4 Foolproof Ways to Make Vegetables Taste Good

Roasted fruits and vegetables
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Do you eat enough vegetables? The U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines recommend we consume one to three cups of vegetables (in addition to one to two cups of fruit) every day, depending on age, sex, and level of physical activity. But for many people, eating vegetables can often feel like a chore if you haven't figured out how to prepare them in a way that is not only healthy, but also makes them taste good. Believe it or not, there are healthy ways to add delicious flavor to veggies that don't involve melted cheese and ranch dressing, which, while tasty and fine to enjoy in moderation, are loaded with fat and calories and aren't a healthy choice to enjoy on the regular. Read on to learn how to make vegetables taste good so you'll look forward to eating them every day.

Give Your Old Habits a Break

You may think you don't like vegetables because you haven't found any that suit your taste buds. If your experience with veggies is limited to steamed broccoli and bland casseroles your mom's been making all your life, then it's definitely time to branch out.

Start by visiting your local farmer's market and scope out some new-to-you items. Take the time to talk to local growers and find out which vegetables are in season. You'll get the best flavor from foods that are grown locally and picked fresh.

If there is no farmer's market in your area, talk to the produce manager at your local grocery store. These pros will more than likely be happy to share buying tips and preparation ideas that can make vegetables taste infinitely better. Many grocery stores also provide recipe cards with new ideas for cooking.

Try New Cooking Methods

It's hard for most people to enjoy veggies when they are steamed or boiled with little or no seasonings. Many vegetables turn out mushy and bland when they are prepared this way, so if it's all you know, you're definitely ready to try your hand at some new techniques.

One method that has grown in popularity is using an air fryer to get the delicious, crunchy taste of fried food without the fat and calories. Another tried-and-true method is roasting or grilling vegetables with a drizzle of olive oil to get a smoky flavor.

You can also learn how to saute vegetables in butter, olive oil, or wine to make them more satisfying. Or if you prefer to keep the calorie count lower but still add plenty of flavor, you can saute veggies in chicken stock. While you can try it for almost any vegetable, sauteing works best for leafy greens such as kale, mustard greens, or chard. If you're a cheese-lover, sprinkle a small amount of Parmesan or Manchego on top of the finished dish to add some extra flavor.

Add Some Extra Zest With Herbs and Spices

If you're convinced you can't stomach the taste of vegetables, chances are they just need some extra flavor. Think about the foods that you actually do enjoy. What seasonings are used to prepare them? You can often use those same spices and seasonings to make vegetables taste better.

For example, do you love tacos and nachos? Then sprinkle cumin, cayenne, or even Tabasco sauce on sliced zucchini or yellow squash, and roast the veggies for about 10 minutes at 425 degrees for a Mexican-style side dish. Are you a fan of French food? Chop fresh herbs such as tarragon and toss with a teaspoon of olive oil. Brush lightly on asparagus and roast for about five to 10 minutes. And if you prefer Indian food, sprinkle curry powder on eggplant or another soft vegetable and grill or roast for 25 to 30 minutes.

Hide Veggies in Your Favorite Recipes

If all else fails and you still can't tolerate the taste of vegetables, try hiding them in some of your favorite foods. For example, you can chop steamed broccoli into small pieces and add it to a low-fat turkey meatloaf. The blended seasonings in the loaf will cover up the taste of the broccoli, and you'll get one or two servings' worth of vegetables in a lean and hearty meal.

Another growing trend is making pizza crust out of cauliflower, which many people find still tastes great even if it's not close to the real thing. Top your pizza with your favorite sauce, cheese, and meat, and you'll forget you're also eating vegetables.

You can also add vegetables to your favorite sweet smoothie recipe without them affecting the flavor at all. For example, when carrots are added to a strawberry or raspberry smoothie, they add sweetness and color. And this green smoothie recipe ​contains a healthy dose of spinach you won't even notice aside from the vibrant color of the blended mixture.

And lastly, soup recipes are a great way to incorporate more vegetables in your diet. Many creamy soup recipes include vegetables like cauliflower to add texture and complement old favorites like potatoes. Before you know it, you'll find yourself craving vegetables with one of your newfound techniques.

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