For some people, eating vegetables is pretty much torture. Vegetables have flavors and textures that can be pretty unappealing, especially depending on how you cook them.
But vegetables have so many positive health benefits that not eating them means missing out on essential nutrition. And you'd be surprised how much you may actually like a vegetable you've always hated if it's cooked in a different way.
September is Fruits & Vegetables: More Matters Month. That means it's the perfect time for you to try some new recipes to add some vegetables to your diet.
There are plenty of ways to make those carrots and broccoli and brussels sprouts taste great without sacrificing their nutritional value. Here are some chef secrets to cooking vegetables you'll actually want to eat.
1. Add Vinegar
Sometimes the flavor of the vegetable is what you can't stand. If this is the case, try adding some vinegar to your asparagus, carrots, or any other vegetables.
When we hear vinegar, we typically think of that strong, soured distilled vinegar. Doesn't sound like it would taste good, does it? But there are actually many different kinds of vinegar that each have a different flavor palate you might actually like.
Basalmic vinegar is a popular choice because it has a tart, fruity taste. Apple cider vinegar has a hint of sweet apple. Rice wine vinegar is probably the mildest vinegar and also has sweet undertones. Try different kinds and see what flavor you like best.
2. Roast Your Vegetables
Roasting is a healthy way to prepare your vegetables that also brings out their flavors. The dry heat of the oven creates an added depth of flavor because it caramelizes the natural sugars in vegetables.
A simple method for roasting vegetables is to cut them up into smaller pieces, drizzle them with olive oil, and then add salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes on a baking sheet while turning them occasionally to keep them brown and tender.
3. Seasonings Can Make All The Difference
We've already discussed vinegar, but there's an endless list of seasonings that can transform vegetables into something you'll want to eat.
Adding herbs and spices can put more flavor in your vegetable dishes without adding extra calories. Some good pairing are ginger with carrots, garlic with green leafy vegetables, and basil and tomato.
There are no set rules for what seasonings work best with certain vegetables. Just try different flavor combinations and see what you like.
4. Blanch Vegetables For Extra Flavor
Blanching can take away the raw taste of most vegetables, including broccoli and cauliflower florets. And it doesn't take more than a minute.
Drop your vegetables into boiling water for 45 seconds and then drain before rinsing them with cold water. After rinsing and draining them one more time, they're ready for stir-fry, to be added to salads, or to use for dipping. Blanching vegetables also takes away the odor associated with hot veggies.
5. Healthy Fat Adds Flavor
Adding in a little healthy fat won't drive the calorie count of a salad too high and adds extra flavor. You can sautee vegetables in olive oil, or sprinkle on walnut or sesame oil after they've been steamed. You can also add nuts and seeds like sesame seeds, toasted pine nuts or finely chopped walnuts or pecans.
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