Not a fan of veggies yet? Ok, this post is going to change you into a fan by showing you how to love eating vegetables!
If you’re reading this you or someone in your family is not a big veggie eater.
But, you know what?
Most of us have room for improvement. According to the CDC, only 1 of 10 adults eats the daily requirement of produce. A lot of us need to do a better job of eating vegetables.
I have great news. There are tons of ways to prepare vegetables. Which is a lot to remember if you aren’t a veggie lover, so I’ve prepared a printable list for you, and it is available at the bottom of this post!
Ok, are you ready to start eating more vegetables?
Here is what you need to know:
Vegetables Can Taste Amazing!
I’m telling the truth. Scout’s honor. You just have to dig up some veggie secrets to discover how to love eating your vegetables. (And by digging up I mean to keep reading because I’ve already done the digging!)
Step One: The first Secret to How to Love Eating Vegetables Is the Preparation.
It’s not just kids, a lot of adults also turn up our noses to the beloved vegetable.
One thought to consider is that most of us were only taught one way to cook vegetables from our parents (or grandparents). So, it is a likely possibility that you are overcooking your vegetables.
Yep, you may be cooking the taste right out of them!
Did you know there can be at least a dozen ways to prepare each vegetable?
It’s a fact, so learn to be adventurous. The road to loving vegetables is paved with the willingness to experiment and make foods in multiple ways.
But, don’t panic – you don’t need to be a fancy chef.
One of my favorite ways to try a new vegetable is to substitute it for a cracker or chip and eat it with other things I know I like (like my favorite dip).
Straightforward, but a practical first step.
Step Two: Eat a Naked Vegetable.
Not to be confused with eating a vegetable while naked of course.
The simplest way to eat a veggie is to eat it raw.
Use vegetables in a salad or as crudités with dip or hummus to try unknown vegetables along with familiar flavors. As you discover which ones you like, aim to prepare at least 1/2 of the five daily servings of vegetables raw.
Carrots, peppers, radishes, kale, cauliflower, spinach and snap peas are all examples of vegetables that taste delicious raw.
Vegetables are simple to wash, cut and prepare.
Some may be unfamiliar or seem more complicated, but that issue can be remedied by a quick watch of a Youtube video. You can learn quickly and conveniently in the privacy of our own home.
Ideas to try:
- Slice them up as crudites
- Eat them with your favorite dip, hummus or salsa instead of crackers or chips
- Toss it in a salad
- Serve them as a cold side at mealtime (total cheat-open a bag of prepared raw veggies and put them in a beautiful serving dish)
- Shred them up and mix into a salad (I never thought I’d eat Brussels sprouts, but I love them this way)
Step Three: Give Vegetables a Spa Treatment.
Some vegetables taste better cooked for many people. But remember, do not overcook them.
To clarify, most of us are overcooking vegetables by 50%-75% of the needed cooking time. Want to enjoy a vast improvement in the taste and texture in vegetables? Reduce cooking time.
Cooking also enhances the flavors and nutrient absorption in some vegetables.
Furthermore, you can use online tutorials on Pinterest or Youtube to learn how to prep, cut up and cook a new, unfamiliar plant.
The options are endless. For example:
- Throw it into a pasta
- Roast in the oven
- Rice it
- Grill it
- As a stir-fry (yum, try chopped kale this way)
- Fry it in a pan or oil
- Spiral cut
- Mashed (with butter and toppings)
- Use it as a crust
- In a casserole
Step Four: Think Outside of the Vegetable to Learn How to Love Eating Vegetables!
On the other hand, sometimes it just works to do something crazy with a vegetable to bring more into your diet. Not everyone needs to know they are eating a vegetable.
Do you know what I mean? (wink, wink).
Ok, try this – puree fresh butternut squash, sweet potatoes, spinach or carrots and use it as a substitute for 1/2 of the fat ingredient in your waffles or baked-good recipes. (Cooling the food masks the vegetable flavor).
What a great way to use up food on hand and feed your family more vegetables-even if they think they do not like that vegetable.
Dazzling new ways to try veggies:
- Inside a baked-good (substitute for 1/2 of the fat)
- Ribbon it
- Pickle it
- Frozen (my daughter loves to gnash on frozen peas!)
Step Five: Explore Even More New Ways to Enjoy Eating Vegetables.
Finally, the last secret to loving to eat vegetables is to invest time into preparing each veggie at least 2-3 ways before giving up on liking that vegetable.
- Follow a vegetable side or vegetarian entree recipe. Stop winging it! Spaghetti squash vegan bolognese is my go-to right now from Impatient Foodie: 100 Delicious Recipes for a Hectic, Time-Starved World. This dish is one of my family’s favorite (of everything I cook)! Consider buying a vegetarian cookbook and make the entrees as new sides to try. These recipes are loaded with flavor-vegetarians eat a lot of vegetables and want them to taste terrific.
- Invest in a good food encyclopedia or vegetarian cookbook, so you can quickly learn how to choose, buy and prepare vegetables that are unfamiliar to you.
- Look up preparations and instructions online. The best source is Pinterest. Seriously you need to be there.
- Subscribe to a cooking magazine so you can also learn which foods are in season (the time when they are the most flavorful). I’ve subscribed to Cooking Light Magazine for over 15 years, but Eating Well is the new version (the best of Cooking Light with a modern twist).
It is a treat to buy in-season vegetables. They are less expensive and more flavorful. You’ll look forward to each new season!
- Take a cooking class at your local grocery store with another adult friend who also doesn’t like vegetables:)
- Talk to your local farmer at the farmer’s market. They have lots of vegetables and know how to cook them (you eat what you have).
- Read menu descriptions to see how your favorite restaurant prepares them or talk to the chef.
- Try new vegetarian dishes or sides while you are out. A great tip-split a vegetarian entree as an appetizer.
- Watch cooking shows. You can even learn from the kid shows. Have a competition in your kitchen.
No Need To Get Overwhelmed!
The shortest route to love eating your vegetables is to be adventurous.
But remember the point is to find a way to like eating your vegetables, not turn into a vegetarian.
Vegetables contain nutrients which preserve health and prevent disease. You can help yourself stay well by getting those disease preventing nutrients into your body.
So, set a personal vegetable goal, be kind to yourself and take it slow. Think of this the same way you’d start exercising if you hate to exercise.
- If texture bothers you perhaps what may work best for you it to try a smoothie or maybe put the vegetable in another food or form (baked-goods).
- If your issue is the flavor of vegetables, trying a variety of ways to prepare the veggie will be your weapon of choice.
In closing, there are lots of ways to learn how to love eating vegetables. Thankfully, many vegetables are quick and easy to prepare which can give everyone the opportunity to try them raw, cooked or in another type of preparation.
It is definitely worth the time investment to learn several preparation techniques to find your favorite method to enjoy eating a particular vegetable.
When cooked the right way, you may see that you love eating a vegetable you’ve disliked your entire life! Wouldn’t that be awesome?
So get started today! I’ve made a free printable to help you remember all of the ways you can explore eating vegetables.
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