Learn to Love the Veggies You Hate
By Sari Harrar
Spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts — don't say
"ugh!" until you've tasted our makeovers, all designed to help you eat
up and slim down.
When's the last time you cooked cabbage for dinner? Or served beets? If
you're as scared of these veggies as your kids are, blame Mother Nature: The
very phytonutrients that make some vegetables so healthy are what give them
that bitter taste.
The good news: Good Housekeeping 's food director went to town on
six muchreviled vegetables — beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage,
eggplant, and spinach — to trick your taste buds into liking (and maybe even
loving) them. Her fiberpacked dishes will help you lose weight — especially if
you use them to replace junk food; volunteers at Pennsylvania State University
who swapped some highcal, highfat foods for veggies lost 40 percent more than
those who didn't. Ready for some new family favorites? Read on.
ter taste comes, in part, from chlorogenic acid, which helps prevent cancer
and can also keep heartthreatening plaque from building up. What's more, lab
studies show that eating eggplant lowers cholesterol and helps artery walls
relax, which can cut your risk for high blood pressure.
Makeover: Slowroast eggplant to mellow its acrid flavor. Fresh herbs
also helped mask the taste. Or to bring out its sweet side, you can grill the
Eating it a few times a week can cut your risk of breast, lung, and colon
cancers. In one study of 300 Chinese women, those with the highest levels of
cancerfighting isothiocyanates — found in cabbage — had a 45 percent lower risk
of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels.
Makeover: To mask the musty taste of red cabbage, mix it with pasta,
raisins, ground clove, and apple juice. Chopped fruit and caraway also hide the
A super source of vitamins C and K (one cup has more than a day's worth of
each), broccoli also helps ward off cancer. Sulforaphane, one of its compounds,
disarms cancercausing substances. In lab studies, a different compound, called
indole3carbinol, prevented tumor growth in animals.
Makeover: Mash together broccoli florets and potatoes for a decadent
Broccoli Gratin with Parmesan topping. Since there's no cream or butter,
calories are low — about 95 for half a cup. You can also shred and sauté
broccoli stems with carrots and nutmeg to wipe out any bitter flavor.
Just one cup of this superveggie packs 34 percent of your daily need for
folate (which can help lower levels of heartthreatening homocysteine), 15
percent of potassium (which reduces blood pressure levels), and 27 percent of
manganese (which helps maintain your bones).
Makeover: To bring out beets' natural juices, peel and grate them.
Camouflage the dirtlike flavor with lemon juice and sweet dates. For an easy
side, try Basil and Balsamic Beets. The fresh basil and vinegar bring out the