Children are expected to say things like, "I don't eat eggs, ever." Or, "Liver? Gross!" However, when adults do it they better have a severe allergy or a convincing health, political, or environmental argument to back it up. Not liking a food, no matter how it's prepared, makes you seem like an unworldly country bumpkin. On a first date, it tells your companion that you're unadventurous and unhealthy because your diet rarely strays far from the beaten path.
Most of us developed these food phobias during childhood, but it's never too late to get over them. In fact, foods many people hated as children not only provide essential nutrients for adult bodies but they house a potpourri of savors, tangs, and zests. Here are the most common "ick" foods that are actually incredibly good for you—and tasty.
1. BRUSSELS SPROUTS
It's easy to hate these mini-cabbages without even trying them. They're the knee-jerk low-water mark for kids. The bitter taste, odd texture, and vague aroma of feet are enough to scare anyone off. However, the same qualities are attributed to fine cheeses.
Very high in fiber and protein, it can be a filling but low-calorie side dish. Scientists also believe the vegetable may protect against cancer because it's rich in indole—a phytochemical—and vitamin C.
Learn to like it
Buy fresh Brussels sprouts that are still on the stalk. These will taste much better than the frozen. Slice each one down the middle and cook them in extra-virgin olive oil with freshly chopped garlic on the stove. Salt and pepper to your taste. To "gourmet-it-up," add walnuts, shallots, grated cheese, and bacon in moderation.
These "mini-trees" pack a healthy dose of vitamin K that you typically find in leafy green vegetables. No wonder children view florets with contempt; they represent the antithesis of Snickers bars. However, broccoli can be a man's best friend. Simple to prepare, it's a filling side-dish or quick raw snack.
Vitamins C, K, and A are all represented in spades in broccoli. As well as being high in fiber, it has multiple anti-cancer nutrients such as diindolylmethane and selenium. The diindolylmethane is also known to fight other viruses and bacteria. In studies, men who eat a lot of broccoli generally reduce their risk of aggressive prostate cancer and heart disease.
Learn to like it
There's no need to avoid broccoli on the appetizer tray, just dip it in hummus or add a dab of ranch dressing. You can also crumble some florets on your salad; they will make it more filling. Steam or bake them with olive oil for a quick side dish. If you decide to go more extreme, cover a casserole dish with florets. Pour three tablespoons of melted butter over it and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and bake for 10 - 15 minutes.