Love it or hate it: Vegetables

by Patty Templeton

Love itDudes. Seriously, I know that asparagus makes your pee smell wicked bad, but it’s such an easy trip to Tasty Town. Boil water, drop ’em in for maybe 5 minutes. DELISH! And Brussel sprouts? I’d never eaten Brussel sprouts till I cocktailed at a bar that had fried Brussel sprouts. An unhealthy entry point, albeit, but since then, BOOM CHICKEY! I roast those tiny little bastards to perfect and end up in Nom Central.

I frikkin love vegetables. I eat kale salads. I make spinach smoothies. Celery with peanut butter? Hell yeah. Brocotrees? YES. (And yes, I know it’s spelled broccoli.) I could eat cucumbers and green peppers all day long. The queen of all vegetables, the key to my heart? Potatoes. I could live my life without potatoes, but those days would contain at least 13 percent less happiness. They should call ’em joy-tatoes. And you can oi-tato me all you want but, I won’t stop jawing about vegetables.

Besides being damn tasty, eating an f-ton of veggies is so good for you. Sweet potatoes give you glowing skin. Onions contain fisetin, which may help protect the brain from dementia. Kale has lutein, good for eye health. Feeling winded or tired all the time? You might need more iron, which is found in peas!

Want a glorious dinner and less disease? Eat your dang veggies.

– Patty TempletonHate itI know. Any argument against vegetables seems more suited to come from someone younger than 10. But before you rightly criticize, I would claim that when people say they love vegetables, ask a few pointed questions and it’s not so much the vegetables they like, but the butter, oil, salt, and/or dressing they’re actually after and that makes vegetables lovable. If vegetables are enjoyable enough on their own, it’s probably something like sweet corn, which likely isn’t even considered a vegetable by most nutrition professionals.

Which gets to a main beef I have with vegetables: The ones I truly like without adornment – corn, potatoes … um … yeah – aren’t even that good for you. All the others I end up liking – okra, green beans, leaks, onions, greens, broccoli – best be covered in fried batter, glaze, butter, or come as garnish.

And then there’s the finickiness. Canned veggies apparently have lost a bunch of nutrients. Cook vegetables too long, they lose their nutrients. Cook them not long enough and their cell walls retain too many nutrients. And fresh, you’re looking at them wilt by the minute, too eager to check out of this world.

Thanks for the anxiety vegetables.

– David Holub


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