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How To Make Vegetables Taste Amazing


We are regularly reminded that we should be eating 5-A-Day when it comes to fruit and veg. Research has also shown that 7-A-Day proves to be even more beneficial to our health and wellbeing.

However, approximately only 27% of UK adults eat the recommended 5-A-Day. Vegetables are readily available, commonly kind to the bank balance, and extremely good for you – so why are so many of us avoiding them?

Getting your 5-A-Day is simple by making some basic habitual changes, but is made even more effortless if your veggies are delicious – and that’s where we come in!

Making your veggies taste amazing is about making the most of what the vegetables already contain – whether that be a certain flavour, texture or sweetness.


Bring On The Sweetness & Crunch

Most vegetables contain a high percentage of natural sugars – something which cooking can really amplify. For example, roasting vegetables will caramelise the sugars, magnifying their flavour and sweetness. This happens when you coat your veg in a small splash of extra virgin olive oil and then apply them to a high heat. This results in a soft and tender vegetable with a crispy outer shell. This technique works fantastically not just with root vegetables, but almost every veggie available. Think outside the box, if there is a veggie that you are perhaps not particularly fond of, try roasting it – you may have a new favourite!


Flavour and Seasoning

There are 6 main taste categories – salt, bitter, umami, sour, spice and sweet.

Most vegetables contain a combination of the 6 main tastes, but usually with one or two dominant tastes. However, there’s nothing stopping you from altering or enhancing their natural categories, making them more tempting to your palate.


  • Salt

The more salt you eat the less you can taste it, so it’s a good idea to use it in moderation – usually only a pinch is needed. Lots of veggies are also quite bitter so be cautious when adding salt as this probably won’t make for a particularly desirable end result. However, salt can be used to lift sweet dishes – for example a dash of salt added to roasted root vegetables can lift them, adding freshness.


  • Bitter

There are plenty of sweet veggies out there, peas, new potatoes, lettuce and roasted root vegetables just to name a few. However, adding a bitter element to them will make them taste more sophisticated. For example, add balsamic vinegar to your bowl of salad or fresh mint leaves to garden peas. This will balance the sweetness and make the taste have more depth.


  • Umami

Umami is related to the savoury tastes found in foods such as meat, cheese, mushrooms and tomatoes. Adding umami flavours to vegetables makes them more satisfying and substantial. Umami condiments include fish sauce and soy sauce which are easily added to snacks such as vegetable crudités, but be mindful of the salt content within them.


  • Sweet

Like salt, the more sugar we eat the less we can taste it. Therefore if you don’t eat many veggies and lots of processed snacks and meals, then you are unlikely to appreciate the natural sweetness of vegetables until you cut down on your processed sugar intake.


  • Spicy

Spiciness can enliven our taste buds to make them more sensitive to other flavours – so a dash of chilli, some fresh ginger or a grind of black pepper can really lift a dish and enhance the flavours within it.


  • Sour

Think balsamic vinegar over your salad or a squeeze of lemon/lime juice in a veggie curry – but be careful as it’s a fine balancing act!


Colour Boost Your Plate

Adding colour to your meal will make it far more appealing, encouraging you to eat a wide variation of fruit and veg, ensuring that you have all of the vitamins and minerals you need to feel your best.


  • Purple Veg

Prone to lose their colour when cooked in liquid - add acidic liquid to the water when boiling to retain colour, such as vinegar.


  • Green Veg

Try to roast or stir-fry if possible as this will retain the full colour. If boiling, do this for as little time as possible. Add anything acidic after the cooking process as doing so beforehand will encourage colour loss. However, dark green veg such as spinach contains high amounts of carotenoids, which do not discolour easily.


  • Orange/Red Veg

Like dark green veg, orange and red veg are mostly high in carotenoids, enabling them to retain their colour in most cooking circumstances. However, betains are responsible for the red colour in veg such as beetroot – this does have a habit of losing it’s colour within hot water so is best roasted or boiled in water containing an acidic element.


The more you experiment with cooking methods, flavours and a variety of vegetables, the more you will come to enjoy them – making your 5-A-Day that much easier to achieve and perhaps exceed. 

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