We all need seven to 10 servings of fruits and vegtables a day. But what if you just don’t like vegetables? You were (and still are) the kid who would refuse to eat Brussels sprouts, but there are ways to come around to liking vegetables.
Some of us have just never come to learn to love vegetables. But we all need an assortment of them in our diet on a daily basis to stay healthy. So what’s one to do in this situation? You don’t have to force yourself to sit at the dining room table until you finish your vegetables while sulking. Discover ways to enjoy them!
After all, vegetables don’t have to mean munching on salads, which is what many people automatically think of. Salads are a great way to get a mix of vegetables into your diet, but there are so many more options.
Experiment with shapes and cooking style
How you slice or dice your vegetables may affect how you enjoy them, as it subtly changes the mouth feel and experience when eating them. For example, when it comes to prepping tomatoes (yes, technically a fruit), many people prefer to eat them seeded, but try scooping out the soft interior and seeds to see if you enjoy them better that way. How you cook vegetables will alter the taste and experience as well (stir-fry vs. steaming, cooking times, etc.).
Make friends with your blender
Your blender (or food processor) may be your biggest ally when it comes to learning to love veggies. If you don’t like chunks of celery, mushrooms and carrots in your pasta sauce, simply give them all a whir in a blender, and they will virtually disappear into your pasta sauce. Love having a fruit smoothie in the morning? Add one or two vegetables into the mix; you likely won’t even notice the change in taste while reaping their added benefits.
Use your peeler
Although many nutrients are right near the peel, try peeling the vegetables (perhaps you don’t like the skin on cucumbers, for example), and you may find you enjoy them more. And speaking of peelers, use it as a tool to experiment with shapes (see above). Long ribbons of carrots made using your peeler can make a visually stunning impact in a dish. Or make ribbons of zucchini to replace a long type of pasta, such as linguine. If you’re not ready to eat a bowlful of zucchini ribbons, try going half-and-half with pasta. (Psst: Another great pasta alternative? Spaghetti squash — it’s already in long strands as is!)
Combine vegetables with foods you like
You may not even notice the vegetables if you’re focused on a food you enjoy. Love steak? Marinate and grill a flank steak, then slice it into a salad. Or for a healthy snack, eat some prepared veggies in a dip you like, such as hummus. Just be careful not to undo the health benefits of vegetables by dousing them in a fatty dressing or by covering them with a load of cheese.