Okay, we’ve all heard it before – EAT MORE VEGGIES. We are talking about 2 or 3 cups per day minimum if you are following the USDA guidelines. Guess what, you don’t need to chew your way through cups of spinach and bowls of broccoli. There are easier ways to meet your vegetable goals.
If you are tired of salad bowls, try mixing things up and preparing veggies in different ways by getting creative. Your body will be so happy that you did. Here are some short and sweet ways to add more vegetables to your life.
You can add a serving or two of veggies to your blender. Make a smoothie, add some kale and then add some lemon or orange or citrus flavors. Those balance out any bitter tastes. Start the day in a healthy way or blend away for a mid morning snack.
There are an array of veggies that you can add to your whole grain toast. Avocado is the obvious choice but why not add a slice of fresh mozzarella and then top with garden tomatoes, or cucumbers and dill ? Saute some peppers or some fresh mushrooms. There are so many options to choose from.
Huevos Rancheros Anyone ? Scramble your vegetables into your eggs for a protein packed breakfast. Onions, peppers, tomatoes, jalapeños, spinach, mushrooms and I have only just got started ….
Zucchini muffins for a snack ? that’s right – zucchini has a mild taste and it’s easy to sneak a serving of vegetables into pancakes, bread, muffins etc. The zucchini stays moist so it makes your baked goods oh so yummy without drying out. Don’t just stick with zucchini, add some carrot for some pretty color.
Did you say soup ? oh it’s my very favorite and I can add so many different vegetables to my soups. I can make the soups of the regular variety or add a bit of vegetable stock or cream, blend it up and have a creamy version. What a way to get in your veggies and oh so delicious.
Brown rice, quinoa and barley can get boring so why not add some beautiful, colorful vegetables to your pot as you are prepping your grains ? You can also just skip the grains all together and pulse broccoli or cauliflower in the food processor into a rice texture. You can steam this for a few minutes and serve it together with a portion of healthy fats and your protein. Perfect combination and you’ve just “upped” the veggie content.
Hiding veggies in your casseroles is another way to increase the veggies and nobody needs to know unless you want to share your cooking secrets. Lasagna is a great dish to add some spinach and mushrooms to. You can bake eggplant or zucchini into the casserole dish instead of the pasta noodles.
Share some veggie-love with your hamburgers. Pile your burger high with onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and lettuce. You can even shred the veggies directly into your burger mix or into your meatball mix. It will add great texture and flavor and the moistness will even plump up your burger and make it over the top awesome !
In conclusion, there are so many terrific ways and ideas how to add more veg to your life without eating cups and cups of kale. I haven’t even touched on roasting or baking or grilling or sautéing or zoodling, or frying – get creative and hit the fresh produce section of your favorite grocery store.
Bon Appetit !
About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery clients for over 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.
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