Vegetables: love them or hate them, there’s no denying that they’re an important part of any healthy diet plan. Vegetables are full of vitamins, antioxidants, and other important compounds that help reduce inflammation, lower your risk of disease, and keep various processes throughout your body functioning as intended.
But what do you do if you simply hate vegetables? Is it possible to still eat a healthy diet? The short answer is yes — if you’re willing to experiment a little bit. There are lots of ways to add vegetables into your diet that may be more palatable than anything you have tried in the past. By adding veggies into other dishes or even disguising them, you can easily start incorporating more of them into your diet and reap the health benefits.
Accept that not every vegetable is for everyone
First of all, accept that it’s okay if there are some vegetables you just aren’t willing to eat. Hate broccoli? You’re not alone. But don’t let your broccoli aversion turn you off from vegetables entirely. You may be missing out on some tasty foods because you’ve decided vegetables just aren’t your thing. Branch out and try some different foods such as bell peppers or asparagus — you may discover a new favorite.
Hide them in your food
One of the great things about vegetables is that you can add them to almost any dish. Load up your pizza with bell peppers and mushrooms, or add spinach and tomato to an omelet. Top off a burger with romaine lettuce and tomato, or even stuff your patties with spinach and artichoke. Adding veggies to whatever you’re already eating can make eating them seem like less of a chore.
With the right recipe, some mashed cauliflower with butter and sour cream can be just as good as your favorite mashed potatoes. Use a spiralizer to create zucchini noodles or use spaghetti squash instead of pasta. If you can hide vegetables in your meals or make them appear more like other foods, you may find that you don’t mind their taste at all.
Vary your preparation
Veggies will taste different depending on how they’re cooked. If you’ve always hated broccoli, ask yourself if you’ve tried it prepared different ways. Overcooked boiled broccoli is mushy and unappetizing, but broccoli steamed until it’s just tender is something completely different. Try roasting some Brussels sprouts until they’re crispy or drizzling long strips of zucchini with olive oil and adding them to the grill. If you’ve only had sweet potato in a casserole with marshmallows, try making sweet potato fries. You may be surprised by the different flavors you can uncover with different cooking methods.
Put them in smoothies
Smoothies present another great opportunity for hiding your veggies. You can easily add several handfuls of spinach into a fruit smoothie without affecting the taste very much. Once you get used to spinach smoothies, try adding other greens such as kale and Swiss card. Experiment with other ingredients such as carrots or beets. Mix them with frozen fruit, bananas, berries, some almond milk or coconut milk. You can even add a little cocoa for a sweet treat. When it comes to smoothies, your options are practically endless!
Eat them as snacks
Put away the chips and salsa and replace them with vegetables. You can pair various vegetables with dips for a delicious afternoon snack. Try some carrots and cucumber slices with hummus for an afternoon snack that will hold you over until dinner time. Eating smaller amounts of vegetables instead of a complete serving at one time will make it easier for you to slowly adapt to the food. Start by casual snacking, and you may be able to work up to eating a full serving with dinner.
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