How To Consume More Vegetables
Let’s face it, vegetables suck.
It seems like the more nutritious they are the worse they taste. Their putrid, sulfurous nature is objectionable to say the least. But we all know the importance they play in our nutrition. Without them we wouldn’t be able to optimize our health. Some of us are more capable than others to incorporate these earthy beasts into our diets knowing that the mere moments of mouth displeasure is less than the beneficial returns obtained by their consumption. Me on the other hand, I would rather spend a lifetime with wet socks than to ever have a piece of raw broccoli try and dance with my chompers again.
Eating vegetables is my least favorite chore. Meal prepping has been a godsend to integrate more vegetables into my daily life. I find that if I make an attempt to improve their taste or hide them in dishes, I can at least tolerate vegetables. It’s still not as easy as it should be though which is why I have spent the last 6 years of my life navigating the annals of food science literature and tirelessly experimenting in my own kitchen to come up with a process that could make even the pickiest hombre singing it’s praises. It all started my sophomore year of college. I knew I needed to get some form of vegetables into my system but I wasn’t about to just eat them like a normal person because that’s ludicrous. I opened the refrigerator and saw some orange juice and a bag of spinach. I grabbed a blender, poured in 8 ounces of orange juice and a few handfuls of spinach. I was pleasantly surprised by how not awful it tasted and how easy it was to get such a large amount of greens in. Now I knew that the orange juice had a lot of sugar in it and the next day I decided to replace it with water. This was a horrible mistake. The drink obviously tasted like I took two spoonfuls of dirt and mixed it into water like some fugazi nesquik. Never again. From that day until now I have tried countless different formulations to increase the amount of vegetables and flavor all while decreasing how poorly the mixture tastes. I believe that I have come up with the unequivocal, pound for pound, greatest exercise in vegetable consumption that this world has ever known.
Here’s how you make it:
- 3 large handfuls of kale
- 1/2 large zucchini
- 1 handful of shredded carrots
- 1 pear
- 1/2″ chunk of ginger
- 8-10 oz Water
- Splash of lemon juice
Add all of the ingredients into a blender (not a juicer) and blend until smooth.
I find that this recipe allows for the maximum amount of vegetables included while still keeping it in a primarily liquid state to make for easy drinking. If you add in more vegetables you will cross the saturation point where it becomes difficult to fully blend the cruciferous vegetables. If you are anything like me, when the smallest leaf of kale goes unpulverized and brushes against your tongue, you will vomit everywhere. With experience you will learn what you prefer as far as viscosity goes and you can add in more or less water as needed.
Blenders will make a huge difference here. The better the quality of your blender, the better the quality of your magic elixir. I use a Vitamix. They are the best of the best and will turn rocks into liquid earth. They are truly incredible machines. I’ve used a number of different brands and nothing compares to the Vitamix. All other blenders leave vegetable remnants behind but not the Vitamix. The Vitamix will churn the entire mixture and ensure that no chunks are remaining. They are expensive, but think of it as an investment for your health. You will use it everyday and it is going to greatly improve your life.
Change up your ingredients every week to get some variety. One week you use kale, the next week use spinach, and the week after that use a spring mix. Swap the zucchini for a cucumber or celery. The pear is included to make the drink as bearable as possible. You can try with other fruits but for whatever reason I’ve found that pears do an exponentially better job than anything else at masking the wretchedness of the vegetables.
When you drink this, don’t sip it like it is some kind of aged Cabernet. That would be a huge mistake. This thing isn’t going to taste good and you will hate yourself for trying. Here’s what you’re going to do. Stand in front of the sink, take a deep breath in and tip that thing back. Seriously. Drink this in one go. It will be better for everyone. The amount of vegetables I can fit into one of these drinks would easily take me 10 minutes to eat. Once it’s blended, I can put it away in seconds. Do this once a day and you will feel better. Anecdotally, I can feel a major difference on days where I do drink this compared to days I don’t. I’ve also noticed that when I drink one before bed I have increased dream activity and incredibly vivid dreams.
Still not sold? Let’s look at a cost benefit analysis.
Eating plain vegetables like a simpleton.
- You get nutrition
- There may be a slight advantage to chewing and swallowing your food in terms of bioavailability and enzymatic processes that occur during digestion.
- Extreme mouth displeasure
- Would take ~10 minutes to eat an equal volume of vegetables
- High likelihood you will vomit
Blending your vegetables
- You get nutrition
- Dope dreams
- Mental acuity
- Only takes 2 seconds of mouth displeasure
- You get sentimental flashbacks of your college days during the seconds you’re throwing it back.
- No chewing
- Easier to get variety.
- Sometimes the blender might miss a small portion of kale and you’ll never be able to forgive it for subjecting you to such harrowing experience
- Cleaning the blender can get old
If you’re struggling to intake vegetables give this a try. The world would be a much healthier place if each of us did this even twice a week.