Vegetables that are grown out of their natural growing season are notoriously bland and bitter. For the most delicious and flavorful vegetables, stick to those that are at the peak of their growing season. If you’re unsure what’s in season, check your local farm stand or farmers market.
Some vegetables are more bitter once they’re fully mature. Try baby eggplant, baby Brussels sprouts, and baby artichokes if you’re looking for less bitter options. As an added bonus, younger vegetables are often more tender than their fully-grown counterparts.
Think of carrots, corn, and sweet potatoes as gateway vegetables; their natural sweetness gives them more mass appeal. Once you’re grown accustomed these vegetables, try moving on to ones that are slightly more bitter.
Roasting and grilling really enhances the flavor of vegetables. The natural sugars in the vegetables caramelize during cooking, lending additional sweetness.
Skip the ranch dip (unless you made it with Greek yogurt) and dip your vegetables wisely. Bean-based and yogurt-based dips are some of the best options for dunking fresh vegetables.
A little bit of Parmesan cheese can go a long way; a small amount of freshly-grated cheese can add flavor and saltiness to raw or cooked vegetables.
Freshly-squeezed citrus juice is delicious on just about any vegetable and doesn’t add many calories. You don’t have to stick to lemons and limes either — oranges and grapefruits are delicious as well.
Whether it’s smoothies, salsas, or salads, fresh fruits and vegetables often pair with each other nicely. Try peppers and mangos, strawberries and arugula, or carrots and oranges.
Try tossing vegetables with fresh herbs for an extra boost of flavor. Tender herbs like basil and cilantro are best applied to raw vegetables (or added after cooking) while hardier herbs like rosemary and thyme are better if they’re cooked with vegetables — it helps soften them up.