How to Fall in Love with Vegetables
If you’ve read the blog post We Need to Talk about Vegetables you’ll know how important vegetables are for health. If you’ve never liked vegetables or have a family member who is reluctant to eat them this blog post is for you. There’s also a post full of Vegetable Recipes that will inspire even the most die-hard vegetable refuser as well as those who already love their veg.
Here are some tips to help you through the transition to vegetable lover.
Start with what you like
The chances are you probably like some vegetables, so start with including these every day and add in new veg one by one.
Little by Little
The best way to change your taste preferences is by eating a small amount of the foods you are resistant to every day. So if you struggle with broccoli, eat a small floret every day. If you struggle with lettuce use it as a wrap around something you love. Try the foods you don’t like in different ways. This system works with adults and children. Keep at it and the whole family will soon fall in love with vegetables.
Any vegetables can be blended into a soup, sauce or dip. Steam the veg, add herbs, spices or stock and a dash of oil, then blend with a hand blender or in a food processor. For a more substantial meal or creamier texture add cannellini beans, potatoes, nut butter, or creamed coconut.
Add Them to Food You Love
One of the best ways to eat more vegetables is by adding them to everything, especially dishes you love. Add them to pasta sauce, pizza, lasagna and stews. Or stir roasted vegetables into cooked grains such as rice or buckwheat for a salad that can be eaten hot or cold.
Research shows that if children are involved in growing vegetables they are more likely to eat them. This may well be true for adults as well. Sow a few seeds in the garden or in a container on your window sill. Water as needed, and watch them grow. The food you grow and harvest yourself will be the freshest and healthiest food you eat.
Make your own kale chips by drizzling chopped kale with olive oil and salt and roasting in a hot oven until crispy. So delicious, you won’t have any left overs.
With a food processor, or by hand, grate vegetables such as carrots, beetroot, celeriac and kohl rabi. Add chopped herbs, toasted seeds and a tasty dressing or tahini sauce.
Everything tastes better with a dressing. Eating vegetables with oil increases the bio-availability of the nutrients in the vegetables and also makes them more delicious. So whether it’s a green salad, grated veg, or steamed veg, drizzle on a dressing.
Roasting brings out the sweetness of vegetables. Chop them up into largish chunks, spread out on a roasting tray, drizzle with oil and tamari and roast for 40 minutes in a hot oven, stirring half way through. Serve with anything!
Roasted vegetables are delicious wrapped in a lettuce leaf, tortilla or pancake. Roasted courgettes, aubergines, peppers, sweet potatoes and squash all work well in a wrap.
Cut vegetables into sticks and eat them raw with a dip such as hummous, babaganoush, or guacamole. Children often prefer raw veg to cooked.
Whether you are eating your veg raw or cooked don’t forget to add flavour in the form of salt, pepper, herbs and spices.
Try something new
Challenge yourself to try a new vegetable every week for a month. Look up recipes for your chosen veg and see if you can increase your repertoire.
Make them fun
Studies have found that children, (and some adults!), respond differently to foods depending on how they are chopped or prepared. Cutting vegetables into shapes, like stars or animals, can also help. Referring to broccoli and cauliflower florets as baby trees can bring in imaginative play and positive associations.