6) Add Some Healthy Fat
According to Breslin, some bitter compounds are lipophilic, meaning they dissolve readily in fat. Try adding a little fat (and we stress a little) to your vegetables by sautéing* them in oil. Olive oil is very low in saturated fats and loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats, so choose it over others. However, for a little variety you can use sesame oil or peanut oil, which are also low in saturated fat—just go easy with these.
How to sauté: Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add two teaspoons of olive oil. (Heating the oil should take about a minute.) Cut your vegetables into uniform sizes so they cook in the same time, and sauté them for about five minutes until they're crisp-tender. Be sure to stir the vegetables, lifting them up frequently, and moving them around the pan.
7) Get Saucy
If you eat tomato sauce on pizza, meatball subs, or spaghetti, ostensibly you're eating vegetables. Since pizza and meatballs don't fall into what we consider health foods, try smothering your skinless chicken or ground turkey breast with tomato sauce. You can even double your veggie intake by mixing some shredded zucchini or carrots into the sauce (the sugar in the marinara will squelch any bitter taste). And don't labor over your own sauce; simple old Prego or Ragu works just as well.
8) Dip Your Chips
Salsas offer a spicy, more palatable way to get your vegetables, says Zelman. Try mixing freshly diced tomatoes with scallions, garlic, cilantro, peppers, black beans, corn, and onions. The free glutamate in the tomatoes will help take the edge off the other vegetables. Scoop up the salsa with some low-fat baked chips or celery, or use it to pour over chicken breast or fish.
9) Be Adventurous
Some vegetables you've never tried may be surprisingly pleasing to your palate. For instance, if you don't enjoy the tang of green peppers, try purple, or red ones, which are far sweeter. Supermarket produce departments offer an increasing variety of exotic vegetables such as baby leeks, daikon, or broccoflower; give them a try.
10) Boot Your Inner Child
As you grow older, your sense of taste grows less discerning, so the vegetables you hated decades ago may not be as offensive in this millenium. If you allow your childhood biases to keep you from getting your greens, you are seriously shortchanging your health. Give vegetables another chance and you may be glad you did.