Sneaky ways to up your veggie intake
Now, of course, I’m a grown-up, but I still only eat a limited list of vegetables and so I have to find creative ways to put new veggies into my diet. I’ve come to accept the fact that I won’t ever eat a plate full of steamed vegetables (the thought makes me retch). I detest peas. I despise beans. Don’t even get me started on onions! Before you even think it, let me tell you: no, I don’t just need to try them again. I don’t need to have an open mind. I won’t learn to love them. But I have ammunition against all those who call me fussy! Five pieces of ammunition, in fact. Here are my secrets to eating vegetables without them tasting like vegetables.
#1 Carrot and orange juice
This one is a revelation. I won’t eat carrots on their own (unless they’ve been soaking in meaty stew gravy for a few hours), but throw them in a juicer with a couple of oranges and they make the orange juice taste better. Don’t ask me how, but it’s true! Also, you’re getting all the goodness of raw carrots, which are obviously much higher in vitamins and all that jazz than cooked carrots.
#2 Courgette salad
I don’t actually mind courgettes – they’re one of the few veggies on my list – but they are often watery and unpalatable if you eat too many of them. However, if you slice them into ribbons with a vegetable peeler, and then marinate them in freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt, pepper and freshly ground chilli, they are delicious! Fresh, zingy, full of flavour, really good for you. Again, no cooking! Packed with the good stuff!
#3 Salad sarmie
This is almost a no-brainer, but in case you haven’t adopted this little treasure of a tip, you should start doing it today. Now. I love bread more than most things in this world, but cheese and bread doesn’t really feel like a very healthy lunch (nor does a ham roll / chicken mayo / egg mayo etc etc). However, throw on some lettuce, tomato and cucumber (as well as a liberal grinding of salt and pepper) and you have a total winner of a sandwich and a virtuous way to eat more greens. Tick!
#4 Cucumber and apple juice
Sure, you could sit down with a plate of cucumber slices and eat them one by one. Or you could juice up half a cucumber with a couple of apples and some lemon (or mint) and drink up a glass of fresh, wonderful deliciousness. That happens to have a whole lot of cucumber in it. Uh huh. Sneaky like that.
#5 Baby spinach
This is probably the best underhand health tip I have ever come across: replace lettuce with baby spinach. I would never have done it myself (I didn’t eat spinach) but my husband once made me a bacon, new potato, parmesan and baby spinach salad (yum!) and I discovered (wait for it….) that baby spinach tastes just like lettuce! i.e. It doesn’t really taste like anything! But it’s packed with all the goodness of spinach that Popeye made so obvious. So now I only eat baby spinach. Because I’ve become one of those people – you know, the ones who eat veggies all the time…
You should try them sometime. You just need to have an open mind. You’ll love them.