We all know that eating more vegetables (and fruits) is good for you and important for vibrant health. But getting those nine a day is not always easy. Even busy people who love veggies can sometimes be hard pressed to get enough of that good stuff in their diet, not to mention getting picky eaters to eat them. Aside from having a salad with lunch or dinner, a vegetable as a side dish, and maybe a piece of fruit as a snack, how can you eat more vegetables?
Here are some ideas on how to eat more fresh produce and for sneaking veggies into people who profess not to like them.
Did you know you can blend up greens in smoothies and still have a great tasting treat? Kale and spinach blend up beautifully with smoothie ingredients like yogurt, protein powder, and fruit and no one will know they are eating greens. Cucumbers and avocados are also delicious in smoothies. Here’s a recipe for a kale smoothie. And here’s a bunch more smoothie recipes.
Include Vegetables in Breakfast
If you like to eat eggs and omelets for breakfast, it is very fast and easy to chop up a few veggies such as zucchini, onion, chard, broccoli, etc. and sauté them before adding beaten eggs to the pan. Here is a recipe for a Swiss chard breakfast sauté.
Replace Candy and Sweets with Dried Fruit
Remember those little boxes of raisins in your lunch box? Those were good but have you ever tried dried papaya or figs? How about golden berries or pineapple rings? Dried fruit from the bulk department is just the ticket for satisfying a sweet tooth without all the sugar or high fructose corn syrup present in many conventional candies and snacks.
Substitute Veggies for Pasta
Lasagna made with thinly sliced zucchini or summer squash is fantastic. Or zucchini noodles, a trick that paleo and GAPS diet eaters use, are delicious. Oryana sells veggie noodles in the produce department. But here is a recipe for zucchini noodles.
Cut Up Fresh Veggies
You would be more likely to snack on vegetables if they are ready to go, right? So…cut up some celery, carrots (or buy a bag of baby carrots,) cauliflower, broccoli, green pepper, or whatever you like, and store in an airtight container or bag in the front of the fridge so when you go there in search of munchies, you will have a healthy snack ready to go.
Make your Own Salad Dressing and Have Salad Greens Ready
Bottled dressing is convenient but just does not compare to homemade. Make a big jar of your favorite dressing using quality ingredients, and pre-prep your salad greens, so you will be more likely to include a green salad with a meal. Here are some nice vinaigrette dressing recipes. Here’s a nice homemade ranch dressing recipe.
Make Veggie Fries
Instead of fries made with potatoes, try zucchini fries, or sweet potato fries. You can bake them in the oven if you don’t want to actually fry them. Here is a recipe for awesome zucchini fries.
Roast Your Veggies
Roasting is fast, easy, and makes vegetables absolutely irresistible. You can roast many different vegetables from broccoli to root vegetables to cabbage. Here is a recipe for roasted broccoli. Here’s another good one: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower with Bacon and Rosemary.
Sneak Veggies into Recipes
You can add a variety of vegetables to soups, stews, chili, and spaghetti sauce. Chopped greens are wonderful in soups and are terrific creamed, such as creamed spinach or creamed chard. Here is a recipe for a healthy macaroni and cheese with a surprise vegetable in it that children will not be able to detect!
Butter makes just about anything taste good. Steam up some green beans, broccoli, carrots, peas, cauliflower, or asparagus and toss them with a good quality butter and watch them disappear.