When you think of avoiding veggies, you probably imagine a petulant child refusing to finish their dinner.
While many kids don’t like vegetables, the same goes for adults. Many adults don’t eat enough vegetables, which can have a significant effect on their health.
Without vegetables in your diet, you could find that your body lacks many vital nutrients. This could lead to significant health problems in the future or exacerbate the symptoms of existing conditions you might have.
When you’re faced with a variety of delicious processed foods and rich meats, it’s easy to overlook veggies, particularly if your only experience of them is as a dull side dish.
Thankfully, it’s easier than you might think to make vegetables more exciting and create delicious meals you, and those you love, will adore. Keep reading for some great ideas to get you started on the road towards eating your greens and veggies of all other colors.
Stop Thinking Of Veggies As A Side Dish
The first step towards enjoying more vegetables in your diet is to change the way you think about them. Instead of thinking of vegetables as an extra dumped on your plate that you have to eat before you finish, work out inventive ways to make veggies the star of every dish. Add them to the meals you love to make them more exciting and change the way you view vegetables. If you must make vegetables into a side dish, ensure that you make it tasty and choose a flavorful option, so you can enjoy it rather than eating it only out of a sense of duty.
Try Cooking Your Vegetables In A Different Way
If you’ve always cooked your vegetables in the same way, then you could consider changing things up and trying a different approach. The way you cook your food has a significant effect on its consistency, texture and taste, so try out a selection of techniques to find the one you enjoy the most. For example, many people always boil beets, but you could try these ideas for delicious roasted beets. These recipes are quick and easy so that you can transform your beets from dull boiled veggies into a rich and delicious meal.
Replace Meat With Vegetables Of Similar Textures
For meat lovers, eating enough veggies can be difficult, especially if you don’t usually like them. However, many vegetables have a similar texture to meat and can easily be used as a substitute for them. Chickpeas have a similar texture to some white fish when mashed, while minced cauliflower can be made into a passable substitute for chicken in items such as nuggets and schnitzel, and lentils can be used as a great substitute for beef or turkey mince. Instead of completely replacing your meat with veggies, try swapping half of the meat for vegetables to give yourself a healthier version of your favorite meals without having to compromise on taste.
Avoid Processed Foods
Heavily processed snacks and ready meals, such as fish fingers, frozen burgers and chips, often contain very little or no vegetables. The same goes for eating fast food from restaurants and takeaways. Therefore, you should try to reduce the number of processed meals and treats that you eat. While you can still enjoy them, you should only do so on rare occasions. This approach will allow you to cook more food for yourself, which will benefit both your budget and your health. Processed foods not only lack vegetables but also contain a lot of salt and chemicals, so by reducing your intake of processed meals, you’ll improve your overall diet, as well as give yourself the chance to eat more veggies.
Shop Seasonally For The Freshest Veggies
Thanks to the rise of globalization and increased ease of access to state-of-the-art logistical and growing technology, it’s now possible to eat vegetables that aren’t in season almost all year round. While this is convenient, it can mean that you don’t get to taste the very best of the veggies you’re eating. If they’ve come from far away, then these veggies might not be very fresh, and this could impair their taste. As such, you should try, where possible, to buy your veggies seasonally and from growers who are local where you can. By eating seasonal vegetables, you can ensure that you get to taste the freshest dishes possible. Also, you’ll reduce your personal impact on the environment, which is always a good thing.
Cook Veggies You Hate In Lots Of Seasoning
While you might eat some vegetables, if you only eat a few, then you might not be able to enjoy the balanced diet and healthy lifestyle you desire. Some veggies are more hated than others, often because they’re not usually seasoned well and have a naturally unpleasant taste. If you don’t like many vegetables, then consider cooking them with plenty of herbs and spices. Try making fajitas or curries, and other dishes that contain a lot of flavors, so you can hide the taste of the veggies you dislike. You’ll then get all the nutritional benefits they have to offer, without the taste you dislike. Some veggies, such as spinach, are easy to slip into sauces and barely add any texture or taste, so try to use these as often as possible to add more nutrients without significantly changing your meal. You can also make things like veggies fries to appeal to the kids who like to dip everything in ketchup.
Embrace Cuisines That Focus On Vegetables
Another significant reason that many adults don’t enjoy eating veggies is that they don’t eat a varied diet. As such, you should try to move outside of your comfort zone and enjoy dishes from different cultures. Some countries and cultures put more focus on vegetables, such as India. As many Indians are vegetarian for religious reasons, there are many delicious Indian dishes out there that make veggies their star. Many popular African dishes are also veggie-heavy, so consider checking out foods from this continent. If you’ve never tried to eat a lot of international foods, then now is the perfect time to start and explore dishes that can make veggies much more palatable and enjoyable. Eating more international dishes will help you to embrace new cuisines and try new veggies. This approach will also ensure that you eat a balanced diet and get a wider variety of different nutrients.
Hide Them In Cakes
Should every other attempt fail, and you still don’t enjoy eating vegetables, then try putting them into a cake or another baked good, such as bread. Putting veggies into cakes is a great way to eat them, as long as you make sure that you don’t add too many unhealthy extras, such as a lot of sugary frosting. Many vegetables, such as beets, zucchini and even yams can be added to cakes to add texture without imparting any flavor. Try adding veggies to your favorite chocolate cake recipe and reducing the amount of dairy products, such as butter and eggs that you use for a tasty and moist but healthier version of your favorite treat.
Eating your vegetables doesn’t have to be a chore. If you’re not naturally disposed to enjoy vegetables, then use these suggestions to find a great way to integrate veggies into your diet and make them into tasty treats.