Are you one of those people that turn up your nose when you hear the word vegetables? Tired of eating them? Eating the same old same old salt and pepper vegetables. This can get boring pretty quickly when it comes to vegetables. I'm going to tell you about some ideas that have helped me to eat more vegetables. But first, why do you even need more vegetables?
I used to be one of those people. Just imagine the scrunched up nose when I heard the words broccoli or another side of green beans. I remember thinking Aww man... carrots again. I'd rather have some french fries.
You guys with me on this one? Have you ever heard yourself saying something like this? Maybe not out loud but in your head :) But... I'd eat the veggies because I knew they were good for me. At that time, I didn't know WHY they were good for. Just that they WERE good for me. No one ever gave me tips or ideas on how to eat more vegetables! Although... I could have used it :)
Why Eat Them
Our whole body needs the key nutrients that vegetables provide.
Fiber to support digestion
Studies show that eating a serving or more of vegetables can slow cognitive brain decline. So, this means vegetables are packed with are key to protecting your brain.
These are two of the main reasons why you should be eating vegetables. Your whole body needs these essential vitamins to run properly and efficiently plus it helps protect your brain.
How to Eat More Vegetables
Now that we know the WHY, let's dive into some ways you can like vegetables again and how you can eat more of them.
Mix It Up A Little
Many people cook their vegetables with the same herbs or spices.
I don't know about you but I like variety. In other words, using this method would get old for me fast!
However, you should mix it up here! For instance, don't use just salt and pepper. There are so many other herbs and spices that go great with vegetables. Give them a test run and see what you like! For example:
Asparagus- basil, dill, oregano, rosemary, tarragon, curry, nutmeg, mustard, marjoram
Brussel sprouts- garlic, thyme, turmeric, parsley, oregano, nutmeg, onion powder, parmesan cheese
Cabbage- bay leaf, chives, coriander, dill, ginger, mint, garlic, fennel, parsley, thyme. (Likewise, I enjoy cooking mine in chicken stock!)
Carrots- basil, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, sage, parsley, dill
This list can go on and on. To sum it up, there are so MANY options out there than just using salt and pepper. Try out some new herbs and spices.
Another way to mix the taste of vegetables up is to use different fats. Stop using cooking spray on your vegetables. It does nothing for the taste.
Using different fats to cook with can change the way a vegetable tastes, making it BETTER. For example:
Grass-fed butter- either unsalted or salted
You won't be disappointed about switching to this method or trying out different fats. Your vegetables will taste much better.
To sum up, mix up how you cook your vegetables. It gives it variety and your vegetables will taste better.
How to Cook Vegetables to Help You Eat More
Here's another great way to eat more vegetables!
Cook them in different ways.
Try them in all ways to see which you like the best.
In other words, different cooking methods produce different textures and flavors. So, it's like eating a whole different vegetable if you cook them differently.
For example, frying a sweet potato is not as sweet as baking a sweet potato. This is because baking a sweet potato releases the natural sweetness of the potato.
Another example is the Brussel sprouts. I've had Brussel sprouts in all sorts of ways. I've fried them, baked them, roasted them. But, a good friend came over and cooked us dinner and she AIR FRIED them. WOW! Just when I thought Brussel sprouts couldn't get any better.
The air fryer produced a crisper texture. However, when you fry them on the stovetop, it produces a soft texture.
So, it all depends on the mood your in, what you want, and how long you have to cook dinner.
Baking takes the longest at about 25-30 minutes while the air fryer takes 6 minutes. Cooking them in a pan on the stovetop takes about 12-15 minutes. So, make a decision!
Cook your vegetables differently. Experiment with different methods and find out what you like.
The Art of Eye-Level
Put all of your vegetables at eye-level in your fridge.
We are more likely to cook what we see. Kind of like the saying out of sight, out of mind. When you don't see the vegetables, you're less likely to cook them. You are going to cook what you see first. Put your vegetables right where you can see them. Make it obvious to you that they are there.
When you get into the fridge, they'll be hard to miss... EAT ME!
This is why stores put the most eye-catching products at eye-level. When they do this, it increases sales. Marketers know their stuff... they know what will get customers to buy their product. Then, they are put at eye-level and we just can't resist. Unfortunately, those eye-catching products are usually not the healthiest choice which is why we need to look at the top and the bottom of the shelves. But that's another topic for another day.
To sum it up, it's the same concept as to where you put your vegetables in the fridge. Put them in the drawer you are more likely to forget about them. But put them on one of the shelves and bam! They are right there, ready for you to cook.
Another benefit to this is you'll automatically know which vegetables you need to cook soon. You'll notice when a vegetable is on its last leg. This just means you need to cook it within the next day or so. Look at that... dinner planned. Oh... a no wasting money here because I didn't have to throw those vegetables away. Look at you go!
Sneaky Veggie Ideas
Cauliflower mashed potatoes
Zucchini, bacon, and egg muffins
Spinach, sausage, and egg muffins
Leaf lettuce instead of a bun
How to Eat More Vegetables Takeaway
It's important to get vegetables into your daily nutrition plan. Your body needs the nutrients in them. Experiment with them and try new things. There are many options out there. They won't get old if you rotate the way you cook them and spice them.
Certified Brain Health Coach
Owner of SustainaBRAIN