Read these 74 Fruit & Vegetables Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Gourmet tips and hundreds of other topics.
Hold avocado flat on cutting board; slice with sharp knife around center, (not through pit).
Twist off the top; it should separate easily.
Hold the avocado firmly in one hand, and strike the pit with chefs knife; it should stick firmly in the pit. Twist slightly and pull up to remove pit.
Stir fried eggplant in a savory blackbean and garlic sauce.
1/3 cup dried black beans
2 cups vegetable stock
1 Tablespoon malt vinegar
1 Tablespoon dry sherry
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 red chili pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 inch fresh ginger, chopped
2 whole eggplants
2 teaspoons salt
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
4 green onions, sliced diagonally
4 whole radishes, shredded
Soak the beans overnight in plenty of cold water. Drain and place in a saucepan. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil and boil rapidly uncovered for 10 minutes. Drain. Return the beans to the saucepan with the stock and bring to a boil.
Blend together the vinegar, sherry, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, chili and ginger in a small bowl. Add to the beans, then cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until the beans and tender and the sauce has thickened. Stir occasionally.
Cut the eggplants into chunks and place in a colander. Sprinkle with the salt and leave to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse well to remove the salt and dry on paper towels.
Heat the oil in a wok. Add the eggplant and garlic. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes until the eggplant has started to brown.
Add the sauce to the eggplant with spring onions. Heat thoroughly and garnish with radish shreds.
Even spinach haters should be encouraged to give this a try ~ it's delicious.
2 bacon slices
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup milk
1 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook bacon slices in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels and drain. Crumble bacon and reserve.
Add onion and garlic to bacon drippings in skillet and sauté over medium heat until tender, about 6 minutes. Add flour and stir 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Increase heat to high and whisk until sauce thickens and boils, about 2 minutes.
Reduce heat to low. Add chopped spinach, lemon juice and lemon peel to skillet and stir until heated through. Stir in Parmesan cheese and reserved bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
To ensure that your eggplant is not bitter try this simple process.
Slice or cut eggplant according to recipes directions.
Place the pieces in a colander or on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels.
Sprinkle table salt on the eggplant pieces; let sit for 30 minutes. This "sweats" out the bitter juices.
Rinse with cold water and pat dry. Proceed as recipe directs.
The best way to keep an avocado from spoiling once you cut into the meat is to sprinkle it with lime or lemon juice or even vinegar. Also, wrap the avocado slices tightly in plastic wrap before storing in the refrigerator to keep oxygen from the air from browning the flesh. If you have the capability to vacuum seal, this will keep the avocado slices even fresher.
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and peeled
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large shallot, minced
1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
lemon juice to taste
Slice the asparagus diagonally into 1/4 inch thick slices, leaving the tips about 3 inches long.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the asparagus, season with a few pinches salt and saute over high heat until nearly tender. Add the shallot, garlic, lemon zest and parsley, toss well and cook 1 minute more.
Season with lemon juice and pepper to taste
Excellent on a buffet this recipe will serve 20; you adjust quantities accordingly. Prepare the dressing and keep it indefinitely in the refrigerator.
100 spears asparagus
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup vinegar
1 3/4 cups olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Steam asparagus about 10 minutes, until crisp-tender.
Combine remaining ingredients; shake well.
Pour over blanched asparagus.
For an unusual combination, this recipe of carrots, mushrooms and rosemary is wonderful.
12 carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 Tablespoon Rosemary
1/4 cup of Butter
Place all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer; covered until tender, about 7-10 minutes.
Peeling tomatoes before using them in sauces or soups will result in a
much finer texture.
To make this an easy task, cut an "X" with a sharp
knife in the bottom of the tomato.
Place in boiling water and blanch, removing the tomato when the skin begins to curl.
Let the tomato cool slightly and remove skin with your fingers.
Shallots, commonly get mixed up with green onions, and they couldn't be more different.
When a recipe calls for shallots, they are referring to
the sweeter, smaller, cousin of the onion (part of the allium family).
Look for shallots near the onions at the grocery store. They should be firm, and have shiny brown papery skin on the outside.
Keep shallots in a cool dark place for up to four months.
A tangy, garlicky dressing dresses up everyday green beans. This recipe can be made up to 24 hours ahead and is best served at room temperature making it a perfect dish for buffets and entertaining.
1 pound green beans, blanched until tender crisp
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
freshly ground pepper -- to taste
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup virgin olive oil
Arrange poached green beans in a serving dish.
