several times to remove sand and grit. Wash greens in a sink with enough cool water to cover
the vegetables. If greens have insects, add 1 tablespoon of salt per gallon of water. Wash the
vegetables by lifting in an up-and-down motion. Since some minerals and vitamins in fresh
fruits and vegetables are water-soluble they should not be left in the water for more than six to
seven minutes. Use a vegetable brush to clean celery, carrots, beets, and potatoes when they are
not peeled. Also, use disinfectant on fruits and vegetables purchased in overseas areas where
unapproved fertilizers are used. To use the disinfectant, follow the instructions on the
(4) Preparing. Fruits and vegetables are prepared for serving by simply washing,
peeling, or chopping. Vegetables can be peeled manually or with a mechanical vegetable peeler.
(5) Cutting. Recipe directions may call for vegetables to be sliced, diced, cubed,
shredded, or cut in some other manner before serving or cooking.
(6) Preserving. Do not use sulfating agents to preserve food. Refrigerate vegetables
until cooked or served.
(7) Cooking Methods. During cooking, care must be taken to preserve the color,
texture, and nutritional value of vegetables. They should be cooked only until tender, at which
point nutritional value, flavor, and appearance are maximized. Cook them in small batches as
close to serving time as possible. Stagger the starting time of each batch to maintain a
continuous cooking operation up to and throughout the serving period. Use various seasonings
as directed in the recipe.
(a) Boiling and Simmering. Both boiling and simmering are methods commonly
used to cook vegetables. Guidelines for boiling and simmering vegetables are in TM 10-412.
The amount of liquid needed and the approximate cooking time are also given. If cooked
vegetables must be held for any length of time, they should be refrigerated. Liquids from cooked
vegetables should be used in soups, sauces, or gravies for added flavor and to prevent loss of
nutrients from the vegetables. Additional hints for cooking vegetables include the following:
Green vegetables can be cooked covered or uncovered. Follow the cooking times in the recipe.
Yellow vegetables such as squash, wax beans, and corn should be covered. This reduces the
cooking time and reduces the loss of nutritional value and color in the vegetables. White
vegetables should be cooked covered or uncovered as required by the recipes in TM 10-412.
Overcooking may cause them to turn a grayish or brownish color. Red cabbage should be
cooked uncovered. Cook beets in their skins. Beets will retain their color if the taproots and
about 2 inches of stem are left intact. The skin is easily removed after cooking. Also, adding a
small amount of vinegar or lemon juice to beets or red cabbage after cooking can improve the
flavor and color.
(b) Baking. Baking vegetables in their skins preserves their flavor and nutrients.
Do not over-bake, though, or both will be destroyed. Proper peeling of vegetables also helps
reduce the loss of nutrients. White potatoes, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes are particularly
adaptable to baking. Potatoes should be scrubbed thoroughly, dried, and pricked with a fork
before baking. Follow baking temperatures in TM 10-412.