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Coach Marys tasty tips #12

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Hi guys.

I’ve been asking around for suggestions lately and today’s post aims to answer one of the suggestions I got that I think is very relevant and important to try my best to answer it. The question is: how do you make healthy food taste better? The sad reality is that, for most people, vegetables, fruit, and meals that aren’t smothered in sauce or cheese are way less appealing than chocolate, cheesy fries, or pizza. Today I will try my best to tackle this problem with you and give some suggestions on how to make healthy food more appealing.

Several people struggle with eating healthy meals because they don’t like the taste of vegetables or they don’t want to eat plain (boring) food. If this is you or someone you know, I have good and bad news for you. The good news is that healthy food does not have to be bland and boring and that vegetables can be cooked in several different ways to appeal different people and tastes. The bad news is that you really do have to eat vegetables and fruits of some sorts to get all the nutrients you need and have a healthy and complete diet. So let’s see how you can do this, and I’ll use myself as an example.

I personally hate salads. I don’t like the taste of lettuce, I hate its consistency, and I cannot stand the smell and taste of vinegar. This makes my life so much harder because eating salads seems like an easy way to get your veggies in right? Well, turns out I like most of the vegetables once they are cooked, so that is exactly what I do in order to obtain all the nutrients I want from them. I will elaborate on this a bit more further down, but the idea is that there isn’t only one way to eat healthy, and that not everybody likes the same foods. What’s most important is to realize how to overcome your dislikes (like mine for salad) by replacing them for other equally good options.

Here are some tips on how you can incorporate vegetables into your meals and how to make healthy food tastier and less boring:

  1. Add spices! Spices are the best replacement for sauces and they are definitely my first go-to when I want to add flavor to my meals. They are also very good if you are looking to reduce the amount of salt you add to food. In my opinion the best part about them is that you can never have or add too many spices to your food; the more the better! So now you know, the next time you go to the grocery store buy a few more spices and give them a try.
  2. Cook vegetables in the oven instead of boiling them. Even though they are not as “clean” because you need to add some olive oil or something similar to avoid them sticking to the bottom, they have a lot more flavor than when simply boiled in water. They are also a lot easier to cook since all you have to do is place them in the oven (with some spices over) and go do something else productive while you wait for them to be ready.
  3. Make vegetable soup. This is where you can really be creative and add all of those vegetables that you usually think are too bland and taste like nothing. They are usually full in vitamins and, if they taste like nothing, they can’t ruin a good vegetable soup right?! Personally, being from Portugal, I like to use carrots, potatoes, pumpkins, and other less flavorful veggies for the base, blend them all, and then add some dark green leafs like spinach to it at the end.
  4. Make your own sauces from scratch. This can be said for any sauce really, from a simple tomato sauce for pasta all the way to a more complex curry sauce for your chicken dish. Pre made sauces that you can buy at the grocery store are usually filled with sugars, salt, and preservatives that are not good for you. If you learn to make your sauces from scratch you can control exactly what you put in them and even try and make them healthier like using coconut milk instead of heavy cream for example. If the sauce is healthier you can have more of it right?! Win win situation!
  5. Add vegetables to a dish. On my last post I shared a recipe of stuffed bell peppers, which are a perfect example of this. Anytime you make a complex dish you can also try and add vegetables to it, you might not even notice the difference.
  6. Lastly, you can make a smoothie with both fruits and vegetables. People tend to like fruit much more than veggies, so this is a good way to mask the flavor of those veggies you don’t like as much; spinach is a very popular one in smoothies.

This is by no means an extensive list nor it is the only way to make healthy food more exciting, but I hope this is at least a bit helpful. I really want to help you incorporate some good foods and good habits into your normal diet and meals; there really isn’t the need of doing crazy diets in order to be healthy.

 

Coach Mari