In a small bowl, beat together the garlic, Dijon mustard, pepper, parmesan cheese, balsamic and red wine vinegars.
Whisk in the olive oil until it is completely incorporated.
Pour the dressing over the beans and serve warm or at room temperature.
A delicious preparation for fresh strawberries.
1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
6 tablespoons dry Marsala wine
4 egg yolks
4 tablespoons sugar
4 mint leaves for decoration
Place the strawberries in a bowl and mix with 2
tablespoons of the Marsala and set aside.
In the top half of a double boiler, whisk the egg yolks
and sugar to a creamy consistency. In the bottom half of the double boiler, bring a small amount of
water to a boil.
Place the egg mixture in the top of the double boiler, making sure it doesn't touch the water, Beat well until it starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.
Be careful not to beat too long and cook the eggs. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining Marsala wine, whisking until well incorporated.
Return to the top of the double boiler and whisk until thickened,about 3-5 minutes. It should form "ribbons". Remove from heat and set aside.
Divide he strawberries among four wine glasses and top
with zabaglione cream. Decorate with a mint leaf before serving.
When preparing stuffed vegetables such as stuffed Green Peppers or Zucchini, it can be a messy job.
To make it easier, faster and tidier, place the vegetable you are stuffing snugly in the baking dish that you will be using and then spoon in the filling.
The vegetables will be more stable and less likely to
fall over this way.
Follow these simple steps to get perfect veggies from your
10 Minute Veggies:
Zucchini or Yellow Summer Squash - cut in 1 1/2 inch slices
Mushrooms - halved, whole or caps
Sweet Bell Peppers (all colours), - cut as desired
Eggplant - cut into 1/2 inch slices
Onions - cut in 1 inch wedges
15 Minute Veggies:
Carrots - cut in 1/4 inch slices
Potatoes - cut into 1/4 inch slices
Sweet Potatoes - cut into 1/4 inch slices
Hard Winter Squash is very difficult to peel.
To make the task a bit easier, pierce the squash a couple of times with a sharp knife and place in the microwave.
Cook on high power for 2-3 minutes, just long enough to soften it enough to peel it, not long enough for it to begin to cook.
An elegant preparation for asparagus. Serves 6
2 Pounds asparagus, trimmed Salt
1/2 Cup butter
4 Ounces hazelnuts, finely chopped
2 teaspoons tarragon wine vinegar
Steam the asparagus over salted water until crisp-tender and drain well.
Reserve and keep warm. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and when it is
hot, but not yet brown, add the chopped nuts. Cook and stir just until the nuts are light brown, about one minute. Add the vinegar, stir and pour immediately over the asparagus.
This recipe for Duchesse Potatoes is excellent for company as it can be prepared ahead and will serve fourteen people.
5 pounds baking potatoes (Russet)
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 large whole eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 cup half-and-half
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Melted butter, for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Bake the potatoes in the oven for 1 hour, or until tender. Halve them lengthwise and scrape the pulp into a bowl. Press pulp through a ricer into a large bowl. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees.
With an electric mixer beat in the softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, the eggs and yolks, 1 at a time, and the half-and-half. Beat until smooth; add the nutmeg, salt and white pepper.
Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. On a buttered baking sheet pipe into 14 large rosettes and drizzle them with the melted butter. The rosettes can be made 1 day ahead and kept refrigerated, covered loosely.
Bake the rosettes in the middle of the oven for 10 to 15 minutes if the potatoes are at room temperature or for 25 to 30 minutes if chilled, or until heated through. Put them under the broiler about 6 inches from the heat until the tops are golden.
Making these at home is much more economical and very easy to do, although you will need to plan ahead.
12-24 Roma tomatoes
Slice the Romas three-quarters of the way through and
lay the halves out still connected. Sprinkle the cut side with salt to help draw out moisture.
Repeat this procedure with the other tomatoes. If the
air is perfectly dry and the sun hot, cover the tomatoes with cheese cloth and dry them in the
Or you can slip the tomatoes into a very low oven--250 to 275 degrees. Dry uncovered, for about 6 hours or until the tomatoes are rubbery.
Your kitchen will smell wonderful while this tasty crisp
cooks; and your family will know you're wonderful after
they've eaten it!
Rhubarb Apple Crisp
1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup oats
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons margarine -- melted
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups sliced apples
3 cups rhubarb -- diced
Combine all topping ingredients in a bowl, and mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine sugar and flour
Add fruit to flour mixture, and toss to coat.
