Can’t get the kiddos to each veggies? You’re not alone. Children’s taste buds can be particularly sensitive to bitter foods. It’s estimated that 79 percent of children have a bitter-sensitive gene that makes them more apt to be picky eaters. Below I’ll share with you the easiest child-friendly veggie recipe ever. Not only will kids eat no-oil roasted vegetables, but your waistline will be happy too!
Growing up vegetables were far from my favorite. I doused anything green – broccoli, green beans, salads – with such large amounts of ranch dressing I’m sure there is a ‘hidden valley’ growing somewhere in my stomach. That trend continued well into my 20′s, although my sophisticated taste buds required something a bit more upscale than ranch dressing: fresh Parmesan cheese. I would easily use half a block of cheese to make a gooey taste “barrier” over cooked vegetables. Since I know now that dairy can inhibit weight loss goals, causes inflammation in the gut and is a major source of adult acne, I had to kick the copious amounts of cheese to the curb. BOOM! Adios queso.
But I’m okay with that. Now, I’ve discovered the easiest vegetable recipe EVER!!! Not only is it super simple, but kids of all ages will absolutely fall in love with it. Hint: Getting the children involved in choosing the vegetables is part of the fun.
This recipe is as easy as pick, chop and throw in the oven.
No-Oil Roasted Vegetable Recipe Tips
Roasting vegetables reduces the bitterness and brings out the natural sweetness. They are easier for children to chew and with so many different variations, you can literally make roasted vegetables every week without getting tired of them! Here are the key secrets to making the perfect kid-friendly roasted vegetables:
- Start with a couple of small onions. The steam they generate will help keep the vegetables from getting dried out during roasting. I like red onions because they make a roasted vegetable dish look so darn delectable.
- Choose 2 sweet, fresh vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers or corn.
- Have your kids (or significant other) participate in choosing the other vegetables. The creative ones might be daring and try new vegetables. Others will stick to their tried and true favorites. What’s great is that kids will take more interest in their food if they have a part in selecting or cooking it. See how colorful you can make your roasted veggies. Suggestions: cauliflower, broccoli, squash, brussel sprouts, eggplant
- Make roasted veggies at the end of your shopping week to “get rid” of your vegetables before they go bad.
- To make sure all vegetables cook evenly, chop harder, dense vegetables in smaller pieces.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of your favorite herb – thyme, rosemary, oregano
- Instead of using Olive Oil (1 tablespoon = 126+ calories) toss the veggies with 1-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar or vegetable broth
- Allow only one tablespoon of “extra toppings” per person. Chopped nuts, hummus, raisins, vegetable dip, red pepper flakes and I wouldn’t even argue with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese if means kids eat their entire plate of veggies.
Jill’s Favorite Roasted No-Oil Vegetable Recipe
Makes 4-6 servings
2 small red onions or 1 large onion quartered
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 red pepper cut into bite-size pieces
1 head of broccoli cut into bite-size pieces
1 head of cauliflower cut into bite-size pieces
2 heaping tablespoons rosemary
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons hazlenuts toasted (pop in the toaster oven for 4 minutes) and chopped
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit
2. Combine all chopped veggies in a deep 13 x 9 baking pan
3. Add herbs and vinegar. Toss gently.
4. Pop in oven 25 minutes or until done. Stirring once half way.
5. Sprinkle toasted hazlenuts on top
Have leftovers? Add roasted vegetables to scrambled eggs or on top of brown rice or quinoa for a completely new meal.