How to Make Historically Unappealing Vegetables Appetizing

Vegetable consumption is a tricky game. We all know that eating more of them is good for our health, but often the ones best for us aren’t particularly enticing. I’m going to preface this by saying that I have always loved vegetables, but some more than others. Here are a few surefire ways to make the more bitter ones taste downright scrumptious.

Kale

Oh, the millennial superfood, what would we do without your tough, bitter leaves of trendiness. Kale can be delicious, but it needs a little help. First, if you want to eat it raw, it needs to be “massaged”. That's just a creepy way of saying to tear it up into tiny pieces when mixed with a little dressing. A little weird, yes, but it makes it much easier to chew and takes away some of the bitterness. My favorite way to eat kale though is in the form of chips. Just tear into bite sized pieces and bake on a cookie sheet at 375 for 10 minutes with a little olive oil and salt. My most important piece of advice is to not eat the stem under any circumstance. It's like chewing on a tree trunk.

Beets

I know the texture of these can freak a lot of people out, which I get. The precooked or canned variety can be a little slimy to say the least. But when fresh, they are delicious raw or cooked. Always take off the skin before eating to make them more ap-peel-ing (see what I did there?), because that’s where all the bitterness lies. I like to grate them on a cheese grater and eat them on top of salads with goat cheese and a little honey. When raw, they have a mild flavor and are just nice and refreshing. They are also really good roasted. I just cut them into cubes and bake at 425 for about 25 minutes or until they’re tender and sweet. The greens are edible too, and are delicious when prepared like the kale chips above. Just be careful when peeling and chopping, because the bright pink juice stains e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. 

Cauliflower

This veggie has gained recent popularity in the midst of the carb replacement craze. Cauliflower rice! Cauliflower mashed potatoes! Cauliflower pizza crust! While I’m sure all of these taste fine objectively, there is no way that cauliflower could ever take the place of a potato, nor should it. But I do think they can be appreciated as their own separate entity. Compared to other cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower has a relatively mild flavor, which makes it easier to incorporate into other dishes. One way I like to use frozen “riced” cauliflower is in smoothies. When blended with a banana, peanut butter, cocoa powder, and milk, it tastes just like a Wendy’s frosty. I know I sound delusional, but trust me. The flavor is undetectable, and since its frozen, it just adds to the milkshake-y texture without watering it down like ice does. Don’t knock it till you try it. It is also delicious roasted. I’m sure you’re sensing a theme here, but roasting at high heat makes everything taste sweet with crispy outsides and tender insides. 

Brussels Sprouts

Surprise, surprise, my favorite way to eat these is roasted. It just makes all veggies taste so good! The same 425 for half an hour or so with a little oil and salt protocol works like a charm, and on the plus side, the little outer leaves get all crispy and chip-like. You can also get a similar effect by cooking them in a pan on the stove, and this way you can also add bacon, which of course makes everything better. They can also be eaten raw when cut really thinly and tossed in a salad topped with goat cheese and dried fruit. Delicious!

I hope this inspires you to think outside the box when it comes to getting in those veggies!