Today’s post is contributed by GMM Registered Dietitian and Community Wellness Representative, Rachel Stroud
Raise your hand if you hated Brussels sprouts as a kid. How bout still as an adult? You and the majority of adults everywhere!
What if the answer to liking Brussels sprouts was simple? What if the world of delicious, colorful, tasty veggies could be open to you once again with just a few simple cooking tips? Yes, it could be that easy.
I can’t tell you how many people snarl and scrunch up their face when I suggest that more vegetables could be the key to accomplishing their health goals. Instantly they see visions of mushy, olive green, overcooked side dishes, and feel the emotion of being forced to stay at the table until the dreaded [fill in your most hated vegetable] were gone.
Most people are convinced they still dislike certain vegetables, even when they haven’t tried them since childhood. Would you believe that your taste preferences may surprise you? Like all other cells, tastebuds regenerate over time. They change with age and the influence of the other foods we eat. Believe it or not, you can train yourself to like things over time, especially when you recognize the positive benefits you get from these healthier choices. Research shows us that it takes 20 times of trying something to develop a taste for it. Sometimes even longer! As you make choices toward healthy behaviors, you may be surprised at how your preferences follow.
Other times, our preferences are influenced by our cooking methods. This is the easiest fix! If you’re boiling Brussels sprouts, no matter what you add, they’re still going to taste like mushy. boiled. Brussels sprouts. If you grew up eating overcooked green beans, broccoli, or asparagus, you were justified in disliking them!
Take some cues from GMM and let us teach you a couple of our favorite veggies cooking methods.
1) Roasting – Roasting is when a food is exposed to dry heat over a prolonged period of time. **This is my favorite way to cook any and all veggies.** Roasted carrots, asparagus, green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, you name it.
Toss them lightly in olive oil and leave them in a 400-degree oven until they can be poked through with a fork. Roasting initiates a caramelization process in veggies that pulls out their natural sugars, making them instantly sweeter and less bitter. Have you tried roasted peppers vs raw? Roasted potatoes vs boiled? Roasted or caramelized onions? Have you noticed the sweetness that comes out after they’ve been roasted? That’s why roasting is my favorite. Just wait until you try GMM’s roasted Brussels sprouts. They’ll make lovers out of any hater.
2) Steaming – Steaming gives us the cooked, softened texture we like without stripping the veggies of their nutrients or natural moisture, like boiling typically does. Steam your veggies with a steamer basket on the stovetop for 8-10 minutes, or by putting an inch of water into a medium sized bowl along with the veggies, and microwave for 2-3 minutes. The process of steaming helps to breakdown the toughness of raw vegetables but maintain a significant part of the moisture. It gives you control to cook them as much as you like, while preserving color and nutrients, whether you like them softer or more al dente. Once steamed you can toss them in a little salt, or lightly sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top, like we do at GMM with our green beans or broccoli.
Alright…now who’s willing to give veggies another shot? New taste buds, new cooking methods, and almost a new year!
To learn more about re-doing your veggies, watch Rachel on Atlanta & Company tomorrow morning (12/4) at 11am!