Most of us have a vegetable that we know we should be eating but still it is our nemesis! We just can’t seem to like it. For me that vegetable is beetroot. I have had a long and difficult relationship with this little beast. It gets away from me almost every time. But I have always tried to incorporate it into my diet one way or another because I know that this little vegetable is worth its weight in gold.
The annoying thing about beetroot is that it looks so deceptively beautiful! It taunted me for years. I wanted to like it so much that I kept coming back to it time and time again. The colour is amazing and brightens almost any dish. It is packed with nutrients and so incredibly versatile. But for all its versatility, I just couldn’t get past the earthy taste. I don’t mind some vegetables that taste earthy so what was it about beetroot that stumped me? I think it was the mixture of earthiness and sweetness. Who has a right to taste that sweet?
If you have a vegetable that you struggle to love and can’t make time for then you are not alone and there are ways to become better acquainted with it.
Here are my top tips for dealing with a vegetable that you know you should be eating but just can’t!
- Persistence: You have to keep coming back to it. Trying new approaches and with a fresh slate. You have to try not to hold a grudge. It doesn’t mean to hurt you.
- You have to want it: It was easy to be persistent with beetroot because I wanted to like it so much, because it was so beautiful. I was totally seduced by looks here. In the case of vegetables I think looks really do count. But if you are dealing with a less fortunate vegetable try to be forgiving. Its still good for you, it just needs a makeover and that’s your job. Make it pretty, tart it up, make it feel special.
- Add small amounts at first until you get used to it just being there. Spending time with strangers can be difficult. Get acquainted with it, learn its weaknesses and let it creep into your life. Perhaps you grate a little into something else at first. You will know its there but it won’t feel as threatening.
- Experiment! Try everything! Dress it up. Roast it, grate it, steam it, juice it, hell even fry it at first. Make it feel special. Especially if its not the best looking vegetable. Nothing that a coat of batter won’t fix. Healthy? No! but a great way to start liking something and get used to its presence.
- Seasoning is key. I find lemon juice a great one for earthy vegetables. It really balances out the flavor without masking its evil secrets. But roast it in spices, steam it and make an amazingly zesty dressing to freshen things up. What self-respecting vegetable wouldn’t appreciate that kind of make over?
- Do not over cook it! You can’t form any good relationship from a place of disrespect. Show some respect and treat it with dignity. If you want it to perform at its best you have to treat it with appreciation so that it wants to make you happy.
- Size is everything: When you are starting out, having your nemesis in large chunks is not the answer. Grate it, cube it, mash it. Whatever it takes. Too much too soon is not the answer. You have to make friends first.
- Buy it in season and fresh: We all have our off days, days when we are tired, lacking in energy and feeling a bit low. Have a heart. This is what happens to vegetables who are not in season. They aren’t meant to be there. They aren’t ready to be eaten or they are too old to care. Either way they don’t have their mojo yet.
- Its what’s on the inside that counts. Remember that it is good for you. When times get tough and your relationship is strained, remember why you decided to be friends. What attracted you in the first place?
- Above all you have to kill it with kindness. Nothing annoys your enemies more. Treat it with love even though your heart isn’t in it yet. You never know, it might grow on you.
These days beetroot and I are on pretty good terms. It is still more of an acquaintance than an old friend but one day I will look at it with fond memories and appreciate it for being there. You can’t go through that many tough times with someone and not appreciate the struggle.
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