“Eat your vegetables” is something almost everyone has heard at least once in their lifetime. Probably more than once. They’re healthy, they’re nutritious, and your body needs them, but you can’t stand another flavorless salad, and you definitely don’t want to take another bite of that bitter broccoli. Don’t dismiss vegetables just yet! These five tips and tricks can assist you in turning those unappealing vegetables into your new favorite meal.
Buy Fresh or Frozen
You might be missing out on a lot of taste and nutrients by using canned vegetables. Canned foods are packed with added preservatives, which often can result in changes in how vegetables taste and feel and alter their nutrients. This is why you should switch to fresh or frozen instead.
Aside from the obvious benefits to eating local produce, like the fact that it’s fresh with no added preservatives or sugars, fresh vegetables have a larger amount of fiber than their canned counterparts. With more fiber in them, these vegetables can help you in feeling fuller faster and give you better satisfaction after a meal.
However, if your fresh vegetables don’t suit you for whatever reason, or if you’re unable to find the vegetables you like fresh, buying them frozen is a healthy (maybe even healthier) alternative. Researchers at the University of Georgia compared fresh foods to frozen and found that “in the cases of significant differences, frozen produce outperformed ‘fresh-stored’ more frequently than ‘fresh-stored’ outperformed frozen.” So, if you’re unable to find the fresh vegetables you’re craving, go ahead and benefit from the stored nutrients in delicious frozen ones.
Experiment with Cooking Techniques
Don’t write a vegetable off just because you tried it in a salad one time and it didn’t tickle your fancy. Vegetables can be cooked, baked, steamed, fried, or eaten raw in a variety of meals. If you didn’t enjoy the flavors of a baked potato, you might like them when they’re steamed or fried. Every cooking technique can alter the flavor and texture of your vegetables, so it pays to experiment.
Trying out different methods of cooking can help you in finding out how you like your vegetables. Steaming vegetables can preserve nutrients and delicious flavors, while frying them will add a heavy and oily taste. If your vegetables are weighed down by oils, try baking them or steaming them instead.
Blend Vegetables into Smoothies or Creamy Soups
If your experiments with cooking fresh and frozen vegetables still leave a lot to be desired from your vegetables, try adding them into a creamy soup and blending it with an immersion blender. Soups can help take away from the feeling that you’re eating crunchy vegetables while still giving you the nutrients you need.
Alternatively, you can toss some vegetables (and fruits) into a blender for a refreshing, and extra-healthy, vegetable smoothie.
Spices, Spices, Spices
If you’re still at a loss, try out some spices. Every vegetable has its soulmate in a spice. While some people prefer their vegetables raw, not using what’s probably already in your spice cabinet can be a massive disservice to your taste buds. For verdant vegetables like broccoli, you can add almost any spice of your choosing. For onions, sprinkle some paprika, celery salt, pepper, sage, garlic, or coriander on it. Try asparagus with some marjoram, nutmeg, dill, or rosemary. The list is endless. Pack your spice cabinet, look online for some recipes, and start experimenting. Even salt and pepper alone can be added to make that bland vegetable delicious.
The More the Merrier
Does the taste of onions make you cringe? Don’t eat them alone. Just because you ate an onion raw once and hated it doesn’t mean it won’t taste great with some other vegetables. Onions can be delicious chopped finely and tossed with a bunch of vegetables in a raw salad.
Vegetables on their own are not always appetizing, but adding them together can create a delicious and healthy meal. When picking out what to mix, try thinking about the color. The more colors you can mix, the better and healthier. White onion paired with green cucumbers, red tomatoes, orange carrots, and purple cabbage can create all kinds of different flavors in your mouth and make you appreciate them individually.
The nutrients in vegetables are too valuable to discount, and there are so many ways you can prepare them and change their flavors. Experiment as much as you like or until you find the perfect way to fix your vegetables and satisfy your body’s needs.