Do you avoid eating vegetables because they taste bitter? Here are some ways to make veggies more appealing, even if you’re a veggie hater.
Do you avoid eating vegetables because you don’t like their taste? Well, there’s good news. It may not be your fault. Recent studies have shown that up to a quarter of the population are vegetable “supertasters” meaning they’re unusually sensitive to the taste of a chemical known as 6-propylthiouricil or PROP found in some fruits and vegetables, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and grapefruit. Supertasters often go out of their way to avoid the bitter vegetables that normal tasters enjoy. Of course, if you happen to fall into the supertaster class, you’re missing out on the health benefits these bitter vegetables have to offer. Many of them such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts are full of cancer-fighting phytonutrients. Are there ways to make bitter vegetables more tasty and appealing?
Cook Them properly.
Some vegetables become more bitter when they’re cooked too long at too high a heat. To prevent bitterness, try lightly sautéing bitter vegetables such as broccoli in extra virgin olive oil for a few minutes. The key is to keep the heat low enough so they don’t become soft and overly bitter. The olive oil also helps to counteract some of the bitterness inherent to certain vegetables. Plus, the olive oil helps to increase absorption of the antioxidant vitamins and phytochemicals found in the vegetables once you eat them. Another way to offset the bitterness in vegetables is to cover them with a thin layer of olive oil and roast them. The carmelization process will make them taste slightly sweeter, while masking any bitterness.
Canned, Frozen, or Fresh?
Before writing off all vegetables as too bitter, try canned and frozen varieties. Some people actually prefer the taste of canned and frozen veggies to fresh ones and find they taste less bitter. Canned and frozen vegetables have health benefits too.
Buy Young Vegetables
Baby vegetables are usually less bitter than the more mature varieties. Many supermarkets carry baby vegetable varieties including baby spinach, baby squash, and even baby artichokes. Baby spinach is often more appealing to those who don’t like the taste of vegetables.
Disguise the Flavor
There are a variety of ways to disguise the bitter flavor of vegetables. Add them to soups and pastas rather than eating them as a straight side dish. Sprinkle them on a hot pizza with lots of cheese and tomato sauce or make a delicious sauce to serve with them. The internet is full of sauce recipes that will mask bitterness and help to make a bowl of vegetables more enjoyable. Don’t forget about herbs and spices that can make the taste of vegetables much more palatable.
Vegetables can be enjoyed by almost anyone. It’s simply a matter of making the right choices. Why not enjoy the many benefits vegetables have to offer?
Published in: Cooking