I bet you can remember a time when one or both of your parents urged you to “eat your vegetables!”, refusing to let you leave the table before you finished everything on your plate, and reminding you how good vegetables are for you. This is one of the reasons that some people find it hard to enjoy vegetables as an adult.
Clearly, vegetables are not a comfort food, but they do provide lots of benefits. They help with digestion, weight management, disease prevention and most of all they keep you full and satisfied. When prepared in a way that is enjoyable, veggies will become your best friend and before you know it, you will be eating two or more servings on a daily basis.
Here are three healthy and great ways to cook and enjoy vegetables.
1. Steam. Steaming softens the vegetable fibers, making them more easily digestible, so your body can absorb and digest it more easily. When steaming vegetables, it is important to keep cooking times short and use minimal water. Also, try drinking the liquid that remains after you finish steaming the vegetables. It actually contains lots of potassium and several B vitamins. Here are some ideas for steaming vegetables:
Zest a lemon or lime and add some of the juice to water before steaming fresh vegetables. Try orange zest with broccoli or lemon zest with spinach
Sprinkle Italian herb seasonings on medley of seasonal vegetables after steaming
2. Sauté. Sautéing is a quick and easy way to enjoy the flavor and crispness of vegetables. Research shows that adding extra virgin olive oil after cooking is done will help to maintain the healthy nutrients in the oil while producing a richer flavor. Here are couple ways to enjoy sautéed vegetables:
Sauté spinach or kale with shredded carrot, garlic, and broth
Sauté onions, garlic, red, yellow or orange bell peppers in broth or cooking wine
3. Roast. Roasting vegetables is one of the best ways to enjoy the delicate sweetness, depth of flavor and the texture of vegetables.
Cut vegetables such as parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, beets into bite-size pieces, coated with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled with your favorite herbs
Brussels Sprouts or broccoli drizzled lightly with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkled with sea salt
Sweet potatoes or yams tossed with olive oil and sprinkled with cinnamon
Don’t be afraid to try to add a variety of these different cooking techniques, which can help you find your new favorites!