Find Your Favorites: Vegetables

Vegetables range in taste from bitter to sweet, in texture from mushy to crisp, and in color from green to purple. With all that variety, it can be easy to get overwhelmed! 

Unless you’re the rare person who happily consumed your broccoli and peas as a child, chances are you struggle to include enough veggies in your diet. Vegetables get a bad rap, often because of our childhood experiences, but it really is possible to find vegetables that you not only tolerate, but that you actually like! 

If You Like Crunchy Snack Foods 

Celery is an obvious crisp candidate, but it is far from the only option. Fresh cucumbers also offer a satisfying crunch, as do: radishes, raw sweet and bell peppers, okra, raw cauliflower, and pickles. Don’t love raw veggies? Try making a low-carb dip out of mustard and vinegar, sprinkling with salt and pepper, or, mix chopped raw veggies for a crunchy salad. 

If You Crave the Sweeter Side of Life 

Meet jicama, a plain-looking Mexican root vegetable full of potential. Jicama is incredibly versatile and has the advantage of being tasty both raw and cooked. This turnip, sometimes called a yam, must be peeled, but then you can enjoy its light & sweet flavor: 

  • plan, like a celery stick
  • diced and tossed with a light dressing of vinegar, salt and pepper to make a salad-esque dish 
  • cut into sticks, tossed in herbs and spices with a smidgeon of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), and pan-roasted in the oven to make healthy, heavenly “fries”.  (Pro Tip –  you can use this method with any type of turnip.) 

 If You Love Smushable, Mushy Options 

 If you crave mashed potatoes, try cauliflower or turnip as an option. Simply chop, steam or boil, and mash your selected veggie by hand with a handheld mixer. You can also roast zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, eggplant, mushrooms or turnips in the oven for a crispy exterior and smooth, soft interior.  Grilling vegetables will have a similar effect, but usually gives a more distinct smoky flavor and added crunch. 

 If You Need to be Tricked into Eating Your Greens and Veg 

 At the end of the day, you know you don’t like vegetables. That’s OK!  

 You can still trick yourself into including more vegetables into your diet. Here are a couple of way s to sneak in healthy veggies without turning up your nose:  

  • Dice mushrooms into tiny pieces and brown them with ground beef or turkey 
  • Toss raw spinach, basil and garlic, then drizzle EVOO into a blender to make a waist-friendly pesto sauce which you can season to taste 
  • Use “riced’ cauliflower in place of white or brown rice 

The possibilities of vegetables are positively endless, but don’t feel overwhelmed. Pick one or two new veggies to try, find an easy recipe or cooking instructions, and experiment until you find your new favorites!