After digging around the internet for ages, one thing should be clear: vegetables are paramount in your diet. Eating a variety of veggies has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk obesity and many chronic diseases. But despite this knowledge, most people cannot still bring themselves to eat vegetables daily. But that could be primarily because you are stuck to the same cooking methods. So why don’t you try these creative ideas on how to make vegetables taste good?
How Much Vegetables Should You Eat A Day?
The Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) advises adults to consume 2 to 3 cup equivalents of vegetables daily (1). However, many of us do not eat enough veggies. The number one reason people give for not eating enough veggies is that they do not like them.
How To Make Vegetables Taste Good?
You may not like to have some, but it may be because you have not tried a tasty or the proper preparation. You could play around with your veggies and not just prepare them only by steaming or roasting. Are you looking for inspiration on how to make vegetables taste good? Check out these easy methods:
Spice Things Up!
Veggies are like any other food, meaning you can enhance their flavor using spices. But the trick is determining the right spice to match your vegetables. So how do you know the right herb or seasoning for vegetables?
Discover their flavor profile. Determine what spice pairs well with what vegetable. Here is an overview of a few vegetables and the spices that pair well with them (3):
- Artichokes: Garlic, bay leaf, parsley, coriander, and paprika.
- Broccoli: Chives, basil, dill, garlic, oregano, ginger, marjoram, rosemary, curry, sage, thyme, tarragon, and red pepper flakes.
- Cauliflower: Cumin, coriander, dill, garlic, mint, basil, nutmeg, oregano, parsley, fennel, thyme, paprika, and tarragon.
- Asparagus: Rosemary, tarragon, marjoram, basil, mustard, nutmeg, dill, and curry.
- Brussels sprouts: Mustard, oregano, nutmeg, parsley, caraway, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram.
Don’t Overcook Them
Unfortunately, overcooking your vegetables makes them lose their visual appeal and natural flavor, and they tend to get mushy. Additionally, this can make them lose valuable vitamins and nutrients (3). So, especially if you are boiling or steaming your veggies, stick to the recommended timeline so that they do not taste bland.
Read More: Benefits Of Turnip Greens: Reasons You Should Be Eating These Healthy Vegetables
Another way to brighten your veggies and enhance their flavor is by adding something tangy or acidic such as lime or lemon juice. Here is an example of a recipe that incorporates this preparation method:
Recipe: Spring Greens with Lemon Dressing (5)
The following recipe allows you to serve your nutritious greens with fresh lemon and garlic flavors. The recipe is as follows:
- 250 g broccoli, thicker stalks halved
- 400 g spring green, thick stalks removed and shredded
For the dressing
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Zest and juice 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Make the dressing by mixing the lemon juice and zest, olive oil, garlic, and seasoning.
- Boil some water in a large pan, and then add the broccoli and greens. Cook until tender or for about 5 minutes. Drain, then toss through the dressing and serve.
- Calories- 53
- Total fat- 4 g
- Total carbs- 2 g
- Fiber- 3 g
- Protein- 3 g
If you love cheese, then this news is perfect! Yes, veggies and cheese blend well together to give you one of the tastiest meals. Don’t forget cheese next time you go grocery shopping.
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Serve Your Veggies With A Dip
Another excellent way to elevate the taste of your blanched, roasted, grilled, or raw veggies is by serving them with a dip. You have many dip choices, including guacamole and tzatziki . Here is one of the vegetable recipes where dips are used:
Recipe: Cheesy Spinach & Artichoke Dip (2)
This recipe is perfect if you want to incorporate cheese and dips into your vegetable recipe. It entails:
- 300 g chopped frozen spinach, defrosted
- 2 x 280 g jars of artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
- 75 g vegetarian hard cheese, grated
- 250 g soft cheese
- 100 g grated mozzarella
- 100 g grated vegetarian cheddar
- Vegetable oil for the dish
- 150 ml soured cream
- 100 g mayonnaise
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely grated
- Tortilla chips and crudités of your choice to serve
- Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Oil a small baking dish lightly. Tip the defrosted spinach into a sieve set with the back of a large spoon to remove excess liquid. Set aside.
