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Kids Aren't the Only Picky Eaters

Kids Aren't the Only Picky Eaters

Using Herbs and Spices to Increase Vegetable Consumption


Have you tried tricking someone into eating something or hiding vegetables in different recipes? Whether it be avocado in brownies or a sweet potato puree in quesadillas, we are still falling short on our consumption of daily fruit and vegetable intake. University of Illinois professors that previously researched which types of consumers were using certain herbs and spices wanted to further investigate whether using herbs and spices increased vegetable intake.


Adding herbs and spices is a personal preference. While women were more confident using herbs and spices, those with a lower annual income showed less confidence. Older participants were more likely to stick to mild flavors, while cultural differences lead certain populations to gravitate towards certain spices and herbs. Whether you gravitate towards curry, ginger, or oregano, the process of trial and error may be your best friend in determining your taste preferences when it comes to flavoring vegetables.


Regardless of herb or spice, Americans are still under consuming vegetables at only 1.5 cups out of an upper level target of 3.5 cups per day. With the nutrition information available at our fingertips, we need to go back to the basics of learning, 1) where our vegetables come from; 2) how to cook them, and; 3) to explore the use of herbs and spices. But where to start?


Dole’s culinary trained registered dietitian, Melanie Marcus, shares “Enhancing the natural flavor of vegetables can be simple and fun when you pair herbs and spices with specific vegetables and discover new tastes. Artichokes, for example, are complemented by the subtle flavors of parsley, bay leaves, coriander seeds, and paprika. For asparagus, try pairing with dill, marjoram, nutmeg, rosemary, or chives to bring out a new flavor profile. And everyone’s favorite broccoli is elevated to new levels when paired with herbs and spices like sage, chives, oregano, or garlic.


Experimenting with herbs and spices is not only fun but also a great way to add variety and nutrition to your diet.” 


Try a different take on rice by making Cauliflower Rice or for those more adventurous Dole’s Hot and Spicy Plantains may be up your alley!


Published October 1, 2023

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