Creative Ways to Eat More VegetablesJanuary 16, 2024
With the start of a new year and January comes a wave of healthy resolutions – lose weight, eat better. Consuming more vegetables is always a smart goal. A diet high in vegetables can provide essential vitamins, antioxidants, fiber that boost immunity, aid weight management, and enhance athletic performance.
Between hectic schedules and convenience eating, meeting vegetable intake recommendations often falls off the priority list. As a dietitian, I will talk about my favorite simple tricks for effortlessly incorporating more vegetables into your daily meals and snacks.
Add Vegetables to Your Favorite Dishes
One of the simplest approaches is packing extra vegetables into popular foods you already love – pizza, pasta, eggs, smoothies, rice dishes, soups, etc.
Some tasty ways to veggie-load favorite recipes:
– Add spinach, zucchini or broccoli to eggs and omelets
– Mix cauliflower rice or spiralized zucchini into pasta dishes
– Make pizza crusts using shredded cauliflower
– Blend spinach, kale or beets into fruit smoothies
– Include onions, peppers, mushrooms into soups, curries, and stir fries
Change the way you eat vegetables
There are so many delicious ways to cook vegetables that can change their flavor profiles. This is especially important for those with picky eaters in the family! Here are some of my favorite ways to transform vegetables.
Roasting whole or sliced vegetables caramelizes natural flavors – delicious! Root veggies, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus work nicely.
Grilling zucchini, eggplant, peppers, corn, and other veggies intensifies smoky flavors. I love adding some balsamic drizzle to finish, which adds a tangy flair.
Bake Winter Veggies
Baking winter squash, sweet potatoes, and beets brings out their natural sweetness beautifully. I like flavoring them with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to add warming winter flavors.
Quick-pickling vegetables not only preserves texture but also amps up flavor. It is perfect for snacking or adding crunch to meals.
Playing around with different herbs, spices, oils and flavors also keeps vegetable dishes exciting.
Choose Vegetables As A Snack
Keep cut-up vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, or bell peppers on hand for a convenient and healthy snack option. Here are some other ways to incorporate more vegetables into your snacks.
– Bake veggie chips using thin slices of carrots, parsnips or beets
– Whip up quick pickled veggies for salty, tangy crunch
– Stuff mini sweet peppers with hummus or low-fat cheese
– Bake portobello mushroom caps topped like mini veggie pizzas
Sneak Added Veggies Into Every Meal
Rather than isolating veggies as small “sides,” integrate them into all elements of main dishes:
– Fold greens like chard or kale into grain bowls
– Mix mushrooms and onions into burger patties
– Blend veggies into meatballs, stuffed peppers, etc.
– Make lettuce cups rather than sandwiches or wraps
Prioritizing vegetables into your meals and snacks means they automatically become filling staples rather than afterthoughts.
With a bit of creativity in the kitchen, packing more vegetables into your daily fitness diet is totally doable. By incorporating these creative ideas into your meal planning, you can increase your vegetable intake in an appetizing and enjoyable way.