- Take a medium bowl and whisk the mayonnaise, soured cream, and soft cheese. When well-mixed, add most of the cheeses, the artichokes, garlic, and spinach. Season with black pepper, then fold to combine everything.
- Spoon the mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden. You can flash under a hot grill for the final few minutes if you want an extra-crisp top. Let it stand for 5 minutes, then serve with crudités and tortilla chips.
- Calories- 318
- Total fat- 28 g
- Total carbs- 5 g
- Fiber- 2 g
- Protein- 10 g
Read More: Are Bell Peppers Good For You? Nutrition And Health Benefits Of These Vegetables
Stuff Your Vegetables
Stuffing veggies is one of the healthy ways to cook vegetables that taste good. It makes them the star of your dish while allowing you to mix different vegetables for more flavors. Here is a stuffed vegetable recipe for kids and adults to try (6):
Recipe: Stuffed Vegetables
- 400 g/14 oz. long-grain rice, rinsed
- 1 green, red, and yellow pepper
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1 green and yellow courgette
- 2 small–medium aubergines
- 250 ml/9 fl oz. vegetable stock
- 6 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2½ tbsp. tomato purée
- A large handful of flat leaf parsley and fresh mint
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- ⅛ tsp. chili flakes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3.
- Prepare the veggies for stuffing by cutting the tops off the peppers and tomatoes to create lids. Set the tops aside. Scoop out the pepper seeds and discard, plus the tomato flesh and seeds but reserve. Cut the courgettes and aubergines lengthways and scoop out the seeds and flesh. Add the flesh from the aubergines and courgettes to that of the tomato flesh and seeds and chop well.
- Fry the onion and garlic in 3 tablespoons of olive oil until soft. Add the chopped vegetable flesh and the tomato purée and cook for 10 minutes or until softened.
- Add the rice and 150 ml of the vegetable stock and raise it from simmer to let it cook for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the herbs and chili flakes.
- Arrange the vegetable shells on a roasting tin and spoon the rice mixture into them. Place the lids on the tomatoes and peppers, then drizzle them with extra olive oil.
- Pour the remaining stock into the tin, cover with aluminum foil and bake for an hour. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 to 30 minutes until the veggies and rice cook.
- Serve hot, warm, or cold.
This recipe makes 8 to 10 servings. If served in 10 portions, it provides:
- Calories- 249
- Protein- 5 g
- Total carbs- 39 g
- Total fat- 7.5 g
- Fiber- 4 g
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Trying Different Recipes
There are many ways you can prepare your veggies. However, most people opt for the same methods, especially when hungry or tired. Unfortunately, this makes them boring and bland. So, try new recipes to spice things up.
Make A Smoothie
One of the healthy ways to make the best tasting vegetables is simply by blending them into a smoothie. This helps mask their bitterness, especially if you want to eat them raw. Luckily, you can add other flavorful ingredients, such as fruits and nut milk.
The Bottom Line
There are many ways on how to make vegetables taste good. They include stuffing them, adding spices and herbs, adding them to a smoothie, using new recipes, adding acidity, serving them with dips, and not overcooking them.
So, forget about making bland veggies by trying these simple techniques. But it would be best to consult your nutritionist if you need to tweak your diet plan to accomplish a particular goal.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Adults Meeting Fruit and Vegetable Intake Recommendations— United States, 2019 (2022, cdc.gov)
- Cheesy spinach & artichoke dip (2022, bbcgoodfood.com)
- Guide to Matching Herbs and Spices With the Right Veggies (2020, onegreenplanet.org)
- Health Tip: Don’t Overcook Veggies (2013, medicinenet.com)
- Spring greens with lemon dressing (2022, bbcgoodfood.com)
- Stuffed vegetables (2022, bbc.co.uk)