How to fall in love with greens
If you need some inspiration to eat your vegetables or want to experiment with new flavours, these tips will help you fall in love with greens and enjoy their nutritional benefits.
1. Roast your veggies
Roasting vegetables in the oven can reduce their bitter taste and helps release natural sugars that will give your meal a whole new flavour. Place on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, then cook in a hot oven until the vegetables soften and the edges are a little charred. Grilling vegetables is a fast, easy way to give your veggies a richer flavour. Consider making a large batch of roast vegetables and storing them in the fridge, so you can eat them with meals or as a snack during the week.
2. Make a salad
Salads don’t have to be boring. Experiment with different greens, such as spinach leaves and kale, as well as interesting toppings such as seeds, peas, grated carrot, olives and sprouts. You may find you enjoy vegetables cold rather than cooked.
3. Add to other foods
Soups are a great way to include plenty of vegetables into one dish. You may not be able to taste their individual flavours, but you’ll still get all the nutritional benefits. Add shredded vegetables such as zucchini, squash and carrots to soups, or blend together a range of cooked vegetables with some vegetable stock for a quick and easy soup that you can store in your freezer. You can also layer vegetables like carrots or eggplant into a lasagna, or stir broccoli and mushrooms into pasta dishes.
4. Use in dips and spreads
A study in the US found that adding a dip to vegetables encouraged children to eat more vegetables than they normally would.
“Children with a sensitivity to bitterness may avoid certain vegetables, but offering a low-fat dip could make it easier for those foods to become an accepted part of children’s diet,” said researcher Jennifer Orlet Fisher. She added that you don’t necessarily need to stick to dressings high in fat and salt to see a positive effect. “Try applesauce, hummus, or a low-fat yogurt-based dip for more calcium,” she suggested.
5. Add new flavours
Adding some condiments may enhance the flavour of your vegetables and turn them into one of your favourite meals. Sprinkle salt on roast vegetables, or add a pinch to the water when steaming. You can also use a vinegar or lime dressing to add acidity and balance the sweetness of some vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes and cabbage.
Olive oil is a classic, especially with lemon or garlic, while butter with added herbs and seasonings can transform the flavour of your meal. Try creating your own glaze by mixing Manuka Honey, garlic and balsamic vinegar and toss through vegetables once cooked.
How do you eat your veggies? Do you have any recipes or tips to share?