Sunday, July 29, 2012

Can you Make Vegetables Unhealthy?

People always say to me "But I eat my greens and I'm not losing weight!". But the way we eat our vegetables has just as much to do with the fact that we eat vegetables. In fact, when a lot of our mothers said eat your greens, they weren't necessarily eating them the right way either.

Deep fry errthang?
(That was my attempt at a southern slur) So if you've ever been to a street fair where they served fried Oreos and fried butter (I prefer not to think about it), you know that you can technically cover anything in batter and fry it. Indians can also testify that because a cauliflower is supposed to be good for you, a lot of people think if you fry it and make it into a fritter, it is still good for you. No no no. Fried foods are full of oil and whatever processed batter you used as a coating, which can add hundreds of calories to a simple piece of broccoli. Plus, you kill the great nutrients that the vegetable initially had. Vegetables are best uncooked or as close to uncooked as possible.

Butter is healthy, right?
Uhhhhhhh... I think you know the answer to this one. If deep frying is bad, butter is probably not the best additive for your veggies as well. This means you might have to find a new way to cook those Brussels sprouts if you are trying to stay healthy. Although Paula Dean begs to differ, there are other ways to make your veggies tasty without adding tons of calories from butter.

Where are the greens? 
So you started with green beans, added some ham to "give it some flavor", added some potatoes and curry to give it color, and before you know what, the veggies are overcooked and lost in the whole dish. Try to make your vegetable a side dish on its own, or make it the center of the meal. Hiding it or pushing it to the background usually leads to overcooking, less veggies, and more everything else.

Can I dunk it in cheese?
Ever bought one of those party trays for a football game at your friend's house in an attempt to be the healthy one? And then you opened the pack and realized that the blue cheese dip that came with it was just screaming your name? Or have you ever bought a salad, thought you were being so good, and then when they asked what dressing you wanted, you picked the creamiest thing on the menu? Yes, that's how they get us :( Kudos for trying to eat your veggies raw, but sometimes, the dressing we choose could nullify our efforts. Skip the cheese and go for the vinaigrette or just a dash - and I do mean a dash - of olive oil.

Oh, that's not a veggie?
No, corn is not a veggie. Neither are potatoes nor plantains. Some things are usually served as side dishes and we begin to assume they fall into the vegetable food group, but they don't. Look for leafy foods, sprouts, flowers, peppers, that sort of thing. And when in doubt, Google is your friend :)

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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