The Best Way To Keep Shaved Veggies Crisp

As the phrase goes, we eat with our eyes first. Maybe that's why aesthetics play such an important role in what we eat. In fact, research conducted by Physiology & Behavior explains that vision can alter perceptions of taste and smell based on a food's color and shape, which in turn can offer insight on palatability, nutrition, and safety. Thus, limp veggies on a colorful crudité board won't exactly leave dinner guests salivating. Luckily, we've got a hack to keep those vegetables extra crisp.

Terra Firma Farm reports that techniques like ricing, spiralizing, and julienning vegetables have become great ways to make fruits and vegetables interesting again; these days, you can barely pass by a grocery store freezer aisle or a veggie-forward restaurant menu without seeing items like cauliflower rice and zucchini noodles. And shaving veggies can be just as exciting, especially since there's a foolproof way to make sure that your efforts for aestheticism succeed when it comes to slicing.

Say hello to ice water

Almost any vegetable (or fruit!) can be shaved. That means that rutabagas, apples, carrots, asparagus, mango, papaya, broccoli stalks, and parsnips are just some of the many ingredients that can be used to create beautiful ribbons. While using a knife is the classic option, Food52 suggests tools like a mandolin, vegetable peeler, or even a cheese planer, which will all ensure uniformity and thinness.

Once you've created curls of carrots or shavings of radish, Bon Appétit advises adding the sliced produce into a bowl of ice water, which can keep for up to six hours until they're ready to serve. According to Cook's Illustrated, submerging produce in an ice bath (especially after blanching) helps maintain its vibrant colors and ensures it'll remain crisp and snappy.

If you're new to shaving vegetables, an easy and tasty way to ease into the technique is with our recipe for shaved summer squash salad (or perhaps this shaved root vegetable salad). Then, with a bit of practice, you'll soon find yourself adding zucchini ribbons and spring onion curls to every dish you craft!