Most people grow up attaching positive feelings to sweet food. They want to eat something that looks, smells and tastes nice. Vegetables often do not have these qualities, yet they are essential for weight loss and better health. Cruciferous or green vegetables have a bitter taste and look different from other food types.
You will always find processed food at parties and other celebrations. However, we only serve veggies at home after much compulsion from nagging partners or parents. Individuals thus start associating pleasant memories with the absence of greens.
In this study, the authors found that most of the research subjects did not eat vegetables. They claimed that they did not know how to incorporate them into their diet.
If you want to eat more greens, you must address the psychological barriers. You should also make the dishes appetizing using these techniques.
How to Make Vegetables Taste Good for Picky Eaters
1. Imitate popular junk food
Picky eaters can be tricked into eating vegetables if the veggies look like foods they enjoy.
You can make a gluten-free vegetable burger out of sweet potato buns and vegetables alone. Make noodles out of zucchini using a zoodle machine.
Did you know you can make ‘fries’ out of carrots, eggplants, and French beans? You simply slice them into rectangular sizes, toss in some olive oil, add some salt and pepper and bake them. These shapes and presentations will make any picky eater feel like they are in familiar territory.
2. Try sautéing
To sauté is to prepare food in low fat and high heat at a relatively fast pace. It involves tossing the vegetables around a pan until they are ready.
Since vegetables require a short time to cook, the method is quite suitable. It also works well because it easily reduces the bitterness of the dish.
Since sautéing is rarely complete without salt and other ingredients, your veggies are likely to be more palatable when you use this cooking method.
3. Bake them
The beauty of baking is that it requires minimal fat. The calories in foods with oil or fat are significantly more than those without oil. You should thus use methods that require less oil.
Baked vegetables still need a sprinkle of olive oil. Some people sprinkle in some cheese for flavor. Of course, you can still use these but don’t go crazy with them. If the proportion of oil or cheese is too high, you will not have a healthy and sustainable eating plan.
4. Make toppings and dressings your friend
Picky eaters respond more positively to things they are familiar with. One of these familiar foods is dips. Pair your vegetables with salad dressings and other condiments.
However, you don’t want to undo all the good from the vegetables by serving calorie-heavy alternatives. Try low-fat salad dressings, peanut butter or even homemade hummus. Yogurt-based dips are also a good alternative.
In this study, it was shown that preschool children ate more broccoli when it was combined with regular salad dressing.
5. Sneak them into other foods
This is a strategy parents have used from time immemorial. Combine soups and fruit juices with vegetables.
For example, avocado would go well with mango juice or put tiny cauliflower florets in chicken soup. Cut small pieces of Brussels sprouts and combine them with bean stew.
For grown-ups, put a little bit of kale or spinach in a protein shake. Place them in spaghetti or even lasagna as they blend well. Eat omelets with extra tomatoes or onions. Puree some greens and add them over various meals.
People are likely to consume something they dislike when it is incorporated into something they like.
6. Offer a variety of vegetables at a time
Variety is the spice of life, and this is certainly true for vegetables. Serve your picky eaters a rich array of vegetables and watch as they increase their intake dramatically.
In this study, Australian parents offered their families zucchini, peas, and broccoli in one serving while in the control group, they could only eat broccoli. The families that had variety reported higher intakes than the control. This could be because of the psychology of choice.
7. Roast them
Roasting does wonders for the taste of food. Not only does it make it sweeter, but it also increases its crispiness. Roasting caramelizes food thus reducing the characteristic bitter taste.
Roast greens by cutting them into small pieces, sprinkling some olive oil and putting them on skewers. Place them above the grill until they are brown. You can also use aluminum foil as an alternative to skewers.
8. How about some honey and lemon?
Honey is a fantastic way of adding some natural sweetness to your vegetables. This helps in making vegetables less bitter. In case, you’ve run out of honey, a little sugar would do.
Honey is, of course, a superior alternative because of its health benefits. Likewise, adding a tinge of lemon when marinating your greens before baking neutralizes bitterness. The same is true for vinegar.
Believe it or not, sourness is preferable to bitterness. That being said, you shouldn’t overdo it with the lemon. Just one squeeze of lemon would keep you from overpowering the food.
9. Try dredging – breadcrumbs, eggs, and flour
Dredging is a safe way of making your vegetables taste like they are deep-fried when they are not. You need vegetables, eggs, flour, and breadcrumbs.
Start with slightly wet vegetables and dip them in flour then eggs then end with bread crumbs. Be sure to follow this order because the proceeding ingredient sticks to the preceding one.
Thereafter, put them on a sprayed aluminum foil and bake them. These dredged vegetable bites are crispy and absolutely delicious. Your picky eaters would finish them all in a flash.
10. Try nutritional yeast
Nutritional yeast is a type of yeast with inactive yeast cells. They are killed so that they do not cause any food you put them in to rise. We use nutritional yeast because of the nutty and cheesy flavor.
The next time you want to eat kale, dip them in nutritional yeast, add a dash of salt and pepper and bake them. The green vegetables would be almost impossible to recognize because of their new savory flavor.
11. Spice them up
Many people love unhealthy food because it is made creatively. Use this approach for your vegetables and watch the pickiness disappear.
Try herbs like coriander, cumin, curry powder, turmeric and paprika. Indian markets are a great place to buy these.
Alternatively, fresh spices like ginger, garlic, mint, coriander, sesame seeds, and green peppers would instantly make your greens more flavorful.
In this study, vegetable consumption among college students increased after they started cooking their vegetables in the cafeteria with spices and herbs.
12. Air fry them
Sometimes feeders get too accustomed to the taste of fried foods that they can’t stand anything else.
You can indulge their taste buds without dipping your vegetables in gallons of oil. Air frying requires just a small amount of oil like a tablespoon when cooking. This fryer is a great substitute for conventionally fried foods. You would hardly notice the difference.
Vegetables can easily turn into a favorite food if you cook them right. Pair them with foods picky eaters love like spaghetti or familiar dips.
Make them creatively by adding spices, air-frying, and dredging. Play with their appearance by shaping or presenting them in a familiar way. Finally manage the bitter after taste with honey, lemon, nutritional yeast, roasting, or baking them.
Simply increasing intake of veggies will enhance your weight loss. However, if you want to lose pounds and inches fast, you must also follow the step-by-step plan in this system.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]