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The scientifically-proven hack you need to bring out natural sweetness of vegetables

When vegetables are prepared correctly, they can make your tastebuds sing. Using a scientific approach to cooking can help you succeed more often than you fail. And, when it comes to how to make vegetables taste good, one trick in particular stands above the rest.

Valerie Duffy, PhD, a professor at the University of Connecticut who specializes in the study of food taste, tells CNN that the trick to serving delectable vegetables lies in bringing out their natural sweetness. To accomplish that, just set your oven to “roast” and wait for your tray of winter produce to turn crispy and caramelized.

You can thank the “Maillard Reaction” for making carmelized vegetable taste so good. The chemical reaction occurs between amino acids and the sugars in a given food that completely transforms both aroma and flavor. When someone compliments you on your roasted vegetable platter, make sure to send out a silent thank you to Louis-Camille Maillard, who first described the reaction in 1912.

Of course, there are other ways to add pizzaz to your cauliflower, parsnips, and asparagus. Spanish smoked paprika can give them a smoky, meat-like flavor. Everything but the bagel seasoning adds that extra-satisfying crunch. Or, if you totally forget to season your veggies (oops), try drizzling a special sauce on top to make your nutrient-rich side dish stand out from the crowd.

The 12 vegetables you need to buy organic—and 15 you don’t:

This “liquid gold” sauce also pairs well with vegetables. And you can make a million cheap, healthy meals with these 11 pantry staples.

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