Eating is all about balance. If you’ve been out of your normal routine while at work or on holidays and found you’ve overindulged in a specific food, spend the next few days nourishing yourself back to homoeostasis (metabolic balance) with the foods you’ve been missing. If you’ve spent a few days eating lots of starchy, cooked foods, for example, it might be a good idea to spend a couple of days eating some raw and lighter foods through vegie juices, salads and vegetable soups.

Just because vegetables are good for us doesn’t mean that eating them should be seen as an unfortunate yet necessary chore. While some of us, particularly children, will cross the street to avoid vegetables, they really are the gift that keeps on giving. The secret to eating more vegetables is to prepare them in a way that makes them just as delicious as the foods they’re partnered with. In fact, vegetables can be the flavour hero of the show if you know how to bring out their trademark charm.

While it may seem strange, cooking vegetables is a skill that not everyone has mastered—press rewind and take a look at your last aeroplane or takeaway meal. The most important thing to remember when cooking vegetables is that each one needs to be treated as an individual, just like any leading act. Some, such as onions, are better sautéed, while others, like root vegetables, are delicious roasted, to draw out their natural sweetness. A variety of leafy greens are best served steamed, while other vegies simply taste better raw.

Each cooking method has its advantages and disadvantages, and each gives different vegetables a particular flavour and texture. Always remember to wash your vegetables thoroughly before preparation, regardless of whether they’re organic. Buying vegetables from farmers’ markets rather than large supermarket chains will give you fresher produce and access to a range of varieties that the supermarkets don’t carry.

Bonus recipe: Oven-baked broccoli and cauliflower steaks

Images and recipes from Supercharge your Life by Lee Holmes, Murdoch Books, RRP $35. Photography by Luisa Brimble.

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