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Ask G: Is there an eco-friendly way to roast capsicums and other vegetables?

Is there an eco-friendly way to roast capsicums and other vegetables that doesn’t involve using loads of energy heating up the oven? 

Is there an eco-friendly way to roast capsicums and other vegetables that doesn’t involve using loads of energy heating up the oven? 

capsicum

Credit: sxc.hu

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I love the flavour of roasted vegies but I speed up the process by steaming first over a scant amount of water then finishing them in a tray with a little oil and salt – taking just 20 minutes roasting time.

For capsicums I toast them over a gas flame using a pair of metal tongs them wrap them in a tea towel and newspaper to use the heat to continue the cooking. Not super soft but wonderfully smoky and great for salads.

As a bit of background, an electric oven can draw around 2000 watts so baking for an hour will mean you use 2 kilowatt hours (kWh), using a convection oven to do the same job will take just 45 minutes and draw around 1.4kWh.

The same amount of food cooked in a microwave will take around 15 minutes using just 0.35kWh, on the other hand a gas stove will use around 0.112 therms or the equivalent of 3.2kWh.

On a cold autumn’s morning I don’t turn on the heater, instead I turn the oven on low and use it to cook with – slow roasting quinces or cooking a rich braise – filling the kitchen with delicious smells.