It’s All About Hiding That Healthy Taste

I’m not sure if it’s habit or just the structure of my tastebuds, but I don’t like cooked vegetables, without exclusion. Their lukewarm, soft, and mushy texture can make me gag with more force than a roller coaster. I wish it wasn’t like this; I wish I could enjoy vegetables in soups, steamed, or even fried. I think that I would be able to get in so much more vegetables if I didn’t think they were disgusting when cooked.

But alas, that is life. So, not only do I have a vegan diet that restricts animal products, fried foods, and unnatural foods, but I have to also exclude cooked vegetables. I try to rationalize it, “uncooked vegetables have so much more nutrients!” This can be true, depending on who you talk to (packaged food companies may tell you something else). But I honestly have to come to the conclusion that although raw vegetables may have more nutrients, I could be eating a whole lot more vegetables if i included “less nutrient-dense” vegetables.


Now let’s be honest, even some raw vegetables are disgusting. Have you ever tried eating kale raw? It makes me feel like a caterpillar grazing on tree leaves. Don’t venture to smell kale, you will instantly regret it. I have a couple of methods that I use to mask the taste of some vegetables.


Fruit! Lots o’ fruit!

Morning Smoothie

Morning Smoothie

I can’t eat kale raw, cooked, or in any way that looks and tastes like kale. I use sour fruit juices like the orange juice and the passionfruit juice (not shown) and berries like blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries to cover up that gnarly smell and taste. I’d like to think that I have an equation: for every one disgusting thing I put into the smoothie, I have to put one delicious thing. For every kale, add berries. For every maca, add fruit juice. I interchange kale with spinach; both blend well and lose their taste among the citrusy fruit.

Spices! Especially Indian spices!

Communal Spice Rack in My Apartment. Organic Indian Spices.

Spices are good for really any meal, but pungent and complex spices like those found in the Indian cuisine are really good for covering up that bleh smell from cooked vegetables. Am I really the only person that thinks they smell that bad?

I’ve gotten so obsessed with garlic salt that I don’t even use real salt anymore. Garlic salt is salty and has a savory aspect to it (doesn’t really taste like garlic though), so you can use half the amount for double the flavor. I haven’t fully converted to organic spices just yet, but I’ll get around to it.

Hot Sauce!

Buffalo Hot Sauce

Buffalo Hot Sauce

I’m not 100% sure that this hot sauce is vegan (it has “natural buttery flavor” as one of the ingredients), but it’s so good on cauliflower and in sauces. This particular brand has a very small list of ingredients and most of them are ones that I recognize, so I feel relatively confident about using it. Before I started to become vegan, I absolutely hated spicy things and avoided them like the plague. But something odd happens to your tastebuds when you cut out the awesome savoriness of meat and cheese: you crave strong flavor elsewhere.

I got all of these items, except for the hot sauce, from Mom’s Organic Market.


6 Comments on “It’s All About Hiding That Healthy Taste”

  1. selena says:

    Stalking your blog now. Does your professor read this? Oh this is going to be fun.

  2. 365dayrunner says:

    Have you tried multiple ways of cooking veggies? Some people like steamed, some boiled, some grilled. My personal favorite is roasting the veggies. Keep at it. You’d be surprised how much your taste buds might change and how much you might like veggies cooked down the road 🙂

    • mzelenski says:

      I’m sure you are right! I’m just not in the habit of trying out cooked vegetables, so my taste buds have not had a chance to change. I just recently started enjoying stir fried vegetables, so slowly and surely, I’m on my way!

  3. Brittany W says:

    Is that.. Kombucha? Ughhhh, that stuff makes my stomach turn, but I keep hearing it’s really good for gut health. Does putting it in a smoothie hide the taste?

  4. I choked on a fish bone when I was 4 or 5, and since then I could not stand the taste of fish. I tried fish & chips when I was 18 and I’ve been not minding halibut ever since. “Slowly and surely,” as you’ve put it, “I’m on my way” too.

    Regular kombucha tastes like feet, but brands like GT’s and Synergy make it taste like juice with pulp, because they dilute it. You can brew kombucha at home. It’s actually a mushroom that you can keep in tea and ferment it. Takes about a month or two, I believe.

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