Whether you’re the type of person to ask for a second helping of veggies after dinner or you actively spite the soil that they grew in, if you’re vegan you’re going to be seeing a lot of them! We all know that vegetables are good for us. They’re full of essential vitamins and minerals we need to survive, but it can be hard to get these nutrients if you simply can’t stand how they taste. It can be frustrating wanting to eat vegan, or encouraging those around you to, but not finding enjoyment in the foods you are eating. Maybe it’s the vegetable itself you hate, but it could also just be the way it’s prepared. Therefore, we have put together 5 different ways to prepare vegetables in a way you may learn to love.
Potatoes aren’t the only food you can mash! Any starchy vegetable can be made into a hot bowl of creamy goodness as a way to prepare your vegetables. Parsnips, beets, cauliflower, yucca, turnips, and carrots are all substitutes that can be used if you’re wanting to cut down on the glycemic index of your meal, or if you just want to try out something new. Trust us, vibrant red mashed beets sure makes for a statement side dish. All it takes is boiling down your starchy vegetable of choice til soft then mashing them with a hand-masher, mixer, or a food processor. Add your favorite alternative milk, vegan sour cream, and vegan butter and you’ll have something sure to satisfy.
Blending your vegetable is a perfect way to sneak some extra nutrients into your meals. If you blend softened carrots, onions and potatoes, add in some nooch and alternative milk you’ll have yourself a “cheese” sauce that pairs perfectly with any pasta! Replace the potatoes with soaked cashews, add in cumin and cayenne and you’ll have a vegan nacho “cheese” dipping sauce! And if you’re into fruity drinks, add some leafy greens such as kale or spinach into the mix to get a boost of iron. Green drinks may look a little funky, but your body will be oh so grateful for them.
Grilled foods obtain a wonderful smokey and charred taste to them during cooking. It may be the flavor profile you need to learn to love the little green guy you hate. We personally love grilling bok choy, portobello mushrooms, and peppers in the summer for burgers. Obviously we all know that grilled corn is always a popular favorite, but grilled okra, broccoli, eggplant, zucchini, or artichokes may become your new backyard go-to! This is one of our favorite ways to prepare and cook your vegetables.
Roasting vegetables in an oven is perhaps the most classic, and considerably the easiest, way to prepare vegetables. Any vegetable can be roasted whole or into bite sized pieces for everyone’s convenience. You can cook them entirely to your preference! Whether soft, crispy, spiced, plain, oiled up or oil free, roasting is the most fool-proof way to prepare and enjoy your veggies. If you cook with oil, consider the variety of oils we have available to us when preparing your meal. Coconut and olive oil add their own flavor, while avocado oil has a smoke point of 520 degrees allowing you to crisp up your veggies as much as you would like!
Though it may seem like an arduous task, fermenting vegetables has the most payoff out of all of these preparations. They are rich in beneficial probiotics that can lead to a boost of your digestive health and immune system. All you need to start fermenting is water, salt, an air-tight jar, and time. You can use any vegetable(s) and spices of your preference. Loosely, the steps to fermenting is simply cut up the veggies, place into the jar, cover with the brine, and allow to sit for 4-10 days in a cool dark place until soured to your liking. Be sure to do a bit of brushing up on the details of fermenting to ensure you’re doing it safely as harmful bacteria can grow if done improperly. But, once you feel comfortable enough you can make your own cabbage and radish kimchi, fermented sweet and sour cucumbers, and sauerkraut to enjoy!
And there you have it folks. Our top 5 ways to prepare your vegetables that anyone can enjoy. Cheers to that.
Written by Drew Valentine