One of the biggest concerns that I get from people who are considering switching over to a Paleo diet is that they don’t like this, that, or the other kind of vegetable. Do you have to LOVE vegetables to be able to eat a Paleo diet? The answer may surprise you!
No — you do not have to love vegetables to follow a Paleo diet. You only have to be willing to try them. I’m not saying you have to eat seventeen cups a day of a single vegetable that you hate, or that you have to try a new veggie every single day. But approaching a Paleo diet with open-mindedness is going to be the best way to achieve success with it on all levels, and eating vegetables is certainly not going to be as painful as you think it might be.
What To Do If You Hate Vegetables
If you hate vegetables, can you tell me why? Is it because you tried them as a child, had an awful experience, and never attempted them again?
Is it because you only ever ate them from a can or frozen, and so your taste (and texture) experience with them has been skewed?
Is it because you have one of those weird genes that makes some vegetables taste super bitter to you, or that makes cilantro taste like soap (these are legitimately real genetic mutations, y’all!)?
Whatever your reason is for not liking vegetables (some or all), I encourage you to give them another chance. Try cooking them with our tried-and-true Paleo recipes. I’ve found that even the pickiest eaters can appreciate roasted vegetables because they’re simple, but the flavors can be easily manipulated. Do you like bacon? Buttery goodness? Salty deliciousness? Garlic? Pick a flavor profile that you already love, and then work some vegetables into that. You do not have to go around munching on raw veggies, or eating big-as-your-head salads to be able to eat vegetables successfully.
Ways To Eat Vegetables When You Hate Them
If you really and truly have a hard time getting any vegetables down, try adding a few handfuls of greens to a smoothie, baking spinach into a Paleo lasagna, or making spaghetti using zucchini noodles. We have recipes for all of these amazing Paleo recipes, and as the old saying goes, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Even if you’re the most confirmed vegetable hater in all of the world, give them another chance. Paleo can be such a game changer for so many reasons, and you’ll have the best success with it if you’re including vegetables in your Paleo diet. Here’s a round-up of our best Paleo vegetable recipes:
While some dislike the strong aroma that asparagus gives urine, that scent is actually the result of the amazing antioxidant properties that asparagus contains. If you’re not a fan of their taste, disguise it with the addition of hazelnuts, which decrease the often “bitter” taste that vegetable haters find that asparagus has.
Okay so, most people (even those who dislike veggies) like fries. Well, these are only one step away from regular old-fashioned unhealthy fries. And the bonus part about sweet potatoes is just that: they’re sweet. No bitter veggie taste here.
You’ve probably figured out that a successful technique for disguising veggie taste is to pair it with some kind of nut. Lemon, too, helps to overpower the bitterness of the broccoli and can give an almost sweet, fresh taste to this superfood that is well worth learning to like.
Now who doesn’t love a good fried rice takeout? Well, here you have the “rice” that isn’t rice at all—and because it’s fried with other delicious flavors, like fish sauce, cilantro, and jalapeño, you’re not even going to know that there are veggies in here.
Most people don’t even think of mashed potatoes as vegetables, so this one should be an easy swap. While potatoes are definitely Paleo, cauliflower brings a bit more of a nutrient punch to the table, and is well worth the swap. If you’re sure you won’t like it, or are afraid that your kids will pick up on your trick, try doing half cauliflower and half potatoes the first time.
Carrots already have that sweet thing going on, and the addition of honey in this recipe takes them to the next level. Not sure if your picky eater will go for eating carrots that, well, look like carrots? Steam them a little longer so they’re perfectly soft and puree them, serving them as sweet, orange colored mashed potatoes.
The perfect appetizer, or snack that you won’t be able to quit, that’s what these are. Most picky eaters can be convinced to eat vegetables if they can smother them in dip to nullify the taste, and this creamy buffalo dip is A+ all the way. You’ll want to pair it with every vegetable dish, chip, and snack you’ve ever met.
When all else fails, there’s always bread. You just don’t need to mention that this “bread” is actually made from pumpkins because (a) they don’t taste like pumpkin and (b) you can wrap them around whatever you want, not just pumpkin-related foods. Try them for sandwich wraps, breakfast wraps, or rolled plain and dipped in the aforementioned Creamy Buffalo Dip (only half kidding).
The best approach, in many cases, is to completely hide the vegetables. This sausage and egg scramble can perfectly conceal the chameleon-like nature of the zucchini, and if you grate it or slice it very thin, no one will even know it’s there.
This one’s a winner because it looks like dessert. But it’s no ordinary dessert, it’s a dessert that tastes like mashed potatoes, and has three amazing veggies hidden inside. You can pair this with just about any dish, and it’s a nice started for an introduction to vegetables. I know, there’s nothing green in it, but the antioxidants in this dish are still a great launchpad into the world of exploring vegetables.