How Eat More Vegetables: Tip #5

Take a chemistry lesson. If someone doesn't like a particular vegetable, he/she may be sensitive to chemicals that make someone appear to be a 'picky eater' -- and some times, the chemical aversion can be overcome by cooking the vegetable in a certain way.

For example, we all know someone who hates Brussels sprouts. But the dislike is likely all about a sensitivity to bitterness caused by chemicals called glucosinolates. To counter this, the trick is to break up the center of the sprouts by cutting them in half and then, to leach out the chemicals, to cook them in a lot of well-salted water. Forget steaming, forget roasting, the chemicals must be drawn out of the core. A great source of chemistry lessons like this is On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee who also writes a blog called Curious Cook.