Chances are you eat fewer vegetables than you should. And you’re not alone: Nine out of ten Americans struggle to get in the recommended three plus servings of veggies a day. You know how good they are for you—fresh produce is loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and fabulous phytonutrients (plant chemicals) that you can’t get by simply popping a pill. But even dinner, the most typical veggie-heavy meal of the day, is struggling to deliver the needed servings.
So why aren’t vegetables landing on your plate more often? With all of life’s demands, it’s quite possible you simply have less time to prepare them—it’s true, all that washing, chopping, dicing, and slicing can be a chore. But it’s time to stop relying on one meal to meet all of your nutritional needs and start thinking out of the “side salad” box. Here are 8 easy (and tasty!) ways to sneak more of Mother Nature’s gems into your daily diet.
Give your morning smoothie a vitamin boost by adding a couple of handfuls of dark, leafy greens, like kale or spinach.
Finely diced peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, or a fistful of microgreens make eggs and omelets even more delish! In a rush? Toss roasted veggies from last night’s dinner into the skillet before adding the eggs.
Spoon canned corn into your favorite whole-wheat pancake batter for instant corn fritters. They’re great dipped in plain yogurt for breakfast or as a quick snack.
Vegetables give sandwiches a healthy helping of vitamins, flavor, and crunch. Buy pre-prepped items, like grated carrots and sliced beets, and pre-washed leafy greens from the grocery store to make it even easier to throw veggies into your lunch.
5. Veggie Chips
Swap out potato and tortilla chips for veggie chips—no, not the pre-packaged, processed kind. Carrots, cucumbers, peppers, and zucchini sliced chip-style are great for dipping. (And don’t forget about classic celery sticks!)
Speaking of dipping… It’s so easy to make delicious, vegetable-based dips. Looks for recipes starring caramelized onion, eggplant, cucumber, artichoke, and more.
Toss carrots, onions, mushrooms, and butternut squash into your sauces, soups and casseroles. Grate them, cube them, or cook them until they become soft—just get them in there.
Pulverize zucchini or steamed broccoli in a food processor and add the green goodness to your next batch of muffins. You won’t even notice their flavor in your favorites baked goods.
Cooked, raw, fresh, frozen, canned, or 100% juiced—how are you getting your daily dose of vegetables today? And are you celebrating #KaleDay2015? Join the conversation below!
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.