Want to Eat More Vegetables?
Try cooking them, and pairing them with generous amounts of natural fats!
Hear me out…
There are a number of nutritional philosophies out there, many of which are explored in depth and to repetition during the Resolution month of January. As a nutritionist, I am well aware of how confusing it can be to wade through the conflicting theories and jargon surrounding nutritional habit change. However, I think it’s safe to say that all nutritionists and dieticians, doctors, researchers…everybody agrees on one point: Eat More Vegetables.
This recommendation can bring up many questions, and sometimes some big feelings, too. In practice, I hear the words “I don’t like vegetables.” This, to me, translates to “I don’t like rabbit food.” Rabbit food: plain, raw, hard, cold, flavorless vegetables that we force upon ourselves for the short period that we can muster enough willpower to keep up the practice of forcing ourselves to do it, only because we were told that we should. I don’t like rabbit food either. Vegetables, however, are amazing. Here are some tips that will ensure a future love relationship with vegetables:
COOK YOUR VEGGIES
Many of us are under the impression that heating vegetables renders them nutritionally useless. This is not true. Yes, there are heat sensitive vitamins and nutrients in vegetables that will be destroyed during the cooking process, and about half of your veggies should be eaten raw. However, there are a lot of vitamins and nutrients that are not heat sensitive and will be retained in the end product after cooking. Even better, cooking releases minerals and makes them more bioavailable. Additionally, some vegetables are easier on your digestive system once cooked, including all vegetables in the cruciferous vegetable family (kale, cabbage, broccoli, etc.) Thank goodness…no more raw kale!
Roasting and steaming are simple techniques that will get you loving vegetables!
Follow these simple directions:
Roasting vegetables is a very useful skill to cultivate. When vegetables are roasted properly, they are delicious, nutritious and very easy to prepare. Roasting vegetables is a flexible art. Almost any vegetable can be roasted, and measuring is not very important in the process. Always roast vegetables with a heat-stable saturated fat such as butter or ghee.
1. Preheat the oven to 375°
2. Chop your vegetables to your desired size and shape
a. Keep it simple by roughly chopping large pieces or…
b. Decrease cooking time by chopping them into smaller pieces
3. Spread veggies out evenly on a baking sheet in a single layer
4. Place a couple of tablespoons of butter or coconut oil on the sheet with the veggies
a. Place the sheet in the oven to melt the oil (about 5 minutes)
b. Once the oil is melted, pull the baking sheet back out of the oven
5. Sprinkle the veggies with sea salt and herbs or spices as desired
a. Use fresh or dried herbs such as thyme, dill, rosemary or parsley. A single herb or any combination of herbs works great
b. Cumin, turmeric, coriander and paprika are all herbs that are difficult to over-do, and work beautifully in combination with one another or alone. Start with 1 teaspoons of spices and work up from there as you find you like it
c. A little spice is nice. Black pepper or a light sprinkling of cayenne pepper is delicious
d. Tips for flavor:
i. Don’t skimp on butter or coconut oil
ii. Don’t skimp on sea salt
iii. I always add some onion or garlic
iv. Crushed garlic roasts really fast and burns easily, then tastes really bitter. I use larger pieces of garlic to avoid this, or even use whole garlic cloves when I’m roasting squash or potatoes
6. Mix the veggies around to evenly coat them in the oil and spices
7. Place the veggies back in the oven to roast
PAIR VEGGIES WITH GENEROUS AMOUNT OF NATURAL FATS
As long as you’re avoiding processed fats, you do not need to restrict your intake of this natural, flavor-enhancing, satiating, nutritional powerhouse component of a healthy diet.
Make homemade salad dressings with extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil (instead of the soy and canola oils in store-bought varieties). And then… use as much dressing as you want! Try this flexible recipe:
Creamy Roasted Garlic Dressing
1/3C Raw apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs Mustard (natural brown prepared mustard)
1 tsp Sea salt
1 clove Garlic
1 Tbs+ Onion or shallot
1 Whole egg (raw, from pastured hens)
4 cloves Roasted garlic
1 C Cold-pressed olive oil
1 Tbs Herbs & Spices, as desired
1. Blend all ingredients except oil until well combined
2. Add oil and blend for 30-60 seconds, or until oil is well combined and dressing thickens
Hollandaise sauce is oh-so-delicious, and is a great way to make any vegetable taste amazing. It’s also easier to make than you might have guessed. Try out Julia Child’s famous recipe:
3 Egg yolks (from pastured hens)
1 Tbs Lemon Juice or Vinegar
¼ tsp Sea salt
½ tsp White pepper (optional)
½ C Butter (from pastured cows)
1. Blend the egg yolks, lemon juice or vinegar, sea salt and white pepper until well combined
2. Heat the butter until it is barely hot and a little frothy
3. With the blender running, slowly add about ½ the butter in a slow, continuous stream. Pause in adding the butter while allowing the blender to continue running until the mixture begins to thicken
4. Add the remaining butter, again slowly in a continuous stream
5. Serve warm
*This recipe does not keep well, so only make as much as you know you will use!
This blog was written by Siskiyou Vital Medicine resident nutritionist Stacie Bailey. She has formal training as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and as a GAPS Practitioner. Stacie has extensive experience working with gut healing diets and creating delicious gut healing recipes. She works in the world of nutrition from the ground up as an organic gardener, certified nutritionist, fresh food chef, fermentation artist, and real food advocate & educator.
Stacie’s focus as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, GAPS Practitioner, and chef is directed toward the digestive system, the roots of our health. Digestive health is foundational to overall health, and focusing attention here results in thorough, lasting improvements in health. Approaching health foundationally, from the roots up, inspires a lifestyle change that brings us closer to the earth, our community and ourselves. Stacie provides the guidance, support and recipes needed to enact these lasting nutritional habit changes. After all, a nourished belly makes a happy life.