamaican vegetables should be washed in several waters or in running water. The leaves should be lifted out of the water rather than the water poured off.

There are several methods that can be used to retain the protective elements in Jamaican vegetables. This allows you to keep the vegetable over a longer period. Baking the vegetable is the best method to preserve vitamins and minerals. Dry baking in their skins generally used for potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, turnips, carrots, onions and parsnips is a simple method whereby they are baked in a hot oven until they are just tender when pierced with a sharp fork. Baking, however, also includes roasting of whole Jamaican vegetables with meat, gravy or fat, especially when potatoes or sweet potatoes are scraped preserving minerals under the skin.

 Scalloping is a form of baking especially when fresh Jamaican vegetables are used with cheese or crumbs. Leftover cooked Jamaican vegetables may be prepared by these methods also, but the vitamin and mineral value will be determined by the first cooking. Only baking in the jacket will preserve the vitamins. Waterless cooking of fresh Jamaican vegetables is any process in which no water is added. The water in the Jamaican vegetable itself does the cooking. A thick walled kettle with a tight fitting lid is the necessary equipment. Very low heat is used and the Jamaican vegetable is tender in a very short time because neither heat nor steam escapes. No minerals are lost and the loss of vitamins is almost as low as in baking.

Steaming is cooking in live steam and valuable for the Jamaican vegetables that can stand a high temperature for a longer period, Jamaican carrots, Jamaican beets, parsnips, Jamaican sweet potatoes, wax beans or those Jamaican vegetables that are cooked with Jamaican meat in the Jamaican meat pot so that the extracted minerals and vitamins are used in the gravy. Boiling does the most damage to Jamaican vegetables, yet it is used most frequently by Jamaican chefs and homemakers because it takes a very short time to prepare. Although there are methods that reduce losses of minerals and vitamins during the preparation of the recipe. Most of the minerals and salts occurring in Jamaican vegetables are easily dissolved in water and the loss of vitamins during boiling takes place in several ways. They may be destroyed by over heating, by prolonged exposure to air and by dissolving out in the boiled water. Boiling takes away the principal Jamaican food values gained by the intelligent buying of Jamaican vegetables have been thrown away.

In every case only the smallest possible of water should be used and it should be boiling rapidly when the Jamaican vegetables are dropped in. Then the heat reduced when Jamaican vegetables are at boiling temperature. They should be cooked only until just tender.  To boil Jamaican vegetables properly methods be selected according to the color. Green Jamaican vegetables are best cooked in an uncovered kettle in water that is slightly alkaline to retain the color. A bit of baking soda may be used to intensify the color but this practice is not highly recommended as too much can distort the taste of the vegetable. Cook Jamaican vegetables only until tender as if they are overcooked green Jamaican vegetables turn brownish because of chemical changes in the coloring matter; the fine flavor is ruined while Jamaican food values are lost.

White Jamaican vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower and onion are strong-flavored and if boiled the oils in the Jamaican vegetables taint the color of the hard water and can make the Jamaican vegetables taste different. To prevent this add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. Drop the vegetable into enough rapidly boiling water to cover and cook with the kettle uncovered until just tender to the fork. Add the drained if any to your soup.

Red color Jamaican vegetables are produced by acid and needs to be kept that way. Tomatoes usually have enough acid of their own to keep the color but beets and red cabbages need a teaspoon of lime juice to keep the color. Cook these red Jamaican vegetables in a small amount of water in a covered pot.

Yellow Jamaican vegetables are among the most valuable and stable. That rich yellow color is not only beauty but actually highlights the presence of Vitamin A. Not much damage can be done to it although the minerals and other vitamins can still be destroyed if the vegetable is carelessly handled. Cook covered in a minimum amount of water. Jamaican vegetables can be prepared by other methods such as broiling, sautéing, panning or combinations of methods according to the desires of your guests.

The appreciation of Jamaican vegetables as Jamaican food has greatly increased in recent years, with an extended understanding of the Jamaican vegetables peculiar values. Jamaican vegetables have all classes of vitamins A through to E, with other minerals, such as starch, iron, calcium, phosphorous and iodine. Besides all this a general helping of Jamaican vegetables helps to keep the body’s normal alkaline balance, which contributes to health and vitality.

So let’s review:

ü        Jamaican vegetables and vegetable recipes have a lot of mineral and vitamin uses.

ü        Jamaican vegetables can be prepared in different ways used to preserve and retain the minerals

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