Vegetables are low in fat and calories and packed with nutrients, making them an important part of any healthy eating plan. But if you didn't grow up eating vegetables, you may find it hard to eat them now, even as an adult. Luckily, it's not too late to come around to vegetables. With so many different varieties of vegetables and delicious preparations available, you should be able to find a few vegetables that you can add to your regular diet. Branch out and give some new vegetables and cooking techniques a try -- you may find that you like vegetables more than you thought you did.
Give more vegetables a chance and you might find one or two that you actually enjoy. If you can't stomach green vegetables at first, or vegetables that can taste bitter, such as Brussels sprouts or cabbage, try something completely different. The North Dakota State University website recommends eating vegetables from every color of the rainbow. Try orange vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, which have a sweeter flavor than many green vegetables. Opt for red vegetables, such as red bell peppers and beets, to introduce new flavors and nutrients to your diet.
Use Flavors You Enjoy
If you love spicy foods, add more spice to your veggies to entice your taste buds. Try a vegetable-packed curry or salsa. If you like Asian flavors, shred fresh vegetables, such as cabbage or carrots, and toss them with an Asian-inspired dressing, made with soy sauce, ginger and sesame oil. Just avoid adding large amounts of fats, especially dairy-based fats, such as butter and cheese, to your vegetables dishes to ensure you still reap the veggies' healthy benefits.
Change Your Cooking Methods
Preparing vegetables to your liking is as important to your taste buds as choosing which vegetables to eat. If you're used to eating boiled vegetables, the cooking method may be the reason you're not a veggie fan. Boiling vegetables not only wipes out the nutrients, but all that hot water sucks the veggies' flavor right out of them. Instead, saute chopped fresh vegetables in a little bit of a healthy oil, such as olive oil, until they are slightly tender but still somewhat crisp. Or roast vegetables in a hot oven until the outsides start to turn brown, about 20 minutes in an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If you still find you can't stomach vegetables this way, try tasting them raw, sprinkled with a small amount of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. The crispness of a fresh veggie may be just the thing to entice your appetite.
If all else fails, trick yourself into liking vegetables. Shred carrots and add the gratings to muffins to add nutrients without adding an obvious carrot flavor. Finely chop green vegetables, such as spinach or broccoli, and add them to baked pasta dishes or casseroles. Just be sure to go light on added fats and use low-fat or fat-free dairy products when seasoning pasta and casseroles to keep your meals healthier.