ot all of us love veggies. *Gasp!* I know! But we’re all well aware of their nutritional and health benefits, and we need to eat them. There’s debate among the “health food world” between raw or cooked veggies and which are better. Traditionally, raw veggies have been superior as their vitamins aren’t altered during cooking. But then they found some of the cruciferous veggies contain phytates, which can be hard for our bodies to digest, and that lightly cooking them reduces these phytates and actually brings out other healthful compounds!
Bottom line? Don’t get caught up in all that! Just eat more veggies! Broccoli is like “nature’s little scrub-brush”, and most veggies contain fiber which is good for cleansing and getting things moving (if you know what I mean). You can’t go wrong eating spinach, whether cooked or uncooked. We’ve found a basic recipe that seems to, magically, transform veggies from gaggerific to terrific (for those who aren’t naturally “veggie inclined”)! I assumed I hated brussel sprouts until trying them with this method. They’re now among my favorite veggies!
Sit back and watch in amazement as your kiddos (or husband, ahem) gobble up their veggies and even ask for seconds! We’ve used this method on the following veggies with great success:
- Beets (messy, but yummy – they stain!)
- Brussel Sprouts
- Cabbage (this was a big surprise and a huge hit)
- Carrot “fries”
- Chives/green onions (another fantastic surprise!)
- Garlic cloves (or the whole darn head! Cut off top to expose cloves first, but no need to peel skins)
- Green Bean “fries”
- Leafy greens like kale/swiss chard (shorter cooking time, watch them closely!)
- Potato “coins” (potatoes of all varieties, including sweet/yams)
- Summer squash
Veggie of choice
To Make: Adapt this recipe to whatever veggies you have growing in your garden, or buy up produce that’s on sale at the grocery store.
Step 1: Wash, peel, slice or dice your veggies, according to type, and drizzle with avocado oil (I like to use a zip-top bag, throw the veggies in and drizzle oil into the bag. Seal it up and have a kid shake, shake, shake!)
Step 2: Arrange veggies on a sheet tray (lined with parchment paper for easy cleanup) and bake at 425℉ for 20-30 minutes*. Stirring half way through cooking time.
*Veggies such as green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, cabbage, thinly sliced carrots, zucchini, and summer squash will cook more quickly, while starchier veggies such as brussel sprouts, beets, white or sweet potatoes and larger carrots may need additional time. For a quicker cook, slice/dice veggies into smaller pieces and don’t overcrowd your pan.
Step 3: Once veggies begin to caramelize, remove from oven and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder (or other seasoning of choice), and serve.