Vegetables have been promoted in a healthy lifestyle for a very long time, and there’s good reason for it. Vegetables are high in dietary fiber, micronutrients and antioxidants which promote various bodily functions, and energy from carbohydrates. Some vegetables also contain good amounts of protein. They can help you feel full after your meal and promote weight loss and weight management. Many people do not eat enough vegetables throughout the day for a multitude of reasons. Maybe they don’t like them, they don’t know how to prepare them in an appetizing way, or they choose less healthy food because it may be more convenient. If you fit into one of these, remember you are not alone and I am here to help! In this post, I want to share with you easy ways to increase your daily vegetable intake.
1. Add Vegetables to Your Eggs
Whether you’re eating your eggs over easy, scrambled, or hard boiled, add some veggies on the side or while you are cooking. For example, add some fresh or frozen spinach to your scrambled eggs in the same pan. You could also make a quick potato hash with onions and kale to put your fried eggs on top of.
2. Roast or Grill Your Vegetables
Many people don’t eat enough veggies because they are boiling or steaming them, and these methods don’t make the tastiest veggies. Try boiling or grilling your vegetables – both of these methods will create a crispy exterior and gorgeous brown color!
3. Add Veggies to Your Evening Meals
Try to make a guideline for yourself when cooking your main evening meal to include at least one vegetable on your plate. For example, chicken and broccoli with brown rice is a great idea and it includes at least one vegetable. If you can add more than one, that’s even better!
4. Add Veggies to Smoothies
This tip may sound strange, but there are some vegetables out there that blend very well into smoothies that you may not even taste them once it’s done. Great vegetables to add to smoothies include frozen cauliflower, frozen spinach, beets, carrots, and avocado.
5. Include Raw Veggies as One of Your Snacks
Snacks are a great way to eat enough calories throughout the day, and it’s an opportunity to increase your vegetable intake. Carrots with hummus or another dip is a good example. “Ants on a log” is another great one (celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins or dried cranberries).
6. Find New Recipes
Sometimes incorporating new recipes into your routine will increase your vegetable intake by introducing you to vegetables you either haven’t eaten in a while or haven’t tried before.
7. Treat Your Veggies Just Like Meat
Marinate them, season them, roast them, grill them, braise them. All of these methods will help bring so much flavor to your veggies! This tip is great for your high-protein veggies like beans and tofu (derived from soybeans).
8. Add Veggies into Meatballs
This is a simple way to increase your veggie intake without feeling like you are sacrificing your meatball dish. Choose veggies with more bland flavors, like spinach or cauliflower. Or choose veggies that might add some needed sweetness, like carrots or parsnips.
9. Make Veggie Burgers
Black bean and chopped veggie burgers is a great way to get your protein in as well as your micronutrients and fiber.
10. Add Veggies to Your Oats
This one sounds weird too, right? Well, it’s a great way to increase your veggie intake as well as boost the volume of your meal to help you feel full and satisfied for longer, which helps with weight loss and maintenance. Try adding frozen riced cauliflower or shredded zucchini to your next bowl of oatmeal, both are great because of their very mild flavor.
The Bottom Line
It is easier to add vegetables to your diet than you think! Utilize these 10 tips the next time you are meal planning or looking for a snack in the kitchen to add more veggies to your diet.