Are you getting your five a day? That’s the recommended number of vegetable servings you should be eating daily, and yet more than 70% of Americans are failing to meet that goal. Loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, ample veggies are critical to your optimal long-term health. Take a look at these easy and delicious ways to up your vegetable intake:
Eat more soup. Soups comprise some of the most vegetable dense meals out there. Make a vegetable-rich beef soup or chili with a tomato base, add kale to yourfavorite bean soup, or make a cream soup with cauliflower blended in. Get creative: Soup is a great way to use up those bits and pieces in the vegetable drawer that would otherwise go to waste, while packing a nutritional punch!
Join the veggie noodle craze. Yes, it’s all the rage right now. Whether it’s zucchini, sweet potatoes, carrots, or another favorite veggie, people everywhere are trading out their pasta. If you don’t want to invest in a spiralizer tool, many grocery stores are stocking “zoodles” in the produce section. Give them a whirl before committing to home equipment.
Add produce to sauces and casseroles. Take your standard tomato and meat sauce recipe and throw in a diced eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and mushrooms. Try a butternut squash and mushroom sauce on regular or veggie noodles, or add fresh spinach to that decadent alfredo sauce. Get creative with casseroles: Add extra peppers and onions to that potato side dish or fill those chicken enchiladas with an extra dose of your favorite veg. It’s an easy way to boost nutrition and enhance flavor.
Amplify your smoothie. Swap out your morning juice or all-fruit smoothie for one with veggie power. Zucchini, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, and beets are all popular choices to add to your fruit mix – play around to find the sweet spot as far as ratios go.
Rethink Breakfast. For many of us, our first meal of the day is devoid of vegetables. Try adding last night’s sautéed or roasted veggies to your eggs. If you’re an unorthodox breakfaster who eats things like pizza for breakfast, the possibilities are endless: Any veggie-rich leftover is fair game.
When adding more vegetables to your diet, you don’t have to completely overhaul the way you eat or cook. By simply enhancing family favorites, you can make a big difference in your nutritional bottom line over the long term.
Resources:healthy, sneaky, vegetables