Monday, December 1, 2014

The Use Of Pre-Cut Vegetables

There has been a discussion recently about the decline of chopping with folks wondering why anyone would want to buy pre-cut packaged veggies:) They are supposedly unhealthy and violate the sacred bond between the humans and nature. I don't know about the latter, but it's generally believed that pre-chopped vegetables lose some of their nutrition value, however, I think there is a time and place for their usage, too.

I will admit I often rely on salad mixes (which are often cheaper and include various sorts of salad leaves), however, I mostly chop my own vegetables unless it's something hard and difficult to chop finely, like cabbage, for instance. Again, it depends on what you need it for. If you want to use cabbage for a stir-fry, it must be chopped very finely indeed, so a pre-cut packaged variety comes in handy.

Some things I practically never buy fresh. Take beets, for instance. Why, it takes more than an hour to cook them, and who  has time for that nowadays?:) Pre-packaged foods and pre-cut vegetables or frozen mixes are a sort of convenience foods, but they can be ideal for a busy homemaker.

No offence meant to anyone, but though I like to cook, I think there is definitely a place for convenience foods in the modern kitchen, even for a housewife.  I'm a snob about my bread, though. Never used a mix for the bread-baker, never will. I'm firmly convinced they are unhealthy:) Well, what do you think?


  1. I've had good luck with beets when I cube them, for me they cook faster that way. I just have a really good big knife for the stubborn fresh beets. I use the bagged salad mixes during especially busy times, but I find that I don't go through them quickly enough and the salad goes bad before I've finished the bag. So what's been working for me lately is more frequent trips to the organic market, and smaller amounts of veggies at a time. Fresh is best, frozen is next best, and bagged/pre-cut is an inevitable third best. ;) I am not even a homemaker (I wish I were), but my goal is to make as much from scratch as I can. Bread-making sounds complicated! Probably is healthier. Good for you.

  2. I do buy the frozen mixed vegetables. I use them for a very quick stir fry,soup or casserole meal. Adding in also whatever fresh things I have too. Most of the time I cut fresh things up myself. Bread we make too. Everything naturally starts to loose vitamins and such the minute it is picked but you can just do the best you can to serve things as fresh as possible. Even the vegetables bought uncut by these people in these discussions have lost vitamins already. :) People can find problems in anything and everything! :-) You have to pick your battles. :) I try to make my own convenience things by cooking extra rice or beans and freezing portions of it and such. I also can beets!! :))) I do buy fresh spinach in bags and Romain lettuce hearts. We have a garden but do not always have lettuce or spinach ready. Like many I am trying to make more of my own things and depend on the grocers for less. We are though so blessed to have them to fall back on. I have heard many say due to arthritis and such cutting up things hurts and they feel so blessed to be able to buy fresh vegetables already cut up for their families meals. To each their own! One way or the other good meals do get on the family's table! :-) Sarah

  3. Teresa, we do big shopping once a week on Saturday, however, I mostly buy fresh vegetables every day and mostly small portions (just enough for 1-2 meals), otherwise I end up having the same problems (vegetables going bad). Fruits are an exception as they are often much cheaper when bought in bulk and stuff like apples doesn't get bad in a couple of days.

    Beats are sold pre-cooked or fresh over here, I nearly always buy the first variety, just as I practically never buy fresh red cabbage, mostly frozen or in a jar. As for bread, when you have a bread baking machine, it's really not that complicated and tastes much better than store-bought sorts (except artisan bread but it's pricy). Even busy people can find time for it, and the machines aren't expensive.

  4. Sarah, I buy frozen mixes not so much even to save time but they are often cheaper. Vegetable market is seasonal but sometimes you need a certain sort which is quite expensive at the moment, hence you choose frozen. It's the same with fish for me, as fish normally costs a lot over here.

    I wish we had a garden but I still doubt my husband would let me grow vegetables in it. He is convinced gardens are purely decorative:) I tried making my own convenience foods but found I didn't like the taste after defrosting. They must have special techniques at the factories. So it's mostly ravioli and lasagna for us, when I don't have time to cook or a Chinese takeout:)

    BTW, I knew someone with RA and she had to rely on pre-cut stuff as she could hardly use her hands. People forget when they are talking about "good old times" that many people used to have domestic help and children were expected to help much more than they generally do now.

  5. I never buy packaged salad mixes. I'm too suspicious... they are regularly mentioned in news because of salmonella or other health issues.

    I like to cook. I love the process, I love to work with my hands.Maybe I should say cooking is my hobby, but I don't because it sounds like something like ingredient-hunting for the special/pricey/exotic ingredient's sake. (and because I don't like the way hobbies are spoken about nowadays, they have a life of their own. )

    Where were I? Oh yes I love red cabbage and beets! I couldn't dream about buying them other way than fresh. ;-) I try to limit beets to 1-2 meals per week... If you slice cabbage with a knife, you will eventually be able to cut it very thinly. Or you can use a cheese slicer. I do buy frozen green beans and chopped spinach in the wintertime. It's good though that there is a wide selection to be bought according to everyone's situation.

    As I said, I like to do things, to make with my own hands. It's kind of therapy and gives satisfaction, it's like living in the countryside at least a little bit even though I am not, but would love to!

  6. Hi Miriam!

    Here the package always states that the salad mix was washed THREE times:) I think our food control is pretty good actually, though I remember there was a scare in Germany several years ago.

    I like to cook, too, but I will admit I like the dishes which are quickly made and don't create too much mess in the kitchen. My life is pretty hectic at the moment (though it looks like things are going to slow down a bit). I noticed when I'm stressed I'm not in the mood to cook anything complicated. May be, it's only me?

  7. And, btw, I do cut my own bread! I hope it counts for something:)

  8. Each home has to make things the way it is best for them. Nothing is wrong wrong. I enjoy hearing how other home maker go about doing anything around the house. I get ideas and too it is just fun to hear from our sisterhood. We each have reasons we do things this way or that. What works for us all that matters! :-) I do love these discussions! Sarah

    1. Sarah, your comment landed in Spam, I don't know why:)

  9. As a bachelor, I find pre-cut veggies handy.

    I like to eat, and while I like to cook sometimes, more often than not it's something that I want to get done as quickly as possible and over with, so they're helpful, in that regard - plus, as one man alone, if I were to buy too many veggies, some might go off before I'm finished using them, so a mixture of pre-cut is better, giving me variety without excess quantity, at a time. :)

  10. A small household certainly presents its own problems:)