Eat your vegetables

What parent doesn't know that? For lunch there are vegetables and of course the side dish. But somehow this green stuff - sometimes also in other colors - is viewed rather skeptically than really appreciated.

Why is that?

Normally, one could think that children in their early years still eat everything because they have not been able to develop any aversions or refuse one or the other food due to traumatic eating experiences. But that is only half the truth. True to the saying "What the farmer doesn't know, he doesn't eat!" many children also act. However, this fear or aversion to new and previously unknown foods need not be.

By the way: Adults also eat too few vegetables for the most part, so that all "non-parents" are now welcome to listen.

One origin of this avoidance can be seen in the taste of the food. This makes many vegetables taste slightly bitter. Normally a bitter taste in nature means something poisonous rather than something healthy. So, you could almost think that our lust for sweets - which is rarely poisonous - somehow ensures our survival... If it weren't for all the vitamins in the countless vegetables...

Variety is the Alpha and Omega

Against this so-called "food neophobia" you can actually do something. Especially with children you have to approach this matter carefully. In addition to praise and encouragement, it is then of course also helpful to offer fine and sometimes certainly unusual ideas for the preparation of vegetables.

First of all, of course, one can distinguish the pure preparation of the vegetables:

  • Blanching:

    If you blanch a vegetable, you boil it. Among other things, this is used to peel tomatoes, for example to prepare a tomato soup. Or to preserve the leaf green of various vegetables (e.g. spinach).

  • Cooking:

    When vegetables are cooked, this usually happens in salt water. It is boiled until it is cooked or fine to the bite (the length of time required depends on the type of vegetable and the desired bite firmness). The salt in the water also gives the vegetables a slight basic seasoning.

  • Steaming:

    Steaming vegetables is a very gentle way of preparing them. The vegetables do not come into contact with the water itself, but only with the steam.

  • Stew:

    If it is fried in a pan with a little oil, this is called steaming. During this process the vegetables are prepared in the pan until they also have the desired bite firmness.

  • Gratinates:

    Vegetables topped with cheese or dressed with butter or breadcrumbs are called gratinated. In this case, the vegetables are usually pre-cooked to the desired degree (see above) and are then only baked in the oven.

  • Deep-fry:

    Here the vegetables are fried in deep-frying fat. This can be done with a crust of baking dough or without a crust - depending on your taste. With hard vegetables it is recommended to pre-cook them, because the short time in the frying fat does not allow the desired degree of cooking.

  • Barbecue:

    Especially in the summer months, the vegetables taste very good when grilled, so that one does not have to use a pan or stove to prepare them.

Through these different ways of preparing vegetables, one can already vary the way the food is presented and thus generate interest and desire to eat.

But, so that all this does not remain so theoretical, here are a few ideas:

Probably the easiest and fastest is the colorful oven vegetables. Whatever tastes good can go in here. 

Whether it's peppers, potatoes, pumpkin, aubergine, zucchini or whatever your heart desires. Add a little oil, salt and pepper and the oven vegetables are ready.

If you like it more unusual instead of classic, wok vegetables can be a nice alternative to oven vegetables. Broccoli and sprouts often play a role here.

For all cheese fans it is a good idea to prepare the vegetables pre-cooked in a casserole dish with a variety of sauces and other ingredients such as meat. 

As with oven vegetables, there are no limits to your imagination.

  • Zucchini pizza:

You can also prepare small pizza rolls to your heart's content. Here, only the bread roll or baguette is replaced by half a zucchini. One has quasi satisfied the pizza craving healthier.

  • Kohlrabi fries:

An alternative to potato or sweet potato fries is kohlrabi. This can also be cut into strips and with the right spices can offer a nice and tasty substitute.

Did you know?

Despite the popular belief that potatoes are a satiating side dish, they are first and foremost a vegetable. 

So, if all the arguments above were not convincing, at least this vegetable can be enjoyed in a wide variety of ways: whether as boiled potatoes with quark, fried potatoes, French fries, wedges or any other possible preparation. 

The potato surprises again and again.

Bon Appetit!