Beetroot brownies, pumpkin fries and green bean omelettes may sound out of the ordinary, but the vegetable industry hopes that these unique meal options could soon be making their way onto more Australian plates.

Following research commissioned by Horticulture Innovation Australia that investigated opportunities for more vegetable meal occasions, the industry has been armed with a collection of meal ideas 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’s 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 every-day 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 jumping-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’re 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 Ms 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.”

“If the industry can get these ideas to consumers at the key decision-making points of their food purchases, and arm them with the know-how to try out these recipes, this research offers a great opportunity to introduce new vegetable consumption occasions into Australian households.”