Here at The Munching Mongoose, vegetables are kind of our thing. We’re in love with the farms that grow them, and we blush at the mention of an heirloom tomato, or a white brinjal. We shamelessly promote our leafy greens all over social media, and we love talking about veggies almost as much as we love eating them! What is it about vegetables that’s got us so lovestruck? After all, a carrot’s just a carrot, right?
Wrong. Veggies get a bad rep. Think bitter spinach, mushy broccoli, smelly cabbage…For many people, veggies were never the main event, and for some, spinach was the scariest thing on a plate. Sure we’d always end up with a few in front of us, mostly because our parents made us (and dessert depended on a forkful of greens). But did you ever stop to think that this indifference, sometimes disgust, towards veggies was the cause of their average taste. Take a moment to think about a piece of steak. You’d never leave a steak on the braai long enough to overcook it, nor would you put it in a pot of boiling water for ages. So why would you do that to peas, or broccoli, or pumpkin? The trick to eating more veggies, is to eat veggies that are delicious, and the only way to do this is to show your veggies a little more love.
Everyone deserves a second chance. Even a vegetable.
Maybe you haven’t liked a veggie in the past, but we recommend giving it another go. Get yourself a cookbook or two, go online and look at different food blogs and websites.
- Experiment with the differents ways to cook a certain vegetable. And if one way doesn’t work, try another. Veggies can taste deliciously different when cooked another way. For example, radishes may be a little too peppery for your liking when eaten raw, but ever thought to roast a radish? Suddenly they’re little pockets of sweetness!
- Also look for other flavours that go well with veggies. For example, hate carrots but love oranges? Why not try roasting your carrots in some freshly squeezed orange juice?
- And start to experiment with different cuisines. Veggies in Thailand are deliciously sweet and sour and crispy, and so different to the slow-roasted goodness and fresh herbs of Italy.
Don’t be scared of the unknown.
Not familiar with certain veggies? Never cooked with fennel before? See it as an opportunity to try something new, and discover a flavour you may fall in love with. And again, don’t give up after the first go. Fennel may not float your boat when eaten raw in salads, but what about fennel soup, garnished with fennel fronds, feta & bacon – believe us, it’s delicious!
Veggies are nutrient powerhouses.
Veggies are seriously good for you. Eating a variety of seasonal veggies gives you a good balance of nutrients, and veggies are high in fibre, low in sugar and great for boosting your immune system. So learning to love vegetables (all vegetables) is important.
Look at each vegetable as an adventure. ‘Yeah right!’, we hear you say. But seriously. Every vegetable has a delicious and exciting journey, all it’s own, from different cuisines, flavour pairings, and cooking methods. You’re bound to find something that’ll float your boat! Of course, you’re still not going to love every veggie out there; we’re all different and our bodies are different, but by starting to appreciate veggies for more than just a mushy side dish, you will start to eat healthier, and enjoy it too!