Cooking

The Secret to Boiling Perfect Green Vegetables

You'll get vibrant green veg every time
Photo: Michelle Sun/Tasting Table

There’s nothing worse than boiling a pot of fresh green beans only to watch them lose their vibrant color.

You already know to season the water with salt first and to raise the boiling point past 212º, but there’s another household ingredient you should be adding for vibrant green vegetables every time.

Add a pinch of baking soda to the pot.

By adding baking soda, you make the water slightly alkaline (the opposite of acidic). This preserves a compound called chlorophyll, which gives vegetables like green beans, asparagus, Brussels sprouts and broccoli their vibrant, green color. On the other hand, in an acidic environment, chlorophyll breaks down, turning your vegetables an unappetizing brownish-green hue.

So whether you’re blanching asparagus by the bunch or making green bean salad for a crowd, with a little bit of baking soda, you’ll cook perfectly green vegetables every time.

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