Veggies are basically a powerhouse for your body. A diet rich in veggies has been shown to lower the risk of many diseases, reduce inflammation, aids in detoxification and provides the body with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Just to name a few. If you know me at all, you know this girl loves her veggies, but I recognize that veggies are not everyone’s cup of tea.
Despite knowing how good they are for you, it can be a challenge to get in the recommend 5 servings per day! Yes, 5 fist sized portions are ideal each day. Before you throw up your hands and concede to a boring life of salads and celery sticks, try these easy tricks to incorporate more veggies into your daily intake without giving up the foods or flavors you love!
- Start your day with a smoothie!
Smoothies are packed with sugar if all you include in them is fruit, but you toss spinach, carrots, avocado or beets, and without compromising the flavor you have a nutrient dense drink that will sustain you for longer. Balance this with berries or banana, almond milk, Greek yogurt or protein powder and your favorite nut butter and you won’t even know the spinach is there.
- Throw veggies into your morning eggs.
Not a smoothie person, but love eggs? Whether you make a scramble, omelet, quiche, or frittata, vegetables are easily added into the mix. If veggies sound terrible first thing in the morning, try mincing (chopping them into itty-bitty pieces) spinach or broccoli. Sprinkle them in without sacrificing too much taste or texture of your beloved eggs. Then you will start your day with a serving of greens!
- Puree them!
Pureed veggies just may be the sneakiest way to grab another serving of vegetables for you and especially your kids! Add pureed pumpkin, sweet potato, tomatoes, or carrots to thicken up sauces and soups, or hidden in hamburgers or meatballs. If you make your own pasta sauce, puree cauliflower and greens into it! You can also jazz up store bought sauce with these additions.
- The veggie chameleon.
Cauliflower is one of the most versatile of the vegetable world. It takes on the flavor of almost anything it is mixed with or cooked into! Grab a bag of riced cauliflower add it to literally anything and everything. Bulk up your quinoa or rice portions, mix it into burger patties or eggs. You can even completely substitute rice or pizza dough with cauliflower.
- Substitute pasta for veggie noodles.
Spaghetti squash, zucchini, carrot, sweet potato can all be transformed into a nutrient dense noodle option with the amazing spiralizer kitchen tool! Don’t have a spiralizer at home, never fear. Spiralized noodles can also be found in the produce and frozen section of most grocery stores.
- Sneak them into your baked goods.
The obvious options are carrot muffins and zucchini bread, but what about sneaking in an extra serving of spinach into chocolate muffins or brownies. Not only are you satisfying your sweet tooth but getting in a little more nutrients without even realizing it!
- Baked Veggie Chips.
Sometimes you just want something crunchy and salty but ditch the greasy potato chips for some home-baked, nutrient-packed vegetable goodness. This can come in the form of paper-thin crispy Kale chips or potato chip replacement options such as sweet potatoes, beets, carrot or zucchini. Easy to make, just thin-slice your veggie of choice drizzle with oil and toss them in the oven.
- Lettuce Wrap your sandwich, burrito or burger.
Turn these typically carb heavy dishes into a lighter option with more nutrients. Try different types of lettuce such a butter lettuce, Romain leaves or collard greens! Add cucumbers, sprouts, or extra tomatoes and before you know it you have a salad free serving of veggies. The possibilities are endless.