Just follow these five tips, and you can meet your daily recommended intake even if you can’t stand the thought of eating them.
Use them to mimic other foods
For example, steam cauliflower florets until they are soft, then drizzle some melted butter or olive oil over them and mash them with a fork. The result is a smooth and creamy dish that resembles mashed potatoes.
Make them fun to eat
The key to tricking yourself into eating (more) vegetables is to make them appetising – pair them with foods that you love, or cook them using methods that will, surely, make them taste better. Doesn’t succulent corn on the cob, grilled vegetable kebabs, or crisp lettuce cups filled with tuna mayo salad sound so much better than boring ol’ vegetables?
Mix them into your usual meals
The easiest way to do so is to hide the vegetables you hate in stews, burger mince, soups, smoothies and sauces. For instance, chop carrots into small pieces and add them to Bolognese sauce, or blend spinach leaves into a banana, berry and milk smoothie. This way, you can add fibre as well as vitamins and minerals to the dishes you love. Combining abhorred vegetables with tastier ingredients also means you’re less likely to be able to taste them – especially helpful if you’re adverse to the taste of raw vegetables.
Turn them into snacks…like tasty vegetable crisps!
Using a vegetable peeler, thinly slice sweet potatoes, purple sweet potatoes, carrots, lotus root, yam, an apple or a pineapple. Lightly coat the slices with cooking oil spray, then pop them into the oven at about 130 deg C; bake until crisp – this could take one to two hours, depending on your oven. Flip the veggie slices every now and then for even browning.
Include them in desserts
Incorporating veggies into baked goods – think pumpkin muffins and carrot cakes – is a great way to increase your vegetable intake; you’ll also get healthier snacks. Reduce the amount of sugar used – the natural sweetness of the veg will compensate for it.
EXPERT SOURCES: Bibi Chia, principal dietitian at Raffles Diabetes & Endocrine Centre, and Darren Blakeley, personal trainer, and director/ general manager at Ufit
By Sasha Gonzales, Her World, August 2015