When roasted, even the most uninteresting vegetables may be transformed into something tasty and flavorful. Imagine a salad consisting of roasted Brussels sprouts, avocado, and maple-glazed roasted carrots. Do you agree that this is a much more interesting way to prepare vegetables than boiling Brussels sprouts or steaming carrots? Although some foods take well to the process of roasting on their own, some need a little assistance to bring out the best in their tastes. A surprising role may sometimes be played here by something as simple as a dash of sugar.
You would believe that broccoli and sugar go together as well as shrimp and whipped cream, but the truth is that sugar can be used as a flavour enhancer for roasting a range of items, from veggies to meats. This is because sugar caramelizes when it is exposed to high temperatures. Certain veggies, like carrots, have a greater concentration of sugar and, as a result, brown more readily to a stunning golden hue when cooked. Other vegetables, such as mushrooms, have a fantastic flavour when caramelized but need a little more attention and care.
When veggies are roasted, the sugar is what causes the vegetables to get caramelized. According to the findings of My Food Data, vegetables may be divided into two groups: those that contain the most sugar and those that contain the least sugar. Some of the items on the list are not all that surprising, such as the fact that sweet potatoes are the vegetable that contains the highest amount of sugar (up to 5.5 per cent or 13.9 grams of sugar per cup of mashed sweet potatoes), and beets are listed as the item with the second-highest amount of sugar (up to 13.5 grams of sugar per cup of mashed beets). The presence of sugar in a vegetable will have the following effects on the roasting process:
Sugar Is A Natural Meat Tenderizer
Those with a greater concentration of heat need just a little amount of oil or butter, together with heat, in order to achieve a deliciously caramelized flavor and texture. Caramelization may be achieved with ingredients that have a reduced sugar content by adding a little amount of honey or sugar to the pot. The purpose of using these additional sweeteners is not to make your vegetables taste like they have been doused in sugar, but rather to promote browning and get that coating.
Have you thought of mixing in some sugar with the proteins? When you grill your steak the next time, add a bit to the meat, and you will be pleasantly pleased by how soft and juicy it turns out. Sugar’s role in the preparation of meats is not as a sweetener but rather as a tenderizer. It is recommended by Epicurious that you use sugar in the rub or marinade that you use for your meats, particularly if you are using one of the more popular types of meat that is also more chewy and tough, such as skirt steak or flank steak.
In Korean cuisine, brown sugar is an essential component of the galbi marinade, which is used for making Korean street tacos. There’s also the traditional Southern style of barbecue, which is known for its melting-in-your-mouth tender pork that’s achieved via the use of brown sugar marinades. Another point of view is presented by Cook’s Illustrated on the addition of sugar to meat. According to them, the sugar does not significantly alter the consistency of the meat, but it does provide an extra taste to it and it helps the skin brown (think your Thanksgiving turkey). If you want the golden, crispy skin that you see in Hallmark movies on your Thanksgiving turkey, add some sugar to the brine when you make it next year.