“Eat Your Veggies” 0
Posted on 11, December 2017
in Category Tips
You’ve heard it. I’ve said it, as a dietitian and a mom too many times to count. Why is it so difficult? One reason is because many vegetables are naturally bitter and we are programmed to prefer sweet foods, even from infancy. It’s a rudimentary survival mechanism. Instead of focusing on WHY we need to eat our veggies, let’s talk instead about HOW to find ways to enjoy your vegetables.
Reason for Seasoning
The reason for the seasoning vegetables is to give them more flavor. A little spice and seasoning can go a long way to enhancing the flavors of vegetables. Last time I was at Farm Fresh, there were several rows of seasoning blends in the spice aisles, from low sodium blends to exotic combinations that can complement any dish. Before roasting, grilling or sautéing, drizzle your veggies with olive oil and sprinkle your favorite seasoning on top.
Eating all your vegetables is made much easier with a few techniques to enhance their flavor. Many vegetables have a naturally bitter taste and will taste sweeter after cooking. Heating vegetables breaks down the starch in the vegetable, releasing any sweetness. Roasting vegetables will caramelize the sugar and give vegetables a rich flavor. You can sauté vegetables on high either in a pan or a wok that will quickly cook vegetables, but still leave some crunch.
Don’t be afraid to add a little fat to your vegetables. Chop up a small amount of ham or even bacon and sauté with a bitter vegetable such as brussel sprouts. Try adding a zest of orange or lemon to asparagus. Drizzle balsamic vinegar on roasted vegetables for a sweet, zesty, savory combination. Slice sweet potatoes in half and coat with coconut oil before baking. Garnish cooked broccoli or cauliflower with grated Parmesan or sharp cheddar.
Try, Try again
If at first you don’t like a vegetable, try, try again. This is perhaps one of the more challenging aspects of eating your vegetables. Research has shown that it takes at least 8-12 attempts to incorporate a new food into your eating repertoire. More importantly, taste buds change over time. Don’t be afraid to try a vegetable that you didn’t like as a child, you may enjoy that vegetable prepared in a different way.
You can the employ the tactic of many moms, which is hidden nutrition. Find ways to add vegetables to a dish without changing the taste significantly. For example, adding pureed vegetables to spaghetti, pizza sauce or chili. You can add cooked vegetables to scrambled eggs in the morning or make an omelet.