Nine in 10 adults don’t eat enough vegetables, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). How do you measure up? If you’re not chowing down on 2 to 3 cups of veggies daily, you’re falling short of the daily recommendations. But what if you hate vegetables? Is there a way to make them more palatable? You bet!
1. Dress Them
Salad dressing and melted cheese transform bland vegetables into crave-worthy snacks. What’s more, a topper of healthy fats can actually make your vegetables healthier. How? Healthy fats help the body absorb valuable nutrients, such as lycopene and beta-carotene.
2. Hide Them
Casseroles, savory pies and family favorites, like mac and cheese or spaghetti, present the perfect opportunity for increasing your vegetable consumption. When you include veggies in your favorite recipes, you may not even notice they’re there — and neither will your kids.
3. Drink Them
Love fruit smoothies? Why not sneak a vegetable or two into one of your fruity concoctions? You won’t even notice they’re there. To create a perfect fruit/veggie blend that won’t taste like veggies, use two to three fruits and one vegetable. Start with cucumber or spinach, veggies that won’t alter the flavor much, and experiment from there.
4. Cook Them (or Not)
The way you cook or prepare your vegetables affects how they taste. It also affects their texture. If you dislike mushy vegetables, try eating them raw or steamed. You can also grill them. Don’t forget to experiment with different herbs and spices, too. Thyme, oregano, coriander and paprika are all great for spicing up your veggie dishes.
5. Soup Them
Veggie-based soups are ideal for hiding vegetables. Use vegetables to make the soup base, or add chunks of veggies to your favorite recipes, like chicken and dumplings or beef stew. Don’t like soup? Try adding some zucchini or mushrooms to pasta sauce.
6. Egg Them
Stir up veggies, like peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions, along with some creamy cheese and a couple of eggs, to create a veggie omelet. Experiment with different amounts and types of vegetables until you find the right combination.
7. Stuff Them
If your idea of a good meal includes plenty of beef, beans, rice, cheese and seasonings why not try stuffed bell peppers? The pepper alone is one serving of vegetables and is packed with dietary fiber, vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. If you add a few veggies to your stuffing, you can get even more out of this tasty dish. Don’t love peppers? Stuffed zucchini boats or acorn squash bowls are great options, too.
8. Fake Them
Noodles, burgers, pizza crust and rice all have one thing in common: they can be made from vegetables. Surprisingly, most veggie-based comfort foods taste more like the original than the vegetable they’re made from.
9. Wrap Them
Wrap your favorite meats, such as burgers or taco meat, with lettuce or a veggie bun. This is a great way to get in a serving of vegetables without realizing it.
If you can’t stomach the taste of vegetables, experiment with the way you cook and serve vegetables. The difference between hating and loving veggies may very well come down to the way you’re serving them.
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