7 hacks to eat more fruit and veg (and fool haters into it)

This is a bit of a no brainer for a lot of you but I know some people do struggle to up their intake to reach that holy grail of five (or is it seven now??) a day.

It may also come in handy for anyone who has the job of force feeding greens to kids or reluctant partners and friends – trickery is sometimes the only way.

1. Smoothly does it

spirulina

My Breville BlendActive is nowhere near as snazzy as Chaz’s Nutribullet but for just £20 it’s priced at now it does the job and proves you don’t have to spend loads to dip your toe into the healthy world. A lot of people assume green smoothies will taste gross but if you get the balance right just about any veg hater will agree it’s a tasty option.

cacaomilkshake

If green is too extreme, start with a healthy take on a strawberry or chocolate milkshake with chopped bananas thrown in and work up to the green stuff.

This is my current fave green smoothie – chop and freeze the banana overnight for icy cold perfection:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 sliced peach
  • Handful of spinach leaves
  • 0.5 cup of almond milk
  • Splash of water
  • Squeeze of honey (optional – try it first as the peach may make it sweet enough for you)
  • 1 tsp spirulina (optional)

2. Grate expectations

Your secret weapon

Your secret weapon (courtesy of http://www.marksandspencer.com)

Grating vegetables into meals is a GRATE way to fool haters into eating them in blissful ignorance. I always grate a carrot and an apple into quorn or lentil bologneses or pasta sauces for taste and sweetness and you’d never know they were there, you could also try a courgette grated into pesto pasta.

3. Mix it up

6

My grandma used to say fools and bairns should never see things half done and this a great mantra for the veg hiders amongst us. Try using the same old veg in different ways to trick fussy eaters into trying them – Anna Jones’ A Modern Way To Eat taught me how many different vegetables make great fries with seasoning (turnip, swede, carrots) and I’m pretty sure conventional courgette cursers could be tricked into trying courgetti for the novelty factor alone.

4. Branch out

dragonfruit-tfa-size-30ml-3689-p

romanesco_exotic_vegetables.jpg.638x0_q80_crop-smart

Romanesco. When in Rome?

Buy something new and they can’t even claim to hate it without trying, The more colourful and weird looking, the better.

5. Sweet nothings

unnamed (3)

Hide it in a pudding and the chances are everyone will love it and won’t remotely feel like they’re eating healthily. This cheesecake by Deliciously Ella is made purely out of fruit and nuts but it looks cool and tastes great. Jo’s daughter Lottie loves Ella’s sweet potato brownies (veg averse freaks would never ever know they had vegetables in them) and I once had an amazing courgette cake at a café in Rawtenstall that I’ve been trying to relive ever since.

6. Dress it up

Hugh: a fellow warrior in the war against beige food (image from www.guardian.co.uk)

Hugh: a fellow warrior in the war against beige food (image from http://www.guardian.co.uk)

A lot of people think they hate vegetables because the word itself evokes harrowing childhood flashbacks of soggy cabbage and limp broccoli they were force-fed at their grandma’s. I saw Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall persuading a lot of primary school kids to try veg they said they didn’t like by simply adding a nice dressing to it. A bit of butter, some garlic, a glug of oil, a sprinkling of cheese and some herbs can make all the difference.

And, if all else fails….

7. Lie

unnamed

One of many butternut bonanzas unwittingly enjoyed by a hater

When I first made the aforementioned turnip fries I told my boyfriend they were potatoes and he never even noticed they weren’t.

He’s also been eating butternut squash for over a year now since swearing off it for life after a bad experience, because I just pretend its appearance in an array of dishes is the innocent sweet potato. I wouldn’t normally advocate fibbing, but trust me it works and it’s worth it for that moment you choose to bask in the big reveal.

Any other tips on how to hoodwink a heathen?

All images ours or as credited

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