Ways to Eat More Vegetables, Healthy Tips
Adding vegetables to your diet is very healthy. Veggies are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, which increase your health and improve fight off disease.
Additionally, they’re useful for weight control due to their low-calorie content.
Health professionals suggest that adults eat many servings of vegetables every day, although this can be hard for some people.
However, some find it awkward to eat vegetables, while others are simply uncertain how to cook them in a delicious way.
Here are some Ways to Eat More Vegetables
Make veggie-based soups
Soups are an attractive way to eat many portions of vegetables at once. However, you can make veggies the “base” by pureeing them and combining spices, such as in this broccoli spinach quinoa soup.
Moreover, it’s easy to cook veggies into the broth- or cream-based soups.
Adding even a small amount of extra veggies, such as broccoli, to soups is an excellent way to boost your intake of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Few other veggie-based soup recipes for you to try:
- Kitchen sink soup
- Green papaya fish soup
- Pho packed with spinach and bok choy
- Kale, tomato, and white bean soup
Try zucchini lasagna
Added a creative way to eat more veggies by making pasta-free zucchini lasagna.
Traditional lasagna is a pasta-based dish made by layering lasagna noodles with sauce, cheese, and meat. It’s delicious, though it’s also very high in carbs and doesn’t come with veggies automatically.
An excellent way to make this delicious dish so that it has a more moderate carb content and more nutrients are to substitute the lasagna noodles with strips of zucchini.
Zucchini is a good source of B vitamins and vitamin C, in addition, to trace minerals and fiber.
Choose your favorite lasagna recipe and substitute those noodles with strips of zucchini sliced with a vegetable peeler.
Experiment with veggie noodles
Veggie noodles are simple to make, and an excellent way to make more veggies in your eating plan. They’re additionally an excellent low carb replacement for high carb foods, such as pasta.
They’re made by inserting vegetables into a spiralizer, which processes them into noodle-like shapes. You can also:
- shred them
- slice them with a mandoline
- just cut them up as you please
You can use a spiralizer for almost any type of vegetable. They’re usually used for zucchini, carrots, spaghetti squash, and sweet potatoes, all of which come packed with extra nutrients.
Once the “noodles” are made, they can be eaten just like pasta and mixed with sauces, other vegetables, or meat.
Here are some veggie noodle recipes for you to try:
- Spaghetti squash in white wine and mushroom sauce
- Zoodles with lentil bolognese
- Peanut-chicken zoodles
Add veggies to sauces
Combining more vegetables to your sauces and dressings is a sneaky way to boost your veggie consumption, particularly if you have picky kids.
While you’re cooking sauces, such as marinara sauce, simply add some veggies and herbs of your choice to the mix, such as chopped onions, carrots, bell peppers, and leafy greens like spinach.
Pureeing roasted root vegetables can make for rich sauces with an Alfredo-like feel. Think carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, turnips, purple yam, beets, and kohlrabi.
Make a cauliflower pizza crust
Cauliflower is very versatile. You can rice it, roast it, stick it in a stew, puree it for silky goodness, and make it into a pizza crust.
Substituting regular, flour-based pizza crust with a cauliflower crust is as simple as mixing finely chopped and drained cauliflower with eggs, almond flour, and some seasonings.
You can then add your own toppings, such as fresh veggies, tomato sauce, and cheese.
A cup (100 grams) of cauliflower holds only about 5 grams of carbs and 26 calories, in addition to lots of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Blend into smoothies
Smoothies make for a refreshing breakfast or snack. Green smoothies in particular are very popular for hiding loads of leafy greens in fruity packages.
Typically, they’re made by combining fruit with ice, milk, or water in a blender. However, you can also add veggies to smoothies without compromising the flavor.
Fresh, leafy greens are common smoothie additions, such as in this recipe, which combines kale with blueberries, bananas, and cucumber.
Just 1 loosely packed cup (25 grams) of spinach contains more than a full day’s recommended amount of vitamin K and half of the recommended amount of vitamin A.
The same serving of kale also provides high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, and lots of vitamin K.
In addition, frozen zucchini, pumpkin, beets, avocado, and sweet potatoes work well blended into smoothies. Here are some to try:
- Acai green smoothie
- Pineapple, banana, and avocado green smoothie
Add veggies to casseroles
Including extra veggies in casseroles is an efficient way to increase your veggie intake. They add bulk, texture, and taste all at once.
Casseroles often combine meats with vegetables, cheese, potatoes, and a grain, such as rice or pasta. As you might expect, traditional casseroles are typically very high in refined carbs and calories.
They’re especially common around the holidays when vegetables may be less popular than other dishes.
Luckily, you can reduce calories and carbs in your casseroles by replacing the grains with veggies, such as broccoli, mushrooms, celery, or carrots. A healthier green bean casserole is particularly familiar and popular.
