It’s become a bit of a stereotype in family-oriented media: children don’t like vegetables. Well, every stereotype seems to grow from a tiny seed of truth – because as healthy and as good for you as vegetables are, sometimes they are a little… unpalatable. Kids may own the stereotype of not liking vegetables, but sometimes it’s even more difficult to be an adult and force yourself to eat vegetables so as not to… you know… contract scurvy and die.
In the interest of keeping you interested in vegetables, I’ve come up with a few little tips and tricks to help convince that brain of yours that eating vegetables isn’t so bad!
We’ve all heard that cheese is “bad” for you – but I’m not going to let anyone sit here and judge me for the cheese sauce that I slather over my broccoli. Yes, cheese may be high in fat, but that just means that you get fuller faster, you make something that may be a little bland tasty, and you get to enjoy the other benefits of cheese like reduced heart disease risk, improved cholesterol, and boosting your muscle mass! So, the next time you’ve got to use up that head of cauliflower that you bought because you felt you needed more veg, sprinkle some Parmesan, drop some melty bocconcini on it, or whip up a rich, cheesy sauce.
People love to crunch – but don’t take my word for it, it’s science. It’s the reason why we love Doritos, pretzels, and corn nuts: humans get immense satisfaction in breaking apart food structures and making loud noises doing it! You can do this with vegetables too by simply changing up the way you cook them. Sure, it might take less time to steam up some vegetables in the microwave – but roasting brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, or cauliflower adds an extra dimension to your veg: crispiness. Whether or not the taste is similar, the act of having a crunchier food to eat is scientifically proven to improve your perception of what you’re eating.
There’s a reason that there’s an expression about variety being the “spice of life”. There’s also a reason that the spice trade created the modern world. Spices and seasonings are your friends and are there for experimentation! We don’t live in the 1300s anymore, where you would just eat boiled potatoes with a pinch of salt. Your options are unlimited! If you’re feeling uninspired by your vegetables, try mixing up your seasoning. I like Cajun spice on my veg to give it an extra kick and depth of flavour. You could also try out a Mediterranean spice mix instead, a classic seasoning mix like garlic, salt, and pepper, or even incorporating your favourite fast food joint’s chip seasoning (for me, that means Steers).
Check out this Roasted Pepper and Tomato soup recipe
This is a bit of an off-shoot of my cheese suggestion above: adding something technically bad for you with a high fat percentage to your veg is sure to improve how you feel about it. But really, bacon is such a game-changer for making some vegetables go from bland to gourmet. Have you ever tried bacon-wrapped asparagus? No? Well, you should.
Chipify Your Veg
Making chips from things other than potatoes isn’t new – but it might be new in your kitchen. You could be a glutton for punishment and make yourself some kale or beetroot leaf chips, but that doesn’t do wonders for those particular flavours. What I’d recommend is making chips from beetroot, sweet potato, or even pumpkin, roasting them to perfection in the oven, and indulging.
And, if all of the above doesn’t interest you, there’s always soup as the perfect way to make all vegetables tasty. Huh. It’s almost like…someone should start a webpage for that idea…
Photo: Unsplash/Sara Dubler