We all know we should eat more vegetables. They should play a vital role in every diet. The NHS recommends we eat at least 5-a-day ( a minimum of 5 portions of varied fruit and veg) although most nutritionists recommend far more portions than that. But what if you and/or your children don’t like vegetables? This article provides 7 easy tips to help you learn to love your veggies.
But before we start with the tips, let’s briefly look at why we should be eating more vegetables.
The number of antioxidants and vitamins contained in veggies can help you improve your appearance and, more importantly, help you fight diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. They can also help build a healthy immune system which, in turn, can help protect us against coronavirus.
Although there may be differences in the detail, almost all nutritionists recommend following the principles of a plant-based Mediterranean Diet which includes not only veggies, but also whole grains, beans, herbs, spices, nuts and healthy fats, but only a couple of portions of fish and seafood each week, limited eggs, dairy and poultry occasionally and red meat less often.
Of course, there are also lots of environmental reasons for eating less meat and more veggies and, of course, an increasing number of animal lovers are moving to meat-free diets.
But don’t worry. We aren’t trying to convert you to veganism. It might be a bridge too far if you do not like veggies, but we just wanted to stress how important It is to incorporate more into your diet.
So, let’s start with our 7 tips to help you learn to love your veggies:
1. Start The Day With a Smoothie
Make your own combinations of veggies and fruit smoothies. For the base, choose greens! Baby spinach or kale are just a few nutritious options. Those two ingredients contain:
- Vitamin C and K
Kale boosts the detoxifying processes of your system, gradually improving your mood and wellbeing. While baby spinach reduces the risk of stroke and heart diseases. See? Veggies are fun!
Later you can add any fruit of preference and spice it up by adding some avocado, known for containing good fats, minerals, and vitamins.
Before eating any fruit or vegetable, remember to clean them neatly as some of them might still have pesticides on them. Those chemicals contain cast iron and other toxins. You may ask yourself a question: is aluminium bad for you? Yes, it is! It can lead to several diseases such as breast cancer, autism, and many more.
And don’t cheat! Adding fruit should ensure your smoothie is sweet enough, so do not add any refined sugar otherwise you will undo all the good you are trying to achieve.
2. Make a Soup with Blender
It’s time to give our guts some rest and eat easily digestible vegetable soups.
You do not need to be a chef to make them. II really does not take long to make soup without any special equipment, but a hand-blender or, better still, a high-speed blender will speed things up, particularly if you want to make lovely creamy soups.
You can even purchase soup makers nowadays – you literally just throw all the ingredients in, press the appropriate setting, and wait for the magic to happen!
For any soup, simply choose and prepare your base veggies such as carrot, butternut squash, cauliflower, or any other option you prefer. Think of your favourite spices and other veggies such as garlic, smoked paprika, and so on.
Make the soup even more tasty and interesting – and Insta ready if that’s your thing! – by finishing with a flurry of yoghurt, pumpkin or pomegranate seeds, fresh herbs, a sprinkling of spice, a grating of lemon.
Get creative and enjoy!
3. Try Veggie Noodles
Think of the perfect world where pasta is a healthy dish. Oh, wait it actually is – or can be!
Veggie noodles are a thing now! Try to substitute typical white noodles with:
- Broccoli stems
- Winter squash
- Potatoes and sweet
Grab your spiralizer or tools such as vegetable peeler, small mandolin slicer, paring knife, hand spiralizer, and start making some healthy noodles!
Note: if you are having ‘ordinary’ noodles, choose whole grains instead of normal white options.
4. Make Chips at Home
Homemade chips made from beets, sweet potatoes, or kale might help you stay healthy during long evenings next to the TV rather than opening a packet of crisps or that bar of chocolate….
Rub a little bit of olive oil or rapeseed oil into your prepared veggies and add your favourite spices. To add satisfying crunchiness, top lightly with salt.
Bake it in the oven and enjoy your healthy snack.
If you are making kale crisps, really massage the oil well into the leaves and keep an eye on them as they can burn quite quickly
Mmm… don’t you just love your veggies!
5. Add a Side Salad
Adding a side salad is a great way of making a meal more interesting and adding lots of veggies. But be adventurous. A side salad can be so much more than lettuce, cucumber, and tomato!
The supermarkets are full of pre-prepared salads if you really want to make it easy, but that works out more expensive. For ideas, scan the shelves and then just buy a bag of leaves and add the extras yourself.
Slaws are also a great option. They normally have a base of cabbage. Most people will be familiar with coleslaw, for example. But there are lots of options and you can add any type of dressing, not just mayonnaise. The good thing with slaws is that the keep so much better than leaf salads, so ideal to make up a batch and keep in the fridge.
But whatever type of salad you are making, do not be too heavy-handed with the dressing otherwise to just be adding too much fat and calories to your diet. In fact, sometimes, all you need is a squeeze of lemon juice.
6. Veggies as Bread Alternatives
Sometimes, instead of eating another slice of bread, why not use leaves of cabbage, kale, or little gem lettuce instead? Add your favourite toppings and enjoy a healthy meal.
Similarly, veggies such as bell peppers are great as a base for your favourite foods.
And instead of a sandwich why not try a baked sweet potato, which is much healthier than a white potato, with your favourite fillings?
7. Change your Cooking Techniques
Many years ago, people used to boil veggies to death and some people still do! Not only does boiling for too long result in mushy food and less flavour, but it also reduces the value of the vitamins and minerals.
But there are so many other methods to try out such as:
- Oven roasting – roast your veggies in the oven, remember to put some oil on top.
- Blanching – put your veggies into boiling water very briefly before you gave them an ice bath to stop the cooking process and keep them nice and crispy.
- Steaming – if you like veggies a bit softer but not soggy, steaming can ensure you get the texture right without depleting the mineral content. And do not waste the water – it’s great to add to gravy, sauces, and soups.
- Air frying – one of the most popular methods right now. Your vegetables get crunchy without a crazy amount of additional calories.
The Final Words
We all should analyse our eating habits and improve them every day to take good care of ourselves. As you can see, our 7easy tips to help you love your veggies aren’t challenging, but can definitely help you realise veggies can be delicious.
You could also check out our Healthy Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes section. It’s quite new but we are continually adding more recipes, so keep an eye out for the lastest updates.
Veg image by Shutterbug75 from Pixabay
Salad image by unserekleinemaus from Pixabay