In addition to good amounts of vitamins and minerals, 1 cup of raw green beans contains 33 micrograms (mcg) of folate, a necessary B vitamin.
Cook a veggie omelet
Cook up some beaten eggs with a small amount of butter or oil in a pan, and then fold them around a filling that often includes cheese, meat, vegetables, or a combination of the three.
Any type of veggie tastes great in omelets and you can really load them up for lots of nutrition. Spinach, onions, scallions, bok choy, mushrooms, bell peppers, and tomatoes are common additions. Here are some to try:
- Spinach, goat cheese, and chorizo omelet
- Moringa omelet
- Waffle omelet with tomatoes and peppers
- Vegan chickpea omelet
Prepare savory oatmeal
Oats don’t have to be sweet. Savory oatmeal can add more veggies into your morning.
While it’s great with fresh fruit, raisins, or cinnamon, you can also add in eggs, spices, and lots of veggies.
This recipe for savory oatmeal includes mushrooms and kale for a hearty and warm meal.
We already know kale brings good nutrition, but mushrooms do, too. They are high in protein, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. This makes them an especially great addition to a plant-based eating plan.
Try a lettuce wrap or veggie bun
Using lettuce as a wrap or certain veggies as buns in place of tortillas and bread is an easy way to eat more veggies.
Lettuce wraps can be a part of several types of dishes and are often used to make low carb sandwiches and bunless burgers.
Additionally, many types of veggies, such as portobello mushroom caps, sliced sweet potatoes, halved red or yellow peppers, tomato halves, and sliced eggplant make excellent buns.
Lettuce wraps and veggie buns are an easy way to reduce your calorie intake, as one lettuce leaf contains only one calorie. Refined bread is much higher in calories.
Here are a few places to start with lettuce wraps and veggie buns:
- Chickpea taco lettuce wraps
- Paleo lettuce wrap
- BLT lettuce wrap
- Portobello mushroom bruschetta
Grill veggie kebabs
Veggie kebabs pack lots of flavor onto a party-ready stick.
To make them, place chopped vegetables of your choice on a skewer and cook on a grill or barbecue.
Bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, and tomatoes work well for kebabs. Try these Cajun-style shrimp and bell pepper kebabs and layer in all the veggies you want.
Swap to a veggie burger
Veggie burgers are an easy swap for heavier meat burgers and can be topped with even more vegetables.
Veggie burger patties can be made by combining vegetables with eggs, nuts or nut flours, and seasonings. Sweet potatoes and black beans are also commonly used to make veggie burgers.
Note that not all meat-free burgers are full of veggies. Watch the labels to find some that have veggies as their main ingredients.
You can take these recipes a step further by wrapping your veggie burger in a lettuce wrap, instead of a bun.
Add veggies to tuna salad
In general, tuna (or chicken or salmon) salad is made by blending tuna with mayonnaise, but any type of chopped vegetable can be added to increase the flavor and nutrient content.
Onions, carrots, cucumber, spinach, and herbs are common additions. This Mediterranean tuna salad has cucumbers, grape tomatoes, olives, red peppers, artichokes, shallots, and parsley.
Stuff some bell peppers
Stuffed bell peppers are made by stuffing halved bell peppers with cooked meat, beans, rice, and seasonings, and then baking them in the oven.
If you like them raw and crisp, you can add in layers of cream cheese, sliced chicken or turkey, and seasonings for a cold dish.
Bell peppers are a rich source of many vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A and C.
Add veggies to guacamole
Guacamole is an avocado-based dip made by mashing ripe avocados and sea salt together with lemon or lime juice, garlic, and additional seasonings. But you don’t have to stop there.
A variety of vegetables taste great when incorporated into guacamole. Bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and onions are good options. Plus, guacamole makes a delicious topper to salads and baked sweet or white potatoes.
This kale guacamole recipe uses the good greens as well as cilantro and salsa verde.
Make cauliflower rice
Cauliflower rice is made by pulsing cauliflower florets in a food processor into small granules. You can then use it raw or cooked as a substitute for regular rice. It serves as a base for other foods and bulks up stews and soups.
Cauliflower rice is significantly lower in carbs than regular rice, with only 5 grams of carbs per cup, compared to 53 grams in a cup of white rice.
Additionally, cauliflower is particularly high in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and potassium
Don’t forget: You can also “rice” other vegetables like broccoli, beets, carrots, zucchini, and sweet potatoes.
Blend veggies with meatloaf
Meatloaf can also be a vehicle for more vegetables. It’s usually made with a combination of ground meat and other ingredients, such as eggs, breadcrumbs, and tomato sauce. It’s then molded into the shape of a loaf, which is where it gets its name.
You can add just about any type of chopped vegetable to meatloaf, including onions, bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, and greens like spinach.