Get your veggies in! Follow along for these easy tips to train yourself to like vegetables.
How to train yourself to like vegetables?
- Get sneaky and blend your veggies in
- Get spicey with seasonings
- Get creative and try different methods of preparation
- Get predictable and incorporate them into your favorite meals
- Get colorful, try them all
I LOVE vegetables. So much that if I don’t eat enough vegetables within a few days, I actually crave them. Weird I know. But that is what qualifies me to help you love vegetables too, or at least like them.
I grew up in a household where our vegetables typically came from a can. My mom would tell me to go pick that night’s veggie out and my options were green beens, carrots, peas, corn, or a medley (ooooo fancy!). Now, I cannot believe that was how we used to think. For starters let’s try to always avoid canned vegetables. They provide little to no nutritional value and lots of preservatives.
Then we started to incorporate frozen veggies that my mom boiled and tossed with butter. So exciting, how can you not love vegetables like that? Sorry mom, I didn’t mean to insult your cooking! But boiled vegetable with butter… not my cup of tea. I mean if that is my only option I will take it but boiling frozen veggies tend to make them mushy and lose their taste. It’s almost as if the goal of boiling them is to make them undesireable.
Eventually, as health became more of a priority, we learned how to incorporate a variety of vegetables into our meals that made them the star of the show. So, I am going to bet that it’s not that you don’t like veggies, you just haven’t had them in a way that really speaks to you. Let’s dive in!
Blend your veggies in
Let me start by saying you can only blend in so many veggies in so many ways. This will mostly pertain to adding them into smoohties or sauces. Smoothies are a fantastic way to hide your leafy greens in, because those tend to be the least appealing. That is an easy way to get in more until you train yourself to like vegetables. While we are talking about sneaking in veggies, you can even juice them with fruits to a get a refreshing drink that is packed with vitamins and minerals. Hint, hint, it is the more expensive approach FYI. Sauces are a great way to cook the vegetables down and sneak them into your meals. I have a DELICIOUS “cheese sauce” recipe that I use that is made out of veggies and is very versatile. Click here to jump to it.
How to season your vegetables
You wouldn’t throw some chicken breasts in the oven with no seasoning on it would you? So why do so many people do that with vegetables. Especially when you are not yet quite excited about them. I may love the taste of veggies just on their own, I will definitely say I enjoy them far more when they have complimenting seasonings. My go-to trio for many of them is salt, garlic powder, and italian seasoning. Pretty simple and tastes great on most vegetables.
But a little trick I have slowly learned is to use warm and cold seasonings. Just like in fashion, you don’t want to mix warm and cool tones, I follow that rule for my food. I like to use the warm seasonings (cumin, curry, turmeric, paprika, etc.) to go with my warm colored veggies like butternut squash, carrots, red bell peppers, and so on. Of course that is not a hard and fast rule, use the internet to find some easy combos that go well with whatever your veggies of choice is.
How to prepare your vegetables
Remember how I said boiling is not my favorite method? Well, steaming is not too far behind. Not bad methods, give them a try and if they work for you, great! But the reason I am not a fan is because they are so easily overcooked that way. And texture can be a major turn on/off for many. My favorite ways to cook veggies is to cook them with a little oil in a cast iron skillet for a crispy finish. Roasting in the oven and air frying are my next favorites as they soften the vegetable on the inside but keep the outside nice an crispy. The dry heat really locks the flavors of the seasonings in. Plus, you won’t feel like you need to babysit them while they cook.
Keep in mind cooking is not the only way to enjoy veggies. Pickling them is such a different way to maintain a lot of the nutrients but to get different flavors. Some vegetables honeslty are best eaten raw. And get fancy with your chopping skills! When you are cooking multiple vegetables, be aware of cook time and adjust their size accordingly!
Add veggies in to your favorite meals to train yourself to like vegetables
This trick is great for kids for a reason. Use veggies that compliment those meals. I like to think of it as food association. If your favorite dish is lasagna, add a layer of eggplant! Soon you will grow to appreciate the flavor of eggplant on its own.
Mix it up
Just keep trying new things. Try as many different veggies in as many different meals as you can. Try them cooked in the oven or on the grill. Use different dressings, marinades, or seasonings. Add them in to a variety of meals.
Chances are you won’t train yourself to like vegetables overnight, so just give yourself grace and stay open minded!
‘Cheez’ Sauce Recipe
3 medium yellow potatos (peeled)
1/4 medium yellow onion
1 clove of garlic
1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast
Add garlic, cashews, chopped potatos, chopped carrot, and chopped onion to a pot and cover with water. (The amount of water does not matter but add plenty because the cashews tend to absorb a lot of water.)
Bring to a boil for 20 minutes.
Reserve 2 cups of water and drain.
Add boiled vegetables to blender or food processor with 1 cup of reserved water. Puree until smooth.
Slowly add more reserved water until desired consistency, you may need more than the reserved 2 cups.
Once desired consistency is achieved add salt and nutrtional yeast and blend once more.
10 Minute Abs Challenge
I think we all know that clean eating is what sheds belly fat to see those rock hard abs. Now that you are eating all these yummy veggies, add my 10-minute post-workout ab challenge to your routine to reveal a lean core.