If you dislike the taste of vegetables, you will find it hard to go vegan. You are also likely to be missing out on key nutrients, essential for living a healthy life. Take vegetables off your plate and you may not be left with the most nutritious meal.
Some people find that there are vegetables they do like when turning vegan, yet others need a little more creativity to help them on their plant-based journey. The taste of veggies doesn’t have to stop you from getting the nutrition you need, as you will see in the following article.
Let’s understand why some people don’t like veggies first…
Maybe you’re a supertaster?
It’s true, some people just pick up more flavors and tastes than other people. If you find yourself unable to swallow vegetables you may be a supertaster.
Perhaps green veg tastes bitter – this can be a sign. However, if you love coffee and dark chocolate then the chances are you’re not a supertaster.
Studies have shown that supertasters have more taste buds so it makes sense. Supertasters are less likely to drink and smoke because of the harsh taste they experience, but sensitive taste buds may be what is putting you off vegetables.
Supertasters tend to avoid some of the most nutritious vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower. This can lead to a lack of fiber and vitamin deficiencies.
How to make vegetables taste better
Everything tastes better when you activate your taste buds, right? Salt reduces the bitterness of some vegetables including leafy greens so sprinkle a little on a salad and see if it helps. Bitter fruit such as grapefruit may also taste better with a little salt to bring out some of the sweetness rather than make you wince.
Don’t use too much as high levels of salt are linked to high blood pressure and heart disease.
Get creative with spices
Spices are useful for reducing the bitterness of veg. Add vegetables to a chickpea curry or wrap and you may find that chili cumin and garlic overpower the taste.
Experiment with a variety of spices to find the ones you like.
Add some sauce
Some people only seem to enjoy vegetables when they are barely noticeable, so adding layers of sauce can help mask their taste and soften their texture. Try using a vegan cheese-based sauce with creamy flavors or a tomato-based sauce that is popular with young ones and adults alike.
The taste of vegetables is easily masked. But if the texture is an issue then try cutting vegetables into smaller pieces first.
Cook them properly
Undercooked veg has a crunch that is not welcome in some dishes. On the other hand, soggy, sloppy vegetables that were boiled and served plain when you were growing up could be the reason why your taste buds hate veggies. Try cooking vegetables until they are tender and add a little olive oil and lemon juice, maybe a little spice of crushed garlic, and see if this helps.
If not, your taste buds just might not be able to cope with this approach.
What else can you do if you want to be vegan but hate vegetables? Try this…
Go for quality superfoods
Try high-quality foods rather than loading your plate with what you think you should have.
Foods that are considered superfoods (food that is high in nutrients) and you can likely get the nutrients you need to benefit your health. So, sprinkle some chia seeds or linseeds over your meal – these can be high in protein, vitamins, and fiber.
Some of the vegan-friendly superfoods include nuts, seeds, berries, leafy greens, beans, lentils, olive oil, tomatoes, whole grains, avocado, ginger, garlic, and green tea among others.
How to add superfoods to your diet
Even if you don’t like the sound of superfoods, there are ways to incorporate them into your day-to-day meals. There are superfood powders available and a teaspoon often has plenty of nutrients to fuel your day. Alternatively, add a portion of any of the above to a smoothie, vegan yogurt, or cereal to kickstart the day.
They can even be added to your vegan cookies or cake although the benefits may not be as prominent as eating them raw.
Important foods to eat if you aren’t eating vegetables
Even if there are one or two vegetables you enjoy or at least can stomach, you will need more nutrition for a balanced diet. Superfoods help to balance out a lack of vegetables, they aren’t enough.
Try to add the following to your diet if going vegan but not consuming enough veg:
A lot of vegans supplement their diet with multivitamins, even if they are eating a lot of vegetables. This is because there are nutritional gaps that need to be filled when not eating meat. These include vitamin B12 and vitamin D.
Essential for aiding the digestive system and making you feel full, fiber can be found in certain breakfast cereals, wholemeal bread and pasta, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, fruit, and brown rice.
Vegetables are an excellent source of hydration and some are even made mostly of water. This helps with digestion and to carry nutrients around our body. Be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day. Six glasses a day is enough for most people.
Whilst it is difficult to tell why some people turn their noses up at vegetables and others can’t get enough of them, there is no doubt that they are essential for a healthy diet.
If you can’t stomach the sight of broccoli on your plate, then try to be creative and get them into your diet where possible. Superfoods help for sure, and a vegan multivitamin is always a good idea. Quality fortified cereals can also help but however you start your day, end it having consumed enough nutrition to live a healthy life.