Spoon fruit mixture into a 2 litre baking dish, sprinkle with topping mixture
Bake at 375 for 40-50 minutes until fruit is tender.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled & cut into cubes
5 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper
In a medium saucepan, combine the potatoes, garlic and enough water to cover by 2 inches. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil over moderately high heat.
Cover the pan and simmer over moderate heat until the potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the potatoes and garlic well, and pass them through a ricer or mash them with a potato masher.
Stir in the milk and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the mashed potatoes with the olive oil
Ever wonder where all those melons we love to eat are grown?
According to the Southern United States Trade Association the
following states are the big producers.
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North and South Carolina,
Tennesse and Texas.
Cantaloupe and Honeydew are available from these states from
May through to October.
Store Potatoes in a cool, dark and well ventilated place.
Ideal storage temperature is 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cooler temperatures will cause the starch to turn to sugar, so don't keep
your potatoes in the refrigerator.
Warmer temperatures will cause potatoes to sprout and they
can quite quickly begin to rot in very hot weather.
Potatoes should never be stored with onions.
Once the squash is cooked, (baked, boiled, or microwaved) let it cool for 10 to 20 minutes so it
will be easier to handle, before cutting in half (if it wasn't
already) and removing the seeds.
Pull a fork lengthwise through the flesh to separate it into long strands.
You can do these steps ahead of time, then prepare any of the spaghetti squash recipes whenever the mood strikes.
A delicious baked eggplant dish. Serve with any grilled or roasted meat.
1 cup bread crumbs
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 large globe eggplant, sliced 3/8" thick
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 pounds tomatoes or
2 large cans canned Italian plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix the breadcrumbs with the dried oregano. Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and coat them with the breadcrumb mixture. Lay them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake them, turning once or twice, until they begin to brown and become fragrant.
Sauté the olive oil, garlic and onion together until soft. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and simmer for 15 minutes until they become more saucy than runny. Toss in the basil and parsley, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes more.
In a baking pan, layer: Sauce, eggplant, sauce, basil, mozzarella and parmesan, perhaps repeating the last five if you have a lot of eggplant. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes, until brown and bubbling.
The best way to store nuts is in their natural state - in their shells.
Shelled nuts can be kept in a paper bag, or a basket in a dry, cool dark location without risk of spoilage for months.
It is light, heat, moisture and exposure to air which cause nuts to go rancid.
If you want to store shelled nuts,click here!
Follow these simple steps for proper storage of Raspberries & Blackberries.
1. Handle fruit gently to avoid bruising.
2. Place berries in single layer in a shallow
container to prevent berries from getting crushed.
3. Store unwashed berries in "crisper" section of
1. Wash artichokes under cold running water.
2. Remove discolored lower petals.
3. Slice off the stems as close to the base as possible.
4. With kitchen scissors, clip off the thorny tops of each leaf.
5. Immerse prepared artichokes in acidulated water (to stop them from discoloring).
Vegetables are excellent when simply grilled on the bbq.
Follow these simple steps for perfect vegetables every time.
1. Cut vegetables into equal sized chunks, slices or pieces.
2. Brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and your favorite dried herb if desired.
3. Thread vegetables onto skewers (chunks), place in a grill basket (slices) or directly on the grill (pieces).
4. Close the grill lid and cook over medium high heat turning when the first side has nice golden brown grill marks.
5. Cook on second side until grill marks appear and vegetables are tender crisp.
Nutty Pea Salad
10 ounces frozen small peas, thawed & patted dry
2 stalks celery, chopped
5 green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup chopped cashews
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
Mix all together and refrigerate overnight.
Yields 3 1/2 cups
Try this traditional simple preparation next time you have asparagus on hand.
Place cooked drained asparagus on hot platter. Saute 1/4 cup
slivered blanched almonds in 3 tablespoons butter until they are a light
Salt and pepper asparagus and pour the sauteed nuts on top.
A simple and tasty preparation for asparagus. Serves 4
1 1/2 Pounds Asparagus, cut diagonally into 1" pieces
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons Lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 Slices bacon fried and crumbled
Place steamer basket in 1/2 inch water in saucepan or skillet (water should not touch the bottom of basket).
Place lower stalk pieces in basket. Cover tightly and heat to boiling; reduce heat. Steam 4 minutes.
Add tips. Cover tightly and steam until crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes longer.
Toss asparagus with parsley, lemon juice and salt.
Sprinkle with bacon and serve.