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What Do I Do If I Don’t Like Vegetables?

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

It’s not the end of the world if you don’t like vegetables, but they are the pinnacle of health when it comes to your diet - these fiber-filled rockstars are key players when it comes to healthy digestion, weight management, satiety, longevity, and disease prevention.

But good news for veggie haters!

Over time, your taste buds reduce in number and size, thus rendering your taste senses less sharp so things you hated as a kid you might actually enjoy as an adult.

You still might not go from veggie hater to veggie lover overnight, but with a few simple mental shifts and some handy tips in the kitchen, you’ll be on your way to becoming a big fan.

How to Make Vegetables Taste Good

Find your “starter” vegetable. There are all kinds of vegetables out there and they all taste different.

If you don’t already have a favorite veggie, take advantage of opportunities to taste-test different ones at a restaurant or at a dinner party - or if you’re feeling brave, get in the kitchen and start experimenting. When you come across something that you like, this is your “starter” veggie.

Common vegetable varieties include:

  • Leafy greens (spinach, kale, romaine, arugula, dandelion greens, bok choy)

  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts)

  • Allium (garlic, onion, shallots, leeks)

  • Root vegetables (sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, celery, radish)

  • Gourds (squash, pumpkin, zucchini)

  • Nightshades (eggplant, tomato, white potato, okra)

  • Beans and legumes (black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, soybeans, lentils)

Once you’ve found your starter veggie, you can start experimenting with different preparations until you find the right one for your taste buds.

Experiment with cooking techniques

Which sounds better, boiled carrots or roasted rainbow carrots with maple glaze? Steamed broccoli or roasted broccoli with peanuts?

When you’re iffy on veggies, roasting them is usually a good place to start because it brings out the natural sweetness of each vegetable through a process called caramelization.

Not a fan of roasting? Consider using the grill. Grilled kabobs may spark fond memories of backyard barbecues.

Associating vegetables with happy times can help reframe your disdain for them.

Add sauces, herbs, spices, and dips

While it may be counterintuitive to add calories just to get you to eat your veggies when done within an overall healthy diet, you can still achieve the weight-loss results you want — and eventually, you may find you don’t need the dips and sauces at all!

Dip raw celery or jicama in hummus, spread some all-natural peanut butter over celery sticks (add raisins for that classic ants on a log treat), or kick up your green beans with fresh garlic.

Some people have a certain taste receptor gene that can increase sensitivity to bitter flavors found in certain vegetables like brussels sprouts, broccoli, and kale.

But with the right flavorings (lemon or cinnamon) and preparation methods (sautéed with fresh garlic or roasted with coconut oil), an otherwise bitter leafy green or floret can become a must-have sidekick to your main dish.

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