Sneaky Ways to Get More Veggies in Your Diet
It’s no secret that vegetables are good for you. While you have probably been told to “eat your veggies” from your earliest days, you admittedly may not always do so.
There are many reasons why many of us struggle to eat enough vegetables, whether it’s a distaste for them, being unsure of how to prepare them, or not having enough access to them. Yet since vegetables provide such important nutrients and have so many amazing health benefits (which you can read all about here), you might be looking for creative ways to get more into your diet. We’ve got you covered with helpful ideas, as well as what to do if you think you don’t like vegetables.
Bulk-Up Your Soups
Soups are one of the easiest ways to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. Cooking vegetables in broth with other ingredients like rice, pasta, beans, and plenty of herbs and spices help them take on those flavors, making them more tolerable even by picky eaters. You can make vegetables the base of your soup by blending them or simply leaving them in chunks. Feel free to be as creative as you’d like by mixing and matching any vegetables you have on hand, or incorporating any of your favorites. Check out this Instant Pot Veef Vegetable soup, Creamy Broccoli Soup, or Quick Chicken Minestrone Soup for some recipe ideas.
Sneak Veggies Into Smoothies
It’s common to only think of fruit when it comes to smoothies, but that does not have to be the case! There are many vegetables that can be easily blended into smoothies without affecting the flavor or texture much. Some of the best veggies for adding to smoothies include leafy greens, celery, and frozen and chopped cauliflower or zucchini. These veggies have a mild, neutral flavor and pair great with blended fruits, nut butters, and other flavorings. You can simply throw in a handful of any of the recommended veggies to your favorite smoothie recipe or try one of these smoothies for inspiration: Red Berry Green Smoothie Prep Packs or Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Bowl.
Blend Veggies Into Sauces
This is a tried and true trick that works for picky toddlers but is equally as beneficial for adults. Simply take your favorite vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, peas, onions, or a combination of any and puree or shred them into your favorite sauce, like marinara, alfredo, or pesto. This is a great way to mask their flavor while reaping the health benefits of eating them.
Use Veggies as a Replacement for Noodles in Pasta Recipes
Things like “zoodles” (noodles made out of zucchini) have become more popular over recent years, and for good reason. Veggies such as carrots, sweet potatoes and zucchini all work great when peeled and spiralized into noodle-like shapes, then cooked and seasoned as desired and eaten just like you would pasta! And if you haven’t tried spaghetti squash yet, now is the time! You can make your own spiralized veggies or buy them in most mainstream grocery stores. Here are a couple of recipes to check out to get you started: Baked Feta Zoodles and Taco-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Make Pizza Crust Out of Veggies
Nearly everyone is a pizza fan, right? You may be surprised to hear that pizza crust is yet another way to sneak in some added veggies. There are simple recipes, such as Zucchini Crust Pizza or Grilled Vegetable Cauliflower Crust Pizza, that you can make at home, but vegetable-based pizza crusts can also be found in many stores. In addition to being lower-carb and providing extra nutrients, they are also often gluten-free, making them ideal for several dietary needs.
Try Lettuce Wraps
Using lettuce in place of regular buns or tortillas is a simple way to enjoy favorite recipes while sneaking in extra veggies. Large romaine, red-leaf, or butter lettuce leaves work well, and the filling options are endless. Since lettuce isn’t quite as filling as their higher-carb counterparts, you may want to serve these meals with extra sides or mix in beans or a whole grain like brown rice. Recipe inspiration: Mango Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Chipotle Lime Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
Sneak Them into Family Favorites
Vegetables are highly versatile and can be added to almost any recipe, including omelets, oatmeal, homemade burgers, rice, and more. Think about what your family loves to eat, then consider how to sneak in extra nutrients from veggies.
But what if you just don’t like vegetables?
Like many foods, eating vegetables can be an acquired taste. If you’re not used to eating many of them, it may take time for you to become acquainted.
Here are 3 Things to Keep in Mind:
It can take baby’s and toddlers up to 15 exposures before accepting a new food, and the same might be true for adults. Even if you don’t like a vegetable at first taste, keep exposing yourself to it. You never know when your taste preferences may change!
Try New Ways to Eat Veggies
If you’re not a natural veggie-lover, eating them raw or plain is perhaps the worst thing you can do. Try preparing them in different ways, such as roasting, sauteing, or steaming. Then, experiment with flavoring them with an endless variety of seasonings, cheeses, sauces, etc. For example: maybe you have always hated brussels sprouts, but when they are roasted and tossed with some honey, garlic, and flaky sea salt like in this recipe, you may find them irresistible!
This tip applies to just about any new habit you start to develop. Try not to overwhelm yourself by incorporating veggies into every meal right away or by trying large portions all at once. Starting small could be as simple as choosing veggie chips instead of your usual tortilla chips or by snacking on carrots and hummus instead of crackers and cheese. Think about what is realistic for you, and don’t underestimate the power of small action!
So there you have it! If you’ve been looking to boost your or your family’s health, we hope these tips for eating more vegetables get applied to your lifestyle today.