How to Remove Starch From Vegetables

What are high carb (carbohydrate) starch vegetables and why do we want to destarch them?

Starchy_vegetables

Starchy Vegetables

High starch vegetables are vegetables that are high in carb (carbohydrates) and sugars and low in protein.  Some high starch vegetables are: corn, potatoes, beans, peas, yams, and many other root vegetables (vegetables that grow under the ground). High starch vegetables generally contain 80% – 90% carbohydrates  of their nutritional value with 20% indigestible starch.

There are several health and nutritional reasons we should destarch these vegetables before consuming. First, reducing the starch content reduces sugars that lead to increased potential for diabetes, obesity, and other diseases.  the body uses carbohydrates and sugars for energy, but the unused carbohydrates that have been consumed  gets stored and converts to fat.  Reduction in carbohydrate (sugar) intake can prevent rapid rises and falls in blood sugar, which can cause irritability and difficulty concentrating.

“These high carb (carbohydrate) vegetable  cells are held together by pectin, a form of sugar that acts as a type of glue. These cells also contain starch granules—tiny sacs that resemble water balloons, as well as simple sugars. When these starch granules are exposed to water and heat, they begin to swell, eventually bursting, and releasing a shower of swollen starch molecules. ” (www.seriouseats.com)

Why do we want to destarch high carbohydrate vegetables before consuming? Vegetables rich in starch and sugar and low in protein that are cooked at high temperatures crate a toxic substance, acrylamide, that inhibits brain functioning.

Soaking these high carbohydrate vegetables  has benefits beyond removing approximately half the starch. Soaking also  reduces the levels of acrylamide, the chemical formed when foods high in starch are fried or cooked at high heat, such as baking, toasted or roasting. Acrylamides may contribute to cancers and reduction in brain function . Soaking these vegetables for two hours before cooking reduced the level of acrylamide by 48 percent, researchers from Leatherhead Food International reported in the March 2008 issue of the “Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.”

The soaking process may also remove some pesticides that were used in the growing of these vegetables. The soil in which they were grown often contain toxic metals, and are suspected as a possible cause of some cases of autism. The vegetables will feel noticeably smoother as the rough starch granules have been pulled out of the vegetables and are now in the water. The water will appear cloudy.

If possible, eat organic foods as they do not contain pesticides, and have more nutrients (vitamins and minerals). If eating non-organic food, wash fruit and vegetables well if eating the outside.

Below is a healthier way to prepare  root vegetables for coking as you would French fries:

  1. Using a vegetable brush and clean water with a few drops of Clorox or vegetable cleaner, wash and scrub the outside of the vegetables (reduces acrylamides 23%),
  2. cut in strips so they resemble French fries,
  3. as you are cutting the strips, place them in a bowl of ice water,
  4. soak in the ice water for twenty (30) minutes (reduces acrylamides 35%) ,
  5. scoop the vegetables out of this water making sure to leave all this water behind,
  6. put the vegetables in another bowl of clean ice water,
  7. refrigerate for 2 hours making sure the vegetables are covered with cold water (reduces acrylamides 48%),
  8. remove from refrigerator and pat dry,
  9. vegetables are now ready to bake or fry; baking is my recommendation as it is healthier and any acrylamides produced will be half those created by frying provided the baking temperature is less than what you would use in frying.

There are a few more steps to getting that perfect baked vegetable French fry; crispy out side and soft inside.  Check out our blog post: “How to make French fries healthier.”

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

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