30 Days to Living Healthy in 2020Sunday, March 1 | 9 PM
Nutrition Specialist Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Struggling to Enjoy Vegetables? Prepare Them Using These Methods
Any nutrition specialist will tell you that high-quality vegetables are a critical part of your diet. They provide the highest concentration of vitamins and minerals and often contain a variety of antibiotics and other items that improve your overall health in a variety of ways. However, many people struggle to enjoy vegetables simply because they don’t know how to prepare them.
While raw or steamed veggies are the healthiest way to eat vegetables, they also don’t provide a lot of flavors. However, some methods provide flavor but also add too much fat and cholesterol to your veggies. The following preparation methods will help you create vegetables that you love and which will be easy to eat in large volume without a lot of extra work or difficulty.
Bake Them Into Delicious Fries
If you’re struggling to integrate vegetables into your diet, you may want to consider baking some delicious veggie fries. This name may seem confusing – you’re baking your “fries” instead of frying them – but the extra flavor that they offer is not complicated. If you’re smart and clever with your spices and herbs, you can create delicious veggie fries that will quickly meet your needs.
The flavor will vary depending on what ingredients you want to use. For example, you can add garlic to not only boost their flavor but to combine the benefits of garlic to the vegetables as well. However, you can also use olive oil and other cooking oils to add a boost of flavor without compromising the health quality of the vegetables. Mix up flavors to come up with a variety of different taste possibilities.
For example, you could add garlic and smoked black pepper to create very robust flavors that will make your veggies enjoyable and tastier. Cut them up into small wedges – typically about 3-4 out of a single vegetable – and coat them with flavoring before baking them 30-45 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This should get the veggies nice and firm but not too mushy, which will make your nutrition specialist happy.
Make Veggie “Leather” Snacks
If you’ve ever shopped at a food co-op, you’ll likely have tried fruit leather at some point in your life. Fruit leather is dried fruit thinly sliced to make it easier to eat. This choice will concentrate all of the nutrients and vitamins into the fruit leather. However, you can also make vegetable leather in the same way or integrate bits of vegetables into your standard fruit leather to make great snacks.
Start this process by blending a variety of vegetables, such as kale, spinach, broccoli, and carrots and then adding two cups of water. This should make the vegetable mixture very watery, which is where you want it to be before you cook. Line a pan with plastic and pour the vegetable mix – add fruit to your preference – into the bottom of the pan and place the it in the oven.
Set the oven for 170 degrees Fahrenheit – the lowest temperature on most ovens – and let the mixture cook for about 14 hours. Check every few hours to ensure that the mixture has a leathery consistency, rather than a spongy one, to get the best results. Cut the mix up into bars that you can then wrap into individual plastic sheets and store them in the fridge until you are ready to eat them. Talk to your nutrition specialist about this option to see what they think.
Create a Tasty Chili Mixture
If you’re a big fan of chili, you should talk to your nutrition specialist about the healthiest chili options available for you. A chili will provide you with a great way to add vegetables to your diet. For example, you can add a variety of different vegetables, such as onions, peppers, broccoli, carrots, and various types of beans to create a delicious mixture of concentrated vegetables.
Once you have mixed all of your vegetables, you can add flavoring such as chili powder and other types of peppers to enhance the taste of your vegetables. If you’re not vegan or vegetarian, you can also add meat to provide a little boost of protein to your chili. Those who aren’t eating meat can instead add in kidney and black beans to make the chili more delicious and more comfortable to tolerate.
The beautiful thing about chili dishes is that the vegetables will be so evenly cooked that you will barely even taste them. Just as importantly, they’ll have an easier-to-tolerate texture that won’t cause you to gag. Unfortunately, many people who struggle to enjoy vegetables often struggle to enjoy the texture, so if you make the textures less extreme, you’re more likely to enjoy your veggies. As always, talk to your nutrition specialist to learn more about your options and to pick one that is right for your needs.
Getting Into Great Shape With Vegetables
If you are trying to get into better shape or add more nutrients to your diet, you need to consider these unique vegetable preparation options seriously. However, you should also find other methods that may be useful for your needs. Though the techniques above are among the most popular and beneficial, the following methods will also help and include:
- Steam vegetables – When you properly steam vegetables, you can turn them into a side dish for just about any meal. Mash them up to create a delicious mix that is hard to top.
- Make a juice – Gather up the vegetables that you want to enjoy and place them in a blender. Blend them and add delicious fruit additives to improve the taste even more.
- Bake a veggie-crust pizza – If you’re really into pizza and having a hard time getting vegetables onto your pies, make your crust out of vegetables to enhance its flavor and healthiness.
- Grill your veggies – Fire up your grill and create tasty grilled vegetable spears that you can add items like peppers, meat, and other ingredients to as a way of improving their flavor.
- Make a dip – Chop up your vegetables and blend about half to create a liquid. Mix your chopped solid vegetables in with the fluid to create a salsa-like dip that you can enjoy.
All of these tips come directly from nutrition specialists and will make your vegetables tastier and healthier. So don’t hesitate to integrate vegetables into your diet using these techniques to improve your health and get into shape more efficiently.