Thursday, August 15, 2013

8 Tips for Veggie Haters...Sneak them in! :)

Some People love veggies and yes are there are those that hate them! 
Some of you may have negative experiences in regards to eating veggies from your childhood that come back to haunt you as adults. Maybe you were forced to eat vegetables, or had to eat a stack of green beans to get to dessert or leave the table. Possibly your vegetables had been served to you overcooked and mushy. Or perhaps some time in your life, you were on a diet where all you could eat were certain vegetables. 

When I was a kid my mom couldn't get me to eat most veggies! I had endless moments crying at the table and hating the smell of green beans and peas. I have four children and my oldest boy, Collin was just like I was! I learned to disguise his vegetables in the food I cooked or prepare a yummy dip just so he would eat them. It worked most of the time. :) I also supplement my family with a chew-able super food vitamin that has a full spectrum of enzymes, amino acids and brown rice. I don't think it is a sole replacement for veggies but it's the perfect supplement You can check out: Natures Plus Source of Life for more info.

The problem with hating vegetables is that they are arguably the most health-promoting food group on the planet. If you aren't eating vegetables, you aren't getting all their amazing components like fiber, antioxidants, and other powerful phytochemicals that nourish and protect the body.
So what's a veggie-hater to do? People who think they hate vegetables can definitely learn to be creative in the kitchen and add them into their diet. 
Karen Collins, MS, RD, nutrition advisor for the American Institute for Cancer Research explains,"If veggies are only served in ways that don't match your personal flavor preferences, they won't seem exciting,"  So if you love spicy food, you won't like veggies served plain; or if you love simple, earthy flavors, veggies covered with rich sauce won't appeal.
But there are also innate physical reasons why some people have an aversion to certain vegetables. According to Collins, a genetic trait has been identified that seems to make some people have extra-sensitive receptors for bitter tastes."They are sometimes dubbed 'super tasters' and they make up about 25% of the population," says Collins.
But there are ways to tame the taste in these nutrition-packed vegetables. Check out the tips below for help on this, and for more ways to get vegetables past the lips of even confirmed veggie haters.

Sneak them in tip No.1:  Add veggies you almost like to dishes you already love.
Layer zucchini slices, chopped spinach, or shredded carrots into lasagna sphaghetti  Stir cooked down broccoli florets into macaroni and cheese. Toss whatever veggies you like (tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus) into an omelet or quesadilla, pizza

Sneak them in tip No. 2: Try them in soup.

Embellish your favorite soups with added veggies. Some homemade soups already contain a nice amount of vegetables, but most canned and commercial choices can stand to have their veggie quota bumped up. I love adding  celery, edamame, onion, peas, carrots, squash or finely chopped spinach to chicken noodle soup. Just add them while you are cooking or heating the soup.

Sneak them in tip No. 3: Serve them raw.

Raw veggies can be more appetizing than cooked to people who aren't crazy about vegetables.The texture is crispy, rather than mushy and using dip. ie: hummus, oil and vinegar, green tabasco or peanut butter

Sneak them in Tip No. 4: Drink your vegetables. 
There are several good green/veggie juices on the market (Odwalla Super Food juices, V-8 or carrot juice), even veggie-fruit juice blends that taste great. Or, create your own veggie blend juice by blending some carrot juice with a fruit juice (like mango, tangerine, apples strawberries or orange juice.  We have the Jack Lalane Juicer and we love it!

Sneak them in Tip No. 5: Increase the fun factor.

Let's face it: some vegetables are just more fun to eat than others. Corn on the cob (especially when grilled) continues to be fun into adulthood. So are veggie kabobs, and celery sticks filled with natural peanut butter and raisins or light cream cheese. And a zucchini half, tomato, bell pepper, or portobello mushroom stuffed with a savory filling can be as elegant as it is fun.

Sneak them in Tip No. 6: Grill and Broil

 You'll be amazed at how great grilled veggies taste. Before grilling or broiling, just brush veggies lightly with canola or olive oil, garlic salt ,light Italian dressing, or the same marinade you're using for your meat (make sure to use marinade that hasn't touched the raw meat). Large pieces can go straight onto the grill (portobello mushrooms, asparagus zucchini halves, large pieces of eggplant). String smaller pieces onto a skewer for a veggie kabob.

Eat More Vegetables Tip No. 7: Don't reward your kids (or yourself) for eating vegetables.
"Studies suggest that when we are rewarded for eating something, then the reward becomes the treat and we will not see the food itself as enjoyable," notes Collins. When this is standard table practice for vegetables, we're taught indirectly that the vegetables are the punishment we have to get through to reach our reward.

Eat More Vegetables Tip No. 8: It's all about the cheese.

When all else fails, you can always sprinkle a little grated, reduced-fat cheese over the top. If cheese sauce is more your style, drizzle it over vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower and suddenly, it's a whole different ball game. 

Here's a recipe for Lower Fat Cheese Sauce.


  • Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large pot. Place broccoli in a steamer basket and set over water. Cover and steam until crisp-tender, about 5 to 6 minutes; drain and return to pot. Alternatively, you can cook broccoli in microwave.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, whisk together milk and flour until blended; place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes; remove from heat. Whisk in cheese until melted; whisk in mustard and salt.
  • Pour sauce over broccoli and toss until coated. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Happy Green Eating!


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