We all know that vegetables are good for us and help protect us from diseases. In such a way that even from the science perspective most nutritional guidelines from different societies and associations around the world have their first guideline as “Eat at least 5 Vegetables & Fruits a day”. However, Vegetables are not always the tastiest & appetizing food item in the table. Here are some of the creative ways to make your vegetables tastier and to encourage everyone to eat them.
Spice it up
Try these ways to spice up your vegetables.
- Add cinnamon to your squash & pumpkin
- Add mint sauce to your peas
- Use sweet chili & Soy sauce to your vegetable stir-fries
- Add onion, garlic & herbs to bring flavor to flash boiled green beans
- Add Vegetable stock powder to your vegetables for extra flavor & taste as well
- Adopt more dry cooking methods such as grilling, baking, dry steam for vegetables to preserve a nice crunchy texture
- Add a nice flavor low fat dressing to your salads then to have them just dry with no dressing.
- Try different varieties of lettuce to your Garden/ Green salad. Many people go for one time of lettuce which can be blend and boring.
Add Vegetables to breakfast options
Adding vegetables to scrambled eggs does not change the texture of scrambled egg. Vegetables that go well with scrambled are minced broccoli, cauliflower and spinach. A full serving of vegetable can go into a scrambled egg made for one person. When pancakes and waffles are in the menu for breakfast, try pumpkin or butternut squash pancakes or waffles Kids thoroughly enjoy these as they are bright orange in colour. Next weekend for breakfast, throw in a good amount pumpkin or squash purée into pancake or waffle mix to fit in an extra serving of veggies (and get a fun orange tinge, too). Kids will definitely ask for more.
Add them to smoothies
Smoothies are the quick and easy meal replacements or snack options suitable for on the run and busy individuals. However, fruit based smoothie tend to have high sugar concentrations than vegetable smoothies. A vegetable smoothie is a nice way to eat more vegetables. Try this appetizing vegetable smoothie which is lower is sugar and will provide you with at least one vegetable exchange (250ml Vegetable Smoothie). Recipe: 2 big handfuls of green leafy vegetable of choice (spinach or kale), ¼ Avo, 2-3 tablespoons low fat or fat free plain yoghurt, drizzle of sugar free cordial or a good squeeze of lemon juice, and some ice. Blend & enjoy chilled.
Green Pasta and Vegetable noodles
Add lots of spinach and mushrooms when making pasta dishes instead of having pasta with sauce and a “boring” salad on the side. Most vegetables will go well with pasta dishes when incorporated in them. For example, Spinach, peppers, green beans, asparagus, are good vegetables to incorporate in your pasta dish. Try to also experiment with vegetable noodles instead of using normal pasta (spaghetti in particular). You can buy already cut up vegetables such as zucchini, squash, cucumber, carrots or you can use your own julienne cutter to make nice shapes.
Add them to stews and casseroles
When vegetables are cut up well in appealing shapes and styles they add attitude to stews and casseroles by adding texture, extra flavour and colour. Adding vegetables to stews and casseroles also help bulk up a meal and make it more filling at little extra energy.
Turn ordinary vegetables into vegetable fries. Homemade Oven baked crispy vegetables: Arrange Vegetable of choice in pan e.g. Zuchini, brush with olive oil, and coat with bread crumbs and bake at 180◦C oven until golden brown & crispy. Kids enjoy this method with their favourite dip such as homemade tomato sauce, low fat hummus, or tzatziki. Try not to cut the vegetable into very small pieces so that kids can hold them and dip into sauce. A big growing trend in the market is of beetroot chips, and kale chips. This can also be part of healthy diet to encourage people to eat more vegetables.