Photo Credit: Mitch Altman, Barcelona Smoothies
Okay, this is embarrassing to admit, but I hate vegetables. Most vegetables, anyway. Especially all those green, leafy veggies that are so good for you and prevent cancer and all that. I want to like them. I try to like them. They seem so appealing when I watch other people eat them. All that raw, crunchy goodness. But then I put them in my mouth and eew, yuck … disgusting bitterness.
I used to watch people eat all those lovely green salads with apparent enjoyment and I thought they were faking it. Like it was this huge conspiracy against me, everyone pretending to enjoy food that was obviously horrible-tasting.
I eventually realized that it wasn’t everyone else who was weird, it was me. 😉
Even given my Green Hate, I was trying to make changes to get to a healthier lifestyle, and I knew that I really really needed all the micronutrients and anti-oxidants that veggies offer, so I decided I would learn to like vegetables. After all, if everyone else could, so could I. My husband and I started on a campaign to change my taste buds. He’s a veggie lover and he decided to start me off with broccoli. He served it to me raw with ranch. Eew. He tried it cooked, with butter. Yuck. Smothered with cheese. Sure, the cheese was okay … as long as you ditched the broccoli. Finally, he gave it to me with bacon. After all, bacon can make everything better, right? Not so much. My taste buds just don’t like veggies.
I talked to my integrative doctor about it and she told me I was probably a Super-Taster. Which bummed me out at first, but then she gave me a work-around.
Which initially sounded horrible. Because … you know …. green. My doctor promised me that the intense flavor of the fruit in a smoothie would cover up the taste of things like spinach and cucumber. I didn’t believe her at first, but I tried it and she is absolutely right!
So now I drink a green smoothie every morning and get my veggies that way. And I hardly taste the vegetables at all. One concern I had about green smoothies is that the relatively small amount of vegetables I use doesn’t suffice for a whole day’s worth of veggie consumption. My doctor told me that the act of pureeing vegetables in a blender actually increases the nutrients available to your body, so that small amount of vegetables in your smoothie is fairly big in nutrition.
If you’re like me and are trying to increase your veggie intake, give it a try. It’s not a perfect solution and I still wish that I liked the taste of vegetables, but it’s the best substitute I’ve found so far for those of us who loathe the taste of green.
Here’s one of my favorite morning smoothies:
- Frozen strawberries
- Fresh spinach
- Raw cucumber, peeled
- Frozen blueberries (they give a great color and keep your smoothie from looking like mud)
- Fresh or bottled lime juice
- 1 tsp of sugar (I know I should omit this, but I’m a wimp. I need it.)
I put everything in my blender and whir away and in a minute or two, I have breakfast ready. Delicious and nutritious.
TIPS: If you absolutely hate the taste of veggies, start off with a lot of fruit and just a little bit of vegetables. Spinach and cucumber are pretty mild, kale is stronger-tasting. One of the downsides of a smoothie is that you’re getting a lot of sugar with all that fruit, so try to cut out sugar in the rest of your diet to compensate. You can also add cinnamon to your smoothie which evens out blood sugar highs and lows.