For this week’s works for me wednesday I thought I’d share some easy ways to sneak more vegetables into your diet. I love snacking on fruit, but with vegetables it can be a little hard to get your recommended number of servings. After all, you can only eat so many carrot sticks before you’re sick of them. Over the past couple years I’ve learned that the following tips not only help me eat more vegetables, but also help Mike eat them as well, sometimes without even realizing it. This is what works for me.
1. Green Smoothies – We make smoothies every morning for breakfast, which is great for getting some fruit in. But to add some vegetables, I always add spinach to my smoothie. I posted about this a long time ago, but figured it doesn’t hurt to post an update. The secret is to just throw a couple handfuls of spinach in with your normal smoothie ingredients. You can’t taste it (although it does sometimes turn it an interesting color), and it’s added healthiness!
If you’re looking for something easy and healthy to try right now, one of my current favorite combinations is 1 banana, 1 cup of milk, a handful of ice, and a little bit of sugar (or 1 splenda packet). This is what’s pictured above. It’s more of a liquid consistency than a typical smoothie, but it tastes great and it’s good for you!
2. Soups – We pretty much live on soup in the winter. I make a big pot every couple of weeks and store leftovers in the freezer. Soups are a great way to get in a lot of vegetables (and a way to make them taste good!). I tend to fill my soups with carrots, celery, onion, etc. I have a lot of soup recipes on the blog (see all soup recipes), but some of my favorites are roasted vegetable minestrone (pictured above), tortellini vegetable soup, carrot parsnip soup, and creamy chicken and wild rice soup.
3. Stir-fry – This is another favorite of mine. I’m planning a post on stir-fry in the near future, but it’s a great way to have a quick tasty dinner with a lot of vegetables! Also, the varieties are endless.
4. Store cut-up vegetables in your refrigerator. This is probably common sense, but I end up eating a lot more vegetables when they’re washed and cut and just waiting for me in the refrigerator. I try to take 20 minutes during the weekend and cut up some celery, carrots and cucumbers for quick snacking during the week and to pack in lunch boxes.
5. Create a fun dip. Vegetables are always more fun to eat when you can dip them in something creamy and tasty. The picture above is an avocado ailoi dressing I found on my friend Donielle’s blog, Naturally Knocked Up. (Donielle and I met through a West Michigan blogging group and she has some great healthy recipes on her blog.) This one is so simple – you just use your food processor to mix up an avocado, some plain yogurt, salt, basil, garlic and a small amount of apple cider vinegar. This is an easy recipe to play around with, but if you want the measurements I started from, check out Donielle’s recipe for avocado aioli dressing. Mike loves this recipe, and after the vegetable photo shoot he ate all the bagel chips pictured above, dipping them in the avocado dip. He left the vegetables behind, somewhat defeating the point, but I promise they taste good together!
What are your secrets for eating your vegetables? Share in the comments please!