Eat your veggies! We’ve heard that line since we were little kids. Your parents may have even withheld dessert until you finished all of the green stuff on your plate (did you toss your Brussels sprouts to the dog under the table too?). It seems even as adults, many of us struggle to get the recommended serving of daily veggies. Think about it … how many vegetables did you eat today? One salad? A few broccoli florets dipped in salad dressing for an afternoon snack? While it’s better than nothing, the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services actually recommends people eat nine servings of fruits and veggies every day. That translates to about 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables daily. To help you bump up the number of veggies you eat throughout the day, check out these 16 creative tips.
Juicing is one of the best things you can do for your body. It’s great for your digestive health since the food is already broken down. It also helps keep you hydrated, helps your body stay alkaline, can boost your brain power, detoxes your cells, and provides you with a natural energy boost. Of course, I can’t forget one of the main benefits of juicing: It gets you to eat plenty of vegetables without even realizing it. You may even eat a wider variety of veggies you may not otherwise eat. Instead of chewing stalks of celery, which doesn’t sound very appealing to many people, you can simply drink the celery juice. Don’t like the taste of celery? Add some fruit to your morning juice to mask the taste!
You can juice just about any vegetable your little heart desires — from cucumbers, celery, and bell peppers to carrots, beets, and spinach. You can also add fresh herbs into your juicer for an extra kick of flavor and nutrients. While the possibilities are pretty much endless, here are three juice recipes. You can follow them as they are or play around to add your favorite vegetables.
Immune-Boosting Green Juice – This recipe calls for leafy greens, celery, ginger, and a lemon. All of these ingredients pack a ton of vitamins and minerals that boost the immune system and detox the body. It also calls for pineapple, apple, and mint leaves to give it a robust flavor.
Hot Pink Juice – Made with beets, carrots, kale, celery, ginger, a lemon, and an apple, this juice recipe proves a drink doesn’t have to be green to be super nutritious!
Carrot Apple Ginger Juice – After reading the name, you can pretty much guess what ingredients are used in this juice recipe! Now let’s talk about the benefits — it’s great for your skin, eyes, and immunity!
*It’s important to note that vegetable juice should not replace a full meal because it simply doesn’t contain enough protein or fiber. Instead, drink vegetable juice along with your meals or in between meals.
While many doctors call fresh juice a 15-minute expressway to health, smoothies aren’t far behind. The blended drink is also extremely easy to digest, meaning your body will absorb more nutrients. Additionally, it can get you to eat more produce than you otherwise would. If you’re someone who thinks smoothies are just chock