Most of us need to eat more vegetables. Unless you are vegetarian, there’s a great chance you’re not eating enough plant food. – – Broccoli anyone–? Most of us tend to eat one or two staple vegetables on a regular basis, then skip over the rest of the produce section in the grocery store.
Vegetables are the only source of some essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need to stay healthy. Obviously, we should eat a large variety of vegetables to get a mix of the nutrients that they provide. To eat more vegetables every day, try these five easy steps.
- Keep it Colorful
If you’re not sure where to start, look at a rainbow for inspiration. UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, founder David Heber, author of the popular “What Color Is Your Diet?” recommends you eat vegetables of all different colors. The coloring in the plants is what gives them some of their nutrition. The color chemicals are known as phytochemicals. Science still doesn’t know how to re-create some of these compounds.If you want to start incorporating more vegetables into your diet, you could begin by choosing a different color vegetable for every day of the week. This is a good way to make sure that you get a lot of different tastes and nutrients. If you’re tasting different flavors in your diet, chances are you’re not going to burn out by eating the same vegetable every day. Check out what Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D. Food and Nutrition Specialist says about eating colorful food in this useful pamphlet, What Color is Your Food? Also, study the poster below for more information about what a food’s color says about its nutritional value.
- Prep Your Week
Eating more vegetables is simple and uncomplicated when I prep my veggies ahead of time. When I have vegetables on hand and ready to throw into recipes I’ll use them more often. Not surprisingly, if I’m making eggs in the morning, I’m a lot more likely to add vegetables if they are already chopped up and ready to go. If I have to spend 20 minutes chopping vegetables early in the morning to add to an omelet; guess what? I’m not going to do it; chances are you won’t either.
If you don’t like chopping vegetables, you can buy pre-chopped veggies at your grocery store. Having staples like onions, peppers, broccoli, and squash all ready to go for your recipes makes it easy to include them in your recipes. Look at The Pioneer Woman’s post on this subject, “How to Prep Veggies for the Week.”
- Double Down
I like to double up the vegetables in a recipe. This is another great way to get more veggie power in our diets. Most stews, stir-fries, and omelets call for vegetables. Some of us add exactly the precise amount of veggies that the recipe calls for.
One of the easiest ways to eat more vegetables is to double up on the veggies in a recipe.
The chances are that adding more vegetables to a stew, chili, or stir-fry is not going to change the flavor profile of the dish. In fact, experience has taught me that dishes taste better with the extra vegetables. How’s that for an easy way to double the amount of vegetables that you’re getting every day.
- Sneaky Chef
Cooking Light opts for a subtle approach by sneaking in veggies into already healthy recipes. One of my favorite recipes is for crock pot meatballs. I have learned that mixing vegetables into the meatballs adds a ton of flavor and gives me added nutrition.
One of the easiest ways to mince vegetables to add into other foods is with a food processor. A food processor allows you to get a fine chop on your vegetables so that you don’t even taste them in the recipe.
- Spice it Up
Salsa does not have to be hot. Eating Well tells us to stock up on these vegetable combinations and top our favorite foods with different salsa to add more nutrition.
Typically, when we think about traditional Mexican salsa, we consider a tomato, onion, and jalapeno mixture but salsa does not have to be just tomatoes onions and jalapeno.
You can get creative with different salsas and chutneys. These various flavors go great when you top a protein, add them to a salad, add them to an omelet, or add them to just about anything.
Adding salsa or chutney to your dish is a quick way to get more vegetables into your daily diet. Take a peek at this Pinterest Salsa Recipe Page for hundreds os great salsa recipes.
As you can see, it’s not hard to add vegetables into your daily diet without sitting down to a big plate of steaming cauliflower.
Do you need even more ways to get veggies into your diet? Click here for another Seven Delicious Ways to Eat More Vegetables Every Week. Most of us don’t like plain old vegetables so following these methods to add veggies to your diet is a great boost to your nutrition.