Make veggies exciting to eat

April 08, 2020

ADDING meat or nuts make vegetables exciting to eat.

While it could be easy to trick children into eating vegetables, researchers find it is difficult for some adults to eat vegetables unless the food smells good.

Although tactics such as providing vegetables as a juice or hidden as a puree in entrees have been suggested, many people still say no thanks to vegetables, citing adverse taste perception.

Researchers at the University of Illinois interested in developing interventions to encourage adults to make better food choices and whether using more spices and herbs, like ginger, curry, rosemary, or garlic, for example, can help adults consume more vegetables as part of their diet.

In a study, the researchers collected information on what spices and herbs consumers like (ginger, curry, rosemary, or garlic), how frequently they use them, whether they are used when cooking vegetables, and whether the participants feel proficient in cooking with spices and herbs.

They found that older participants were less inclined to like and use bolder spices and herbs like cayenne pepper or cilantro and tended to stick to milder flavors such as paprika or garlic.

To Filipinos, vegetables are usually cooked with coconut milk, sautéed with garlic and onion, as garnish or braised with beef, pork, chicken or seafood. In other regions and countries, boiling and steaming are the most common cooking methods. Spices and herbs were seldom used to enhance flavor.

Researchers believe that proper knowledge of culinary techniques on making vegetables interesting to eat with the use of spices and herbs could improve their vegetable consumption.

Researchers add that if one could make vegetables more appealing based on spices and herbs and flavors, they would be more prone to appreciate and choose to eat more vegetables because they enjoy what they are consuming.