If you don’t like vegetables and are trying to incorporate more of them into your diet, you might feel like giving up the battle every single time you see a boiled carrot.
But there are ways to overcome this. Here are some tips on how to eat more vegetables even if you don’t like them that much.
First, let’s just fast forward through why veggies are important.
They are low calorie, full of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals you can’t get from other sources, they’re loaded with fiber, they help regulate the impact that the other foods have (think meats, fats, free radicals from cooking etc), they are satiable, they help your digestion, they make your skin glow and so on. Vegetables basically do all the good things except take you to heaven by the hand.
But what do you do if you don’t like eating vegetables?
Now I know that assumption is the mother of all fuck ups, but I’ll go ahead and assume there must be something you like. Even if you haven’t tried it yet.
Most people, when they say they don’t like veggies, they usually mean boring and bland carrot in a leaf only salad. Most of those who like that are goats. Very few humans enjoy this kind of combo.
Modern agriculture and all the processed foods have influenced our taste dramatically. A 4 year old can down a kale and spinach smoothie in a second and ask for more, because their taste buds haven’t been that compromised yet. But for adults, the taste of a salad often competes to that of a doughnut and the fight is not fair.
But vegetables come in so many different recipes, flavours and textures that there must be something you enjoy.
There will be people who say they don’t like vegetables, BUT:
- they like baked zucchini chips, seasoned with garlic and paprika
- they like hummus or avocado on toast
- they enjoy a warm (cream) soup in the winters, with or without meat
- they chew on boiled corn in the summer
- they worship eggplant salad (as they should)
- they love the comfort of homemade pilaf rice with some veggies in it
So before you start wearing a “veggie hater” label, think about the vegetable recipes you do like. Even if they only contain small quantities of vegetables.
Here are some tricks you can use to overcome your hard feelings towards veggies:
- start with what you do like. Think about those vegetables or those recipes that you do enjoy eating and have more of that. Yes, even potatoes – but not exclusively potatoes, because the key is diversity. If a slice of roasted bell pepper on top of a burger is your thing, at least you have that.
- make it a challenge to introduce a new vegetable every week or month. But don’t give it up until you experiment new ways of cooking them, new spices, new mixes etc. Often, cooking a vegetable different can completely change the way it tastes. Get a good cook book or find a cooking blog that seems to make edible magic using vegetables.
- eat out at vegetarian restaurants from time to time. Trust me, they won’t kill you. On the contrary, you’ll be surprised what they can do with some seemingly boring plants. You’ll love the flavours so much that you might want to go more often or steal a recipe.
- supplement. When you don’t eat enough vegetables, including a greens powder supplement will help you get some key micronutrients. Some of these greens powders are mixes of powdered veggies, algae (chlorella, spirulina), and herbs. The difference is that you’ll lose the fiber content that these raw ingredients naturally have.
- make smoothies. Blend some veggies with your favourite fruit and/or milk. For example, I love adding some avocado and spinach to a banana and peanut butter smoothie.
- add some fats to your vegetables. Usually, adding a bit of olive oil, some cheese, some greek yoghurt dip (with garlic and/or dill) will make them taste better.
- browse Pinterest for ideas about how to hide vegetables in food for children. You’ll find some interesting recipes that would fool even the pickiest grown ups. Maybe some have been posted by your own mom 😀
Do you struggle to get enough vegetables in your diet? What makes it easier for you? What tricks can you share for adding more vegetables into a diet?