Jane Austen on Vegetables

By: Emma Decker

I’m going to be upfront and honest about something: I’m really just not a raw-vegetable person.  I kind of hate eating carrot sticks and I’m not into snacking on slices of cucumber and I am 100% absolutely anti-salad with very few exceptions.  But what I’ve found is that once I gave up trying to get myself to embrace raw vegetables, there were a lot of ways to sneak them in foods.

This is not an article for people who already know that leafy greens are good.  This is for people like me who would boast a diet reminiscent of your average 12 year old if it wasn’t for those pesky doctors and their rants about the importance of nutrients.  Also, from a very young age my mother instilled in me a fear of scurvy that, in spite of my non-pirate lifestyle, kind of stuck.

There are a million ways to sneak vegetables into your meals.  There are entire parenting books written about this kind of thing because yes it’s important, apparently.  But I have a few quick tips to help you lighten up your meals.

Work with spinach.  Things like spinach are really easy to mask with spices, and tend to take on the taste and consistency of whatever you’re making.  Put it in pasta, eat it as a side dish, make a salad out of it if you’re into that kind of thing.

As with last week, I’m going to throw in a reminder not to force yourself.  If you don’t like mushrooms, don’t eat mushrooms.  Try something else.  There is a vegetable that works for your taste and diet preferences, and if you don’t think so then you haven’t tried it yet.

Blend it.  You can make a soup pot full of vegetables taste like normal tomato basil bisque if you use the right recipe.  Wouldn’t even know you’re getting all of the nutrients that come in a pound of raw kale.  Same goes for smoothies, which brings me to the first in what I hope to be a long line of healthy, easy, and inexpensive recipes I am able to share.

For today’s post, I’m going to tackle the most important meal of the day.  This one is easy.  Make a damn smoothie.  My issues with smoothies were simple: I didn’t like the texture and I didn’t like breakfast.  So, to fix the second thing I had to fix the first thing.  I start my smoothies with as little liquid as possible.  I’m more of a “smoothie bowl” over a smoothie-with-a-straw kind of girl.  I take two handfuls of kale or spinach, and a handful of frozen blackberries/blueberries/strawberries, and a frozen slice of pineapple, and mix in half a serving of protein powder and some coconut water.  This recipe requires isn’t watered down, doesn’t require any dairy, and isn’t overly sugary.  Then I pour it in a bowl and mix in some fresh fruit (sliced banana, blackberries, whatever I have around) and some granola.  As with most things, you have to be careful about granola because it can label itself as healthy, organic, and whole-heartedly honest and still contain enough sugar to throw the cookie monster into a three week coma, which is the kind of unhealthy choice not even spinach can make up for.

So that’s it.  Eat some vegetables; they’re good for you.  Or so I’ve been told by anyone who knows anything about the human body basically on a daily basis since I gained the ability to commit moments to memory.


“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a young woman in possession of good health and little fortune must be in want of a solid smoothie bowl recipe.” –Jane Austen.  Or something.