Aside from just saying “get over it and eat them”, I’ll try to offer some better advice.
My personal theory is that most people don’t really dislike veggies if they are cooked properly… They’ve just had bad experiences with vegetables up until this point. I find that most people don’t know how to cook veggies properly, so when you mention vegetables they envision a horrible “salads only” diet. Nobody wants to do those horrible salads only diets- not even me and I’m weird.
Most people just don’t know how to cook or prepare vegetables. I blame three things for this: steamer baskets, slow cookers, and iceberg lettuce.
1. Steamer baskets can be great additions to your kitchen if used properly… but that’s a big, infrequent “if”. I remember eating steamed broccoli as a kid with some sort of processed cheese on top… oh the horror. I use my steamer basket to steam cauliflower to make mashed cauliflower, but aside from that it doesn’t see a lot of use in my kitchen. I might use it to lightly steam green beans or broccoli, but I always make a fresh, healthy sauce to go over it. Plain steamed veggies is the stuff nightmares are made of.
2. I blame the crock pot for much of the problems we face in society. Don’t get me wrong, I have a crock pot. This is partially because of my love of all that is soup, but probably more because I have an obsessive need to collect every kitchen gizmo known to man. Crock pot recipes operate under the notion that you can toss everything in, leave for hours or days, and come home to a meal. The big problems, though, are that while you can do that, it doesn’t mean that whatever you end up with will taste good. Here are my big beefs with slow cookers:
1. Usually things get over cooked and mushy
2. Throwing everything in at the same time means that the entire dish takes on one uniform, weird taste
3. Different foods cook at different rates! Meat takes much longer to cook than celery, but only a little longer than potatoes. If you throw everything in at the same time you end up with overcooked mushy celery and moderately overcooked mushy potatoes… AND the entire dish tastes like a weird meaty mush.
Take my advice- if you’re going to make a soup or a stew, take the time to do it right. Add things in as they need time to cook, and consider cooking the meat separately. America’s Test Kitchen has plenty of great videos that will teach you how to make proper stews and soups.
3. Ah, the salad. The poster-child for diets and eating right. This is what people order at Apple Bee’s when they’re on a diet, despite the fact that even salads at that type of place are terrible for you. They eat their salad in sadness while their friends chomp away on their (insert something they serve at Apple Bee’s here).
When most people talk about salads, two things come to mind. Either the sad, plain iceberg with no dressing salad OR the salad drenched in dressing, cheese, and croutons. On the one hand, you have a salad devoid of any real nutrients or satisfaction. On the other hand, a horribly unhealthy pile that masquerades as a healthy choice. Neither of these salads are doing you any favors.
I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not a huge salad person. Mike actually encourages me to eat them more often than not. However, I have come to realize that salads can be great meals or additions to meals- you just have to dress them up the right (healthy) way.
Here is one website I really like for healthy vegetable recipes- the Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen. I have both of their cookbooks and LOVE them. Also, Just Eat Real Food can be found on Facebook and Pinterest and is a wonderful resource.
Lastly, I have to acknowledge that some people may actually dislike vegetables because they taste them differently than the rest of us. They say that 25% of us are “super tasters”, or people who have more taste buds than normal people. Usually these folk are more sensitive to spicy and bitter foods, and some say that veggies taste really bitter. In those cases I hope they at least try to eat vegetables with sauces or take one of those “greens” vegetables supplements. Even that’s better than nothing…
So, please take my advice and give vegetables a second chance. You won’t regret it!
If you or somebody you know is interested in working with a functional medicine doctor please call my office at (919) 238-4094 and see if we are the right fit for you. Infinity Holistic Healthcare is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, part of the Raleigh-Durham “triangle” area.