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Intuition from My Kitchen

If you’re like me, you can’t wait for the cold weather to end. I am looking forward to warmer days, getting outside, and spring greening with the abundance of fruits and veggies coming to market. That being said, there is a lot of misinformation out there about what we buy and what we may or may not want to try, so I am here to clear up the clutter.

First question came from Margie:

How do you eat more of something you don’t like?

Excellent question Margie.

So first of all, we may not like a food because of the taste. I am all about disguise and embellish.

I love beets, but I know a lot of people don’t. Raw shredded beets mixed with peach, mango, pineapple, or grapefruit and some greens with a citrus vinaigrette puts the delish in the dish. We can add that food to something we like, such as chopped broccoli added to a spaghetti sauce, or we could mask a bitter taste with something sweet, such as Brussel sprouts drizzled with a little honey, or fig jam.

What about texture?

A lot of people may not care for the texture of canned beans, BUT, when they are pureed in a hummus, or pureed and added to sauce, problem solved.

If you’re not a mushroom fan, you can chop them finely, sauté in a little oil and add them to ground meat to enhance the flavor, provide a meaty texture and add some nutritional value. So get creative with flavors, sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and savory. Consider a different form of the food- grilled instead of baked, and pair a favorite food with one you are not as fond of to broaden your menu.

Am I anti-canned vegetables?

Jill wants to know if I am anti-canned vegetables. Jill, I am a #canfan. If you came to my house and took a look in my kitchen, you would find cans of tomatoes, beans, and corn. Our little ones love canned green beans and peas, and what could be easier than opening up a can of mixed veggies? Great taste, in haste, and absolutely no waste.

There are lots of myths surrounding canned veggies. So here are the facts:

  • They are nutritionally equivalent to fresh 
  • They are picked at the peak of freshness to ensure the best quality and flavor and highest nutritional value
  • They have the same amount of fiber
  • Many manufacturers have lowered the sodium in canned veggies
  • They have a long shelf life
  • They are economical
  • They are shelf-stable
  • They are ready to use, so less prep time
  • There is no waste

So how about experimenting with something new along with the tried and true? Mix and match is also a great option.

I love a good canned tomato, mozzarella, basil and strawberry or watermelon salad. Reach across the aisles with foods that fit your budget, your taste profile and your preference.

Leslie Bonci

Leslie Bonci is a Pittsburgh-based registered dietitian, sports dietitian and owner of Active Eating Advice by Leslie Bonci. She works with professional athletes ) surreal people) and real people to help them strategize, optimize and realize their goals. Leslie is an author, blogger and media expert. She and her husband Fred reside in Point Breeze and are the parents of two sons and grandparents to 3 little ones. 

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