Roasted vegetables are universally pleasurable to eat. They are a change from your usual steamed veggie side dish, but still retaining the nutrients. Capsicum and even cauliflower are a great roasted vegetable.
Why roast vegetables
Aside from being an easy way to cook vegetables, roasting also brings out the flavors of these healthy treats, especially compared to boiling them - which let's all admit, just makes vegetables to worst. Roasting also adds a savory depth of flavor one can only achieve once the Maillard reaction, which is a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing sugar, usually requiring the addition of heat. Like caramelization, it is a form of non-enzymatic browning, and a bit of caramelization have occurred, and crispy edges, which are a textural delight.
Though cooking vegetables, including roasting them lower levels of some nutrients, including water-soluble vitamins like C and some B vitamins, there's still a big trade off, because roasting can also make some nutrients easier for the body to absorb. Tomatoes, for example, provide higher levels of lycopene when roasted, which may have cardiovascular benefits. Cooked carrots, on the other hand, have higher levels of carotenoids, rich in antioxidants.
Best vegetables to roast
Root vegetables are a great vegetable to roast. These include potatoes, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and carrots. However, for a bit more creativity, look through your crisper drawer and you'll find all sorts of roasting contenders. These could be crucifers such as broccoli and brussels sprouts to surprises such as zucchini, onions, bell peppers, and cabbage. Tomatoes can be roasted and taste delicious!
How to roast vegetables
And as promised, here are some tips on how you can expertly roast your favorite vegetables to bring out more from them, both flavor and nutrients.
Don't skimp on the oil
The first step is cutting your vegetables down into bite-sized pieces and tossing them with generous amounts of olive oil. Use enough oil, about one to two tablespoons should be suffice, to give the vegetables a slick, glossy coating, but not so much that your vegetables are soaked. The oil will help the vegetables cook more evenly and crisp up in the oven, as well as add a rich flavour that will make the roasted vegetables irresistible.
The most common oil to use when roasting vegetables is olive oil, however you could also use coconut oil, avocado oil, or any other oil you like to use. It is a good idea to toss the vegetables with your hands so the oil can be rubbed into the vegetables and make sure they're evenly coated.
You can also toss your vegetables with some salt and black pepper or any other seasonings.
Spread the vegetables
Spread the vegetables out onto a baking sheet so that they are one layer, making sure there is space around the veggies. You can always split them between two baking sheets if you need to. Crowding will make the vegetables steam instead of roast, and that's the opposite of what we're going for.
Before you put your vegetables in the oven, make sure the oven is hot. You can put the oven on a moderate temperature, about 180 degrees Celsius.
Roast until the vegetables are tender and you can see some charred bits on the edges. These charred bits are what makes roasted vegetables taste so good, so even if the vegetables are already tender and cooked through, keep roasting until you see the vegetables start to char around the tips and edges.
For more healthy cooking tips and recipes, visit our recipe section.
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