Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dressing Up Your Greens

Mama said eat your greens. And while mama is not always right (but don't tell her that), she is today. The only problem is that as humans we are conditioned to hate vegetables. So how do you get over that battle between what is right for you and what tastes good? Here are a few tips:

Wander outside your comfort zone: So every time you think of greens you conjure up images of your grandma force-feeding you collard greens? That doesn't mean collard greens are the only good form of veggies. Most large grocery stores and markets have a vegetable section. You can go there, walk around, and see what you find. They have everything from spinach to green peppers to asparagus. Even if you are currently eating greens you like, it is easy to get bored. Try something new!

Sweeten your greens: If what concerns you is the bitterness (I do come from a country where there is a leaf called bitter leaf), then you can add in some sweetness without spiking up the calorie content considerably. Pears, peaches, and bananas are a great additive for the sweet tooth king or queen. Other sweeter vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, and peppers can also be really tasty options to cover up the bitterness.

Spice things up: Okay, so maybe you don't have a sweet tooth, but you like your food spicy? The great thing about spices is that they usually don't contain very many calories. You can try putting in a tea spoon of olive oil to your greens with some hot peppers, basil, garlic, or onions. If you properly spice up your veggies, you may forget that you are actually eating veggies. Just remember not to overcook them and lose all the nutrients. You could also grill your vegetables. If you haven't tried that, that can be so much yummier than boiling them because they get that smoky taste.

Deceive your taste buds: Okay, so you've tried all that and still can't over the green hump. How about putting some veggies in your regular food to deceive your taste buds? For example, if you like burritos, replace the beans in your burrito with peppers and other vegetables so you get the nutrients in and you drive the calories down. Plus, you still have your meat :) Or if you like pasta, fill your sauce with carrots, peas, and even some chopped spinach. You still get that awesome tomato taste and you get the benefits of having the veggies as well.

How do you dress up your veggies?

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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