Are you eating the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day? If not, you’re not alone as 90% of Americans don’t get the recommended amount in their daily diet. If you don’t like veggies, why not try not hide or disguise them in foods that you like to eat.
We have listed a few quick and easy ideas to get you started:
A great way to sneak vegetables into meals is to dice or grate them and add them to whatever food you are preparing. Grated celery, onions, zucchini and carrots work well in stew recipes, soups, tacos, meatloaf and spaghetti sauce.
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By pureeing vegetables such as cauliflower, squash, pumpkin, asparagus, celery, broccoli and carrots, you can make delicious cold or hot soups. For an easy recipe try the following: add a bit of butter, vegetable stock, herbs, spices and dry white wine to a bag of frozen mixed vegetables. After it has been blended, you’ll have a very rich-tasting, creamy soup and you won’t even realize that you are eating vegetables.
People often don’t think of salsa as a vegetable. Many people love salsa, but they don’t even realize how good it is for them as it is made from lime, cilantro, onions, celery, pepper and tomatoes. If you want to go for the healthy option, try to not scoop up your salsa with chips, but rather opt for celery and carrot sticks or whole-grain crackers.
Roast Your Veggies
Cut root vegetables in chunks (such as carrots, parsnip, squash and potatoes), drizzle with a little olive oil and roast them in the oven for about forty minutes. This will bring out their sweetness, so even though the vegetables won’t exactly be disguised, they will taste so good that you won’t even mind. You can further also season it with rosemary or curry for a bit of added flavor.
Juicing will help you to take in vegetables in a refreshing way, even though it removes some of the fiber. A delicious juice to try out is green apple and celery. It’s the most gorgeous green when blended together. It has a delicious flavor and it is very refreshing. What’s great about juicing is that you can combine vegetables and fruits in one drink in order to get loads of nutrients with every sip.
Make A Stuffing
Try to replace half of your bread cubes with vegetables (cut up and sautéed in olive oil) when you are making a stuffing. Almost any vegetable can be used in a stuffing recipe, such as squash, peppers, onions, celery and carrots.
Pureed veggies can make a wonderful sauce for grilled fish or chicken. You can roast yellow and red peppers in the oven until the skins are browned. Remove the skin and puree the peppers with a little olive oil. They are so flavorful that you probably won’t even need to add anything else. It can be used instead of ketchup as a sugar-free alternative.
Why not add a few chunks of vegetables the next time you’re making a smoothie? Diced, seeded and peeled cucumbers add many nutrients as well as a refreshing tang. It tastes absolutely delicious combined with melon and a thickener such as plain or low-fat vanilla yogurt. Experiment with carrots in a mango-banana combo or rhubarb in a strawberry smoothie. Click here for a green smoothie recipe.
Add Them To Your Sandwich
Add some spinach leaves or other greens to your whole-grain or rye bread sandwiches. For an even better option – use wide-leaf lettuce as your wrap and skip the bread altogether.
Dark leafy vegetables have many health benefits – they are heart-healthy, cancer-preventing and anti-aging. Read more about the health benefits of kale.
Stir-fry vegetable recipes is an enjoyable way to get more vegetables in your diet. It can either be all-vegetables or it can be combined with protein such as beef or chicken. For a successful stir-fry, you need a very hot pan, thinly sliced vegetables and a little olive oil. Keep the mixture moving with a spatula or wooden spoon. You can add sesame oil, vinegar or teriyaki for more of a kick.