Feeling veggie-deficient? How to incorporate vegetables into your meals

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Vegetables provide so many essential vitamins and nutrients to help your body stay healthy. That’s why it’s frightening that a survey done by Dr. Praeger’s in the United States found that 1 in 4 respondents have never tried vegetables. At all. Therefore, we at the Clog are here to make vegetables seem doable and tasty so that you feel more comfortable incorporating them into every meal of the day, every day of the week.

Vegetables are very lonely

There is no rule stating that vegetables have to be eaten alone, unseasoned, after being boiled in water. The best way to eat vegetables is to hide them in other foods. This way, you’ll be so lost in the taste that you’ll forget that they’re even there. For example, you can make an omelet with bacon in it, but add asparagus or spinach as well. You can make pasta with red meat sauce, but also mix in broccoli. If you like smoothies, you can still mix a good amount of vegetables in with fruit, honey and Greek yogurt, eliminating the need to add excess sweetener to hide the taste.

Don’t be shy — spice it up

The number of spices that exist is probably endless, so don’t be afraid to add spices beyond salt and black pepper. We recommend using cumin, paprika or oregano to complement the flavors of your main entree. Condiments can add an extra something too, so if you like ketchup, teriyaki sauce, ranch or hummus, feel free to slather your vegetables in any of these options.

Olive oil should be your best friend

In my humble opinion, boiling vegetables sucks the life and flavor out of them. Olive oil, specifically extra-virgin olive oil, is rich in healthy fats and antioxidants. I use it whenever I cook anything in a pan, from pancakes to eggs to chicken. We recommend putting about a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and cooking your vegetables there, or putting olive oil on a tray and slathering your vegetables in it before putting them in the oven.

Try oven-roasting or air-frying your veggies

You don’t always have to cook your veggies in the microwave or on the stove. An easy way to add vegetables to your meal is to put your meat and vegetables on the same tray and cook them together. If you don’t eat meat, you can of course still cook your vegetables in the oven. We recommend slathering your vegetables in olive oil and red wine vinegar, then adding the spices of your choice. A basic guideline for roasting them is to put them in the oven at 350 F for about 10 minutes, but depending on how many vegetables and what types you’re cooking, you might need less or more time.

Frozen veggies still count as vegetables

If you want a full-fledged argument in favor of frozen veggies, you can click here. In summation, there’s no shame in buying frozen vegetables because you will still get crucial vitamins and nutrients. You also don’t have to worry about them going bad if you forget them in the fridge. There’s a wide variety available, from corn to broccoli to cauliflower. You can add olive oil and seasonings of your choice and throw the frozen vegetables in the microwave. If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can always cook them in a pan on the stove too.

One size does not fit all

Lastly, it is important to remember that not every vegetable will be appealing to every person, no matter how you prepare it. Your goal should be to find a few vegetables that you enjoy enough to consume every day (or most days). If you don’t like the smell of squash or find the texture of green beans repulsive, don’t give up vegetables altogether. There is a perfect one for you out there.

Thanks for reading, Bears. We at the Clog hope you try out these tips and keep eating healthy!

Contact Özge Terzioğlu at [email protected].