It’s hard getting the required amount of vegetables in during the day if you don’t enjoy eating them. The recommended number of servings is about 6 – 7, and this can be a hard requirement to fulfil. Here are some tips to help you try out new ways of getting veggies into your diet, even if you typically don’t prefer them.
This is probably the most important one. Green juices are an acquired taste, but start out with a higher proportion of fruits vs vegetables. Most vegetables have a milder taste, so are easily overpowered by the sweet and sour fruits. Once you start getting used to the taste, gradually decrease that proportion, so you are adding more vegetables and less fruit. Lemon is a great thing to add. It has a very strong sour taste which when diluted in a juice tastes amazing!
There are two types of juicers out on the market: Centrifugal and Cold Press. The second type is typically two to four times more expensive, but does yield a higher juice content with less oxidation (which can destroy some of the nutrients in your juice). However, if you are just starting out with juicing, I would recommend getting a centrifugal juicer. Get a reliable, high-rated juicer that will last you a long time, like the Breville Juice Fountain. They are typically the most reliable and affordable for the quality.
There are lots of recipes on-line, but you can add whatever you want to your juice. Here are a few things I like to add:
- Bottle gourd
While this is similar to juicing, you are blending whole vegetables and keeping the fibre content. Juicing typically removes the fibre and provides you with a more watery consistency. You can fit in more vegetables with juicing, but retaining the fibre also has its advantages. Smoothies will keep you more full. Leafy greens also blend more easily than they are juiced, so you will retain more of the nutrients. For the best benefits, you can use a combination of juicing and blending, but it can be a hassle to clean everything up. Making smoothies are best for on-the-go, or for a quick breakfast. If you don’t have a blender in your home, or are looking for one currently, the Nutribullet is one of the most recommended ones on the market today. It has a powerful motor and is long-lasting, so it’s well able to pulverize even tough vegetables like kale and swiss chard.
This one is similar to juicing and making smoothies in the sense that you are blending the vegetables together. Soups can be made cooked or raw, but if you don’t like the natural taste of vegetables, I would recommend roasting or boiling them first. Tomato soup is a great example, since the taste of tomatoes easily overpowers some of the other vegetable tastes you may not be as fond of. Be sure to check out which vegetables release more nutrients though cooking (tomatoes and carrots are a great example). You can also blend cooked cauliflower. Adding something like chicken stock to this will give flavour to the otherwise bland vegetable.
If you bake your own breads, loaves, or tortillas, try mixing in blended vegetables into your batter. For example, you won’t be able to taste the blended zucchini in your banana loaf. Blended spinach also releases water as it cooks, so your baked goods will turn out more moist and delectable.
Hiding Vegetables in Your Meals
You can also chop your vegetables and hide them in your meals, your stews or fried rice. Enchiladas and pasta are also great alternatives. I wouldn’t recommend this method for children however, since you aren’t teaching your children to eat their vegetables if they don’t know about them. If you are cooking the meal for yourself, vegetables chopped up in tiny pieces hide easily in other foods, and absorb the flavours of your meal. I’ve always found that I’m able to eat a larger quantity of vegetables this way, rather than large chunks of broccoli on my plate.
I hope this list has given you a few ideas, and if you try anything from this list at all, try juicing. I cannot emphasize the benefits it has – higher energy levels, less drowsiness, better skin and hair, better mood, and so on. Good luck.