By Amanda Schoonover
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
Whether you love most vegetables or just a few, chances are at some point in your life you’ve wished you had an affinity for a veggie that you just can’t seem to enjoy.
Generally speaking, I love vegetables. I love how clean, unprocessed and nutrient dense vegetables are, capable of supplying the wide range of nutrients necessary for optimal vitality and life. That is, until I taste them.
For me, vegetables present the quintessential love-hate relationship. And while I continue to convince myself I’ll eventually enjoy the taste of more vegetables, I am 95% sure I will never joyously devour a plate of green beans, zucchini, broccoli or mushrooms.
So what’s a natural health enthusiast to do?
Luckily, there are then ways to trick yourself into consuming the veggies you hate to hate.
1. Juice or Blend
For months I had been drinking Naked and Bolthouse Farms green juices to get a lot of my nutrients. They’re delicious, but incredibly expensive! (Naked juice: $4 for a small bottle; Bolthouse: $6 per jug). The solution? A high-quality juicer or blender.
Juicing is an excellent way to mix and match flavors so that you can effectively mask the vegetable flavors you’re not too fond of. One common trick to consuming higher amounts of spinach, for example, is to juice or blend raw spinach leaves with berries and bananas—you really can’t taste a thing except fruity goodness.
Don’t have time for juicing? Some organic store-bought veggie juices may be a great option for you. You can find some here and here. (Ill have links)
2. Mask veggies in tasty foods.
It’s easy to add veggies to your favorite foods in a way that will essentially trick you into loving them. Here’s my four favorite tricks.
- Pizza: Who doesn’t love pizza? Whether you’re tossing one in the oven at home or ordering out with friends, ask for extra veggies! You can top a pizza with tomatoes, peppers and spinach to up the antioxidant content or even just ask for extra tomato sauce to boost your lycopene intake.
- Omlettes: Eggs present another opportunity to mask vegetables. I like to add tomatoes and onions into omelettes since the cooking process makes them sweeter and more enjoyable. Dare I say it—you might even enjoy the taste! Gasp!
- Sandwiches: Baby spinach is much more mild and palatable than many other lettuce-like produce. You can pack a nutrient-dense punch by piling a handful of baby spinach onto your sandwiches, instead of lettuce. It doesn’t taste like much of anything and gives your sandwiches a delightful crunch.
- Add Salsa: Not just for chips anymore! Many folks are quick to dismiss the value of salsa, believing it to be nothing more than a dip for fried chips. But, salsa is nothing more than a blend of pureed vegetables that stand to add nutritional value to so many items. Salsa is excellent on a baked potato, a breast of grilled chicken or even mixed into a salad rather than dressing. You can go crazy with this antioxidant-rich topper.
3. Bake some chips.
It can be as simple as replacing greasy potato chips with homemade kale chips — a great way to save money while sneaking in some greens. Make them even tastier with various seasonings (parmesan, old bay, and more!). Other great options might be carrot chips or thinly sliced squash chips sprinkled with salt.
4. Take Shots!
Wheatgrass shots have long been touted as a quick and easy way to boost nutrient intake. Provided you can find some wheatgrass at a local juice bar, a shot of wheatgrass can provide tons of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. And since it’s in shot form, it’s over before you know it. (Although, surprisingly, they’re not that bad!)
Feeling brave? A shot of any vegetable juice is a great way to get your addved veggie consumption over and done with. You can also juice wheatgrass or vegetable shots that can later be added to recipes or smoothies.
In the meantime, take advantage of what you do like.
If you have even a smidgen of taste for any vegetable out there, get more of it. I don’t mind carrots, so I always try to have a bag of baby carrots nearby for when I crave a snack. If you like celery, chop some up and stash it in the work fridge. Having your fruits and veggies nearby and ready-to-eat will make you more likely to opt for them over junk food.
About the Author
Amanda Schoonover lives in New Jersey where she blogs, takes photographs and advocates for low-impact living. She loves to write about frugal, eco-friendly lifestyle choices and sustainability at her blog, a thrifty hippie. You can also follow along with her on Twitter at @athriftyhippie.
This article was republished with permission from Live in the Now, one of the fastest growing natural health newsletters. Visit LiveInTheNow.com to browse their complete library of articles, or join the nearly 60,000 readers subscribed to their Newsletter.