Hopefully we don’t need to sell you on the fact that vegetables are good for you! We’ve all heard the nutrition pitch on their micronutrient density, high fibre and low energy content. But for some of us, eating vegetables feels like an unpleasant chore. Luckily there are many ways to prepare, cook and serve veggies which makes getting your ‘five a day’ surprisingly enjoyable.
Use different cooking methods
Adding tasty veggies to your diet could be as simple as changing how you cook them! Sometimes the vegetable you don’t like boiled, taste amazing roasted, grilled, steamed, sautéed or stir-fried. Roasting is a great method because the roasting process caramelises the sugars in vegetables, enhancing their flavour and making them sweeter. Virtually every vegetable, from potatoes and parsnips to broccoli, carrots and Brussels sprouts can be roasted. Try chopping up a variety of different coloured veggies (e.g. eggplant, capsicum, zucchini, red onion, sweet potato), tossing in extra virgin olive oil and seasoning with a little salt and pepper. Bake in the oven on a foil-lined tray at 180-200°C for 30-45 minutes and voila! Crispy, sweet and delicious vegetables!
Add herbs and spices
Using herbs and spices to season your vegetables is a great way to enhance their flavours. Here are 10 quick herb/spice and vegetable pairings to try:
- Asparagus with dill, marjoram, nutmeg or rosemary
- Broccoli with sage, oregano, thyme, rosemary, garlic, marjoram or nutmeg
- Carrots with parsley, basil, curry, chives, sage or thyme
- Zucchini with garlic, basil, parsley or oregano
- Eggplant with garlic, parsley, mint, sage, curry, basil, rosemary or oregano
- Leeks with mustard, parsley, dill, bay leaves, thyme, paprika or celery salt
- Mushrooms with ginger, pepper, cumin, parsley or thyme
- Peas with tarragon, mint, parsley, nutmeg, sage, marjoram or basil
- Potatoes with garlic, nutmeg, paprika, pepper, rosemary or thyme
- Tomatoes with basil, tarragon, garlic, chives, dill, mint, oregano, paprika, fennel, parsley or thyme
Flavour with a healthy dip
Eating veggies as a snack on the go or at the office is an easy way to get your ‘five a day’. If eating raw vegetables doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you need to try veggie sticks and dip. Dips are super easy to make at home in a food processor or you can purchase from a supermarket. Pair tzatziki, hummus, guacamole or white bean dip with capsicum, celery, carrots, snow or sugar snap peas.
An easy way to get extra veggies into your day is to include vegetable soup!
All you need to do is boil or slow cook whatever veggies you like with a little water or stock, then blitz with a stick blender or eat as is.
Pumpkin soup is always a fave, with pumpkin, potato, onion, leek and garlic. Or pea and ham, beef and vegetable, chicken noodle, lamb shank and pasta, Moroccan carrot, sweet potato and chickpea. The flavour combinations are endless!
Hide the veg!
If all else fails, hide vegetables in meals to mask the taste or texture to sneak them in. Vegetables can be added to almost every meal, even the ones you might least expect. Grate or puree veggies into sauces, mince dishes, soups and casseroles. Greens like kale, zucchini and baby spinach are easily disguised in a berry smoothie. Load omelettes up with finely diced onion, capsicum, mushrooms, spinach and cherry tomatoes. They will be tastier and are a whole lot more filling.
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