Posted 23rd Jan 2017
Following the research revealing we should be minimising our acrylamide levels, the Food Standards Agency has produced some pointers suggesting exactly how we should and should not be cooking out roasts
1. It's worth remembering that it's not just potatoes that taste great when roasted. For instance why not try roasting your parsnips, carrots or other root vegetables?
2. Soak your prepared raw potatoes in water. This will wash off the excess starch and sugars that are caught on the surface. This also helps to promote an even finish and results in less acrylamide.
3. Preheat the oven and the oil in a suitable roasting tray. Then choose a temperature that will provide a consistent and even cook. If the edges start to brown a little too quickly simply remember to try a lower temperature next time. An alternative cooking technique is to arrange your vegetables or potatoes in a single layer in a deep baking tray before lightly coating them in the oil of your choice.
4. If you par-boil your roasts first, this can help to ensure they are cooked through, with an even finish and less acrylamide. However let them finish steaming before you put them into the hot oil.
5. Roast your potatoes or vegetables in a preheated oven until they are either golden yellow (for potatoes and parsnips), or evenly roasted for other root veg - this will take approximately 45 minutes. You should turn them every 15 minutes and avoid browning where possible.
6. Aim for gold; this means setting your timer for 25 minutes to make sure you catch the vegetables before they start to overcook. If this does happen you will only accelerate the acrylamide formation.
7. Keep an eye on your vegetables through the oven window every few minutes to ensure they've not started to overcook and go past the golden yellow colour. However, avoid opening the oven door as this will only create an extreme rise and fall in temperature. If you want to be extra healthy, you can use kitchen roll to soak up any excess oil produced from the roasts.
8. If you want extra flavour you can infuse the potatoes with alternatives to salt. For instance why not try rosemary sprigs, whole garlic cloves, fresh thyme or even bay leaves?
9. If you find you occasionally over brown or overcook your roasts don't worry. These tips are designed to help you manage your acrylamide levels in the foods you eat regularly, over your lifetime.
Tips courtesy of Food Standards Agency