Put vegetables front and centre: AUSVEG

pumpkin friesThe vegetable industry hopes beetroot brownies, pumpkin fries and green bean omelettes are unique meal options which could soon make its way on more Australian plates.

Following recent research commissioned by Horticulture Innovation Australia, the industry has been armed with a collection of different meals that put vegetables front and centre and range from the wholesome to the indulgent.

“The great thing about vegetables is their versatility – when they can be eaten raw or cooked, and they have such a wide range of flavours, it is easy to find a quick and easy option to make everyday meals that little bit healthier by adding a serve of vegetables,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Dimi Kyriakou.

“There are a wide range of everyday meal options that already place vegetables in the middle of the plate, from capsicum omelettes for breakfast to carrot cake for dessert. These old favourites offer a great [jump off] point for new meal ideas.”

The research performed by Horizon suggests that the best options either link new ideas for using vegetables to existing eating habits, highlight new options for eating vegetables using regular cooking techniques or remind consumers of what they already know but may forget when they are in the kitchen.

“The key to connecting with consumers is to suggest meals that combine new ideas with old habits, and show how easy it is to introduce vegetables into what they’re already eating,” said Kyriakou.

“Some of the ideas with the most potential for increasing consumption are simple solutions, like adding grated carrot into a burger or throwing chopped broccoli into a frittata. Others bring veggies into meals where consumers might not usually consider them an option, such as beetroot brownies or capsicum sorbet.”

She said if the industry can bring these ideas to consumers when it comes to deciding their food purchases and arm them with knowledge on making these unique recipes, the “research offers a great opportunity to introduce new vegetable consumption occasions into Australian households”.

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