PHOTO BY ERIN KUNKEL
Yeah, yeah—you know you should be eating more vegetables. Two to three cups per day, according to the USDA. But here’s something you might not know: You don’t have to gnaw your way through bowl after bowl of raw kale to be one of the 10 percent of people who actually meet that goal.
“There are lots of tasty, equally easy ways to add veggies to your day,” says Fitbit nutritionist Tracy Morris. “It’s just a matter of getting creative. Be brave, embrace new flavors and simple cooking techniques, and your body will love you for it.”
Whether you’re tired of leaves for lunches, can’t get excited about cold dinners, or were never a fan of salads to begin with, here are 16 inventive ways to incorporate more veggies into every meal.
Blended into Smoothies
Almost any veggie goes down easier in a thick and delicious, creamy smoothie—especially when it’s blended with citrus to balance out any bitterness. Add a big handful of kale, chard, or spinach to your morning smoothie and then flex a little, knowing that you started your day with extra iron. Try it: Gingery Kale Smoothie
Topping off Toast
Avocado toast is cool, but there are so many other veggies you can drop on top of whole-wheat bread. Start with a swipe of part-skim ricotta or hummus, then add hydrating tomatoes and cucumbers. Or, pair sautéed mushrooms with a sunnyside-up egg. Try it: 9 Fresh Ways to Upgrade Your Morning Toast
Stirred into Oats
Stir unsweetened pumpkin puree into your morning oats for a filling breakfast that will leave you longing for fall. The pumpkin’s orange color means it’s packed with beta-carotene, contributing to your daily intake of vitamin A. Try it: Pumpkin Steel-Cut Oats
Scrambled in Eggs
As long as you’re cracking eggs, it’s easy-peasy to get veggies like bell peppers, mushrooms, or spinach into the mix. Chase them around a hot pan before adding the eggs, or just reach for leftover roasted veggies from last night’s dinner. Try it: Make-Ahead Mini Frittata with Greens
Baked into Muffins
You might not associate muffins with green vegetables, but zucchini is sweet, mild, and full of moisture, making it surprisingly delicious in bread, muffins, or pancakes. Try it: Zucchini Muffins with Chocolate Chips
Simmered in Soups
Carrots wilting in the crisper? Overwhelmed by a big bunch of kale? Soup’s on. Dice different veggies into a chunky stew, or blend your favorite root vegetable completely smooth. Plus, you can always upgrade chicken broth with a big handful of greens and squeeze of lemon. Try it: Green Soup with Cashew Cream Swirl
Piled on Pizza
Salad for dinner can be a tough sell, but everyone gets fired up for pizza night. Put a healthy spin on it with tomatoes, eggplant, or any other favorite veggie toppings. Even if your kids revolt at the sight of broccoli, you should be able to at least sneak some sweet peppers onto their pie. Try it: Green Pizza with Broccoli & Black Olives
Blitzed like Rice
Instead of sad, unseasoned broccoli or cauliflower, get more creative with your crucifers. The cauliflower rice trend really breaks it down: Just drop florets into a food processor, and pulse until they form grains of “rice” or “couscous.” It’s a low-cal alternative to rice or pasta, with the added benefit of phytochemicals that may help fight cancer. Try it: Broccoli Fried Rice with Veggies & Eggs
Twirled like Noodles
Whenever you put on a pot of pasta, it’s an opportunity to toss veggies in with the sauce. But veggie noodles take it one step further, replacing some (or all!) of those refined carbs, and piling more plants on your plate. Slurp zucchini noodles with a creamy sesame sauce or toss sweet potato noodles in a spicy chicken stir fry. Try it: Zucchini Noodles with Pesto & Grilled Shrimp
Cooked into Casseroles
Salad can be chill, but sometimes you’re craving warmth and comfort. And if veggies can pretend to be noodles, they can also stand in for pasta sheets. No matter what your family’s favorite casserole is, there’s a way to layer in more vegetables. Try it: EggplantMoussaka
Tossed in Fresh Stir-Fries
Stir-fries are a refreshing way to load up on veggies first and put protein second for a change. Toss all your favorites into a hot wok. Carrots, sugar snaps, and even cabbage add sweetness and crunch. Try it: Spicy Tofu Stir-fry with Coconut Sticky Rice
Baked as Fries
Even the most determined veggie hater will have a hard time resisting sweet potatoes in French fry form. Simply drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and slide into the oven. Feeling more adventurous? Sub in beets, carrots, or parsnips. Try it: Sweet Potato Fries
Stuffed with Goodies
Stuffed vegetables are pure comfort; fresh produce is just part of the package deal. Keep the stuffing healthy with lean ground meat or beans and whole grains, but don’t forget a sprinkle of cheese. Try it: Stuffed Veggies with Beans & Corn
Whipped into Dips
Sure, you could set out crudités with a creamy dip. Or you could double the veggies and whip them into the dip, too. Dig into beautiful beet hummus, cucumber raita, or healthy, homemade spinach dip, replacing the cream with yogurt. Try it: Beet Hummus with Spiced Pita Chips
Minced in Meatballs or Burgers
Shred zucchini, mince mushrooms, or finely chop sautéed spinach, before gently mixing it into lean ground beef or turkey, and shaping into meatballs or burgers. It cuts some of the meat out of your meal and pumps up the moisture and flavor. Try it: Beef & Mushroom Burgers
Roasted to Perfection
Roasting veggies can tease out flavors you wouldn’t get otherwise, and it couldn’t be easier. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Pile bite-sized pieces of cauliflower, broccoli, or Brussels sprout on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread out. Roast until tender-crisp and golden, about 20 minutes. Try it: Roast Pork with Apples & Brussels
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.
28 CommentsLeave a comment
This is a brilliant addition to the way in which fitbit encourages healthy living and these recipes will surely appeal to a lot of people who have got out of the habit of cooking or perhaps never really cooked. I would like to make a couple of suggestions to improve the recipes. I believe that olive oil has now been found to be unsuitable for roasting as the high temperature alters the chemical structure in an unhealthy way. (I’m no chemist). Rapeseed oil is a better alternative for roasting but there are other alternatives too. Also given that Fitbit is sold internatonally these recipes shoukd take accounf of an international English speaking audience and it would be good to add in brackets the alternative name for some ingredients for example cilantro (coriander).
This is a great article.
You say that you are no chemist but you know a lot about it. It’s always good to give suggestions.
We are going to try all but one of the above recipes – enough there for a whole week. I like just about everything here. Many thanks.
This is a great article – I have tried just about all of these ways to get more veggies in. Will be trying some of these recipes. People don’t realize how easy it is to add them in and that it doesn’t have to be boring!
Hard to believe that only 10% of US adults consume the recommended daily amounts of fruit (1.5-2 cups) and vegetables (2-3 cups). I follow a whole-food plant-based diet of greens, beans and grains, and have no trouble at all meeting those minimum daily requirements.
Great article….an easy way to work as many vegetables as you need into meal plans.
Your recipe ideas are simple ways to add Green. They look so Delish!! Thnx for the Inspiration. Trying to sneak them in everywhere I can for better health. Thanks!!
Off to the market….
This was an amazing collection of great ideas for veggies. I’ve been eating a lot less meat and a lot more vegetables and I was happy to see so many additional options.
I have had toast with hummus and avocado delicious! Also, I have put Ricotta cheese and blueberries on my toast. My fav bread to toast is Ezekial bread. Very good!
Excellent presentation . The recipes are so good that they can be used for entertaining guests. I’ll be keeping this email and trying all of them.
I will be trying some of these dishes.Thanks
Excellent article. Refreshing to find helpful content for once.
Enjoyed reading the article, good ideas. Thx!
Excellent article and great recipes! I usually skim articles like this and get little inspiration. Not this time. Thanks
Great idea give us more ideas for food, we do a lot with veggies at the mo but info and ideas is always a benefit……
Great ideas. I’m a veggie smoothies lover, but not my kidos or husband. Now I know how to better influence my family to enjoy healthy foods.
Took pictures of some suggestions. Different ways to use veggies. Thank you Fitbit
Going to try several of these recipes, thank you so much for the new idea
This is good news…plan to try all!
I really enjoyed this article and the new ideas for eating healthy!! Thanks Carl
I want to try them all!!!! thanks!!
Also need kid friendly recipes
Must try,they look delicious
Wonderful ideas and suggestions! I am interested in trying all of them. Thank you.
I love how so many can easily be keto friendly! finally a great article on practical and appealing suggestions.
This list of different ways to eat veggies has given me inspiration to try new things and to not be scared to add a little kick to your veggies. Ideas like this is exactly why I follow Fitbit.
Very good suggestions. Thank you very much.
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