I was a model child when it came to drinking my milk, but vegetables? Not so much. This plea appeared recently on my blog, and I’m sure applies to many of us


Model child Jewels
“My mother never made me eat vegetables so I never developed a taste for them. I want to eat healthier but everytime I try a veggie I don’t like the taste. Is there any veggie’s you can recommend for a veggie hater? Thanks, Regina”
I don’t know about you, but my mother’s idea of vegetables, was to open a can, drain, heat, and dump on the plate. Eventually she graduated to the frozen variety you simply snip the corner off the packet, nuke for a couple minutes, and serve swimming in butter. I too, thought I hated vegetables.

 

Christmas dinner with Nicks parents, Sylvia and Roger
I admit, the only reason I ever tried fresh vegetables, is because I was too embarrassed to say “no thank you” when my soon to be mother-in-law served them to me for my first Sunday lunch in their home. At first I made sure each bite was disguised by a bit of roast beef drowning in gravy. Eventually my taste adjusted, and I started eating vegetables on their own. These were not the veggies of my childhood. Plus our taste buds mature as we age, so I recommend re-trying things you disliked as a child.


I think a great way to develop a taste for vegetables, is to eat them in combination (or hidden) with other foods you do like. Try a pasta dish with tomato sauce and cheese to balance the flavor of vegetable, or perhaps a cottage pie, or a stew.

If it is the texture you don’t like, change it! Try a pureed vegetable or soup. The purple cauliflower mash above can be made with normal, white cauliflower, and should mimic the consistency of mashed potatoes. Try the different variations I suggest in the recipe, like adding Parmesan or chipotle peppers to adapt the flavor more to your liking.

Braising kale with chicken or vegetable broth
Try new preparations of the “despised” culprit. Boiling or steaming can get dull after a while, and the vegetable flavor will be strong. Mellow it out by braising in vegetable or chicken broth.
Sesame roasted yellow & orange baby carrots
You can also roast just about any vegetable – cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, asparagus, beets, etc. Roasting brings out the natural sugars that can make vegetables more palatable to everyone, even finicky eaters. About the only vegetable Tatjana doesn’t care for is green beans (she eats vegetables, because we always ate them, and she wasn’t given an option), but she loves them roasted.
Grilling adds a smokey flavor, and you can season with different herbs and spices to alter the flavor more still – I like a little cajun seasoning on mine.
Marinades are great for adding flare and flavor too. Put an Asian slant on it with the sweet and sour asparagus above, or more of an Italian twist with the balsamic marinated vegetables below. I make a huge batch at the beginning of the week, and snack on them.

 

Sautes and Stir Fry’s are also a quick, flavorful approaches to keeping it interesting and healthy. There are thousands of stir-fry recipes on the web, and I can’t help myself – I eat a whole pan full of these Brussels sprouts every time I make them.

My point is, how can you say you don’t like vegetables until you have tried them all prepared in a multitude of different ways? Now, while the local farmer’s markets are brimming with fresh produce is the time to get experimenting, and find a few (or more) that you do like.

Buying direct from the source ensures the freshest
Whether you’re trying to lose weight (vegetables are extremely low in calories so you can eat plenty of them, but high in fiber so you stay full); or just wanting to eat healthier – you can’t go wrong adding all the vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidents you get from veggies to your diet. They even add color to your plate, making a meal much more inviting! You can click on the link under most pics for the recipes to make them. Have I persuaded you yet?
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  • August 5, 2010
    10:38 am

    Yes, you have persuaded me, but it has been easy to do because I like grilled vegetables:-)Tha fact is that your vegetables look better than mine so I may eat pretty everything (except onions)that look so good:-)Carmen Ronsisvalle

  • August 5, 2010
    5:45 pm

    Oh I have to laugh. I am the reverse. All I ever had as a child was fresh garden grown veggies and I ate everything put in front of me but now?? Oh now way. The smell of cabbage makes me very nauseous, I cannot abide carrot and don't put me anywhere near anything that isn't a green bean or a pea (okay so I will eat cauliflower and broccoli). However I will eat carrot and cabbage in stir fry! The only way to get me to eat veggies is if I make a veggie soup and put veggies in and liquidize them, then I can't taste them! Thankfully my niece and nephew love their veggies and my excuse if ever my nephew asks why I don't eat them? They make auntie's tummy hurt…

  • August 5, 2010
    6:25 pm

    I grew up eating the canned stuff and I couldn't stand it. I hated vegetables. Later, I was sharing an apartment in college with a vegetarian who loved to cook, and I learned that vegetables didn't have to taste as bad as mom made them (LOL sorry mom)…roasting and grilling are my two favorites, though I prefer raw. the other night we had roasted sweet potato french fries with curry powder on them, and they were all gone very quickly. So Thankful my kiddos like veggies. I still can't bring myself to eat greens though…they make me nauseous. I've tried to like them but just can't. Any good tips to make them not taste like greens. LOL

  • August 5, 2010
    9:43 pm

    Well I also have the problem with my kids not eating vegetables. Not that I didn't try but as soon as they were through with the puree they put a ban on veggies. Can't get them to even eat corn. Even I like corn! Very frustrating.Regina

  • August 5, 2010
    10:08 pm

    Where are you more apt to find yellow carrots? I mostly shop at local produce market but never have seen.Carly Guerrero

  • August 5, 2010
    10:09 pm

    I loved this post. I am a vegetarian =)Márcia Abud Ankh

  • August 5, 2010
    10:25 pm

    Soon to be NOT FAT GIRL, how do you usually prepare them. I use a little olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flake, toss in the greens and toss to coat with the flavors, pour in vegetable or chicken broth, and braise until just cooked (I'm not into cooked to death greens); or try the recipe for Asian-style beet greens on my website. Regina – kids take cues from us. If they sense mom doesn't like a vegetable, they shut off to it too. You have to lead by example or else be very careful you are not giving off signals that it is not something you would eat.Carly – my local grocery store had them, but you don't have to have yellow carrots to make the recipe – I just thought it looked pretty.

  • August 5, 2010
    11:42 pm

    @Carly…if you are in the USA, Krogers sells them. They also sell the purple cauliflower and white asparagus now, too. Thanks Jewels, I'll be trying your beet greens recipe. I usually have just boiled or steamed them, per the cook book, but they are pretty blah. I bet red pepper flakes would help.~Mari

  • August 6, 2010
    4:43 pm

    My girls LOVE the mashed potatoes I make at home. (*cough* mashed CAULIFLOWER *cough*). Great tip! ;-PRhonda Davis Crombie

  • August 6, 2010
    4:44 pm
  • August 6, 2010
    9:22 pm

    Mine eat cauliflower with ranch, they always have liked itCarly Guerrero

  • August 7, 2010
    9:41 am

    I must say, I have pretty much always eaten vegetables from an early age….except for brussel sprouts. Although I am getting there slowly now thanks to your maple glazed brussel sprouts recipe.My 19month old Mia is soooooo into her veggies. She absolutely can't get enough of it. I make sure she eats everything she possibly can.Leading by example is very true.Aussie Mum

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