Vegetables are a food group that many adults (for whatever reason) never cultivated a taste for when they were children. However, in my previous articles on vitamins and incorporating color into your diet, I’ve shown that the nutrients found in vegetables are essential to maintaining one’s health.
So what do you do if you’ve made it all the way to adulthood and still don’t like veggie? First, don’t panic, all is not lost. Even the most intense veggie hater can usually find one or two that he or she can tolerate. So here are my tips for helping adults like (if not love) their veggies:
Build upon previous victories
Developing the ability to enjoy a wide variety of vegetables will take time and patience. However, if there is a vegetable or two that you already like (even if just a little), try to increase your consumption of said vegetable.
Become a little sneaky
This works best if the person cooking the meal isn’t the veggie hating adult. You can incorporate veggies into other foods. For instance zucchini or eggplant can work well in lasagna; while shredded carrots make a great addition to freshly baked bran muffins.
Change your cooking techniques
If you normally just boil your vegetables into a mass of pulp, try blanching, roasting or steaming them. String beans and asparagus work really well roasted with a little oil or butter and garlic.
Play with texture
If you really enjoy soups or stews, consider pureeing a vegetable and adding it in. You can incorporate pureed tomatoes or spinach into your minestrone or a little bit of celery puree into your chicken noodle soup.
I for one absolutely hate cooked carrots, but I have no problem eating them when they’re uncooked. Try it, the flavors of some vegetables like carrots and broccoli become stronger or milder depending on whether or not they are cooked.
Have a snack
Some people are able to increase their vegetable consumption when eating veggies as a snack. Think of celery stalks with peanut butter (tastes better than it sounds) or broccoli, carrots and cauliflower dipped into a low fat dressing.
Add Extra Flavor
Sometimes a really bland vegetable (like cauliflower) can use a little help in the flavor department. Try adding your favorite herbs such as basil or rosemary to vegetables in order to wake up your taste buds.
We’re talking cheese. Although, I personally am not a fan of this approach, many individuals will eat vegetables when their smothered in a cheese sauce. However, in the interest of good health, try adding just a sprinkle of parmesan or other cheese to your vegetables.
Incorporating these tips into your cooking routines will have you eating vegetables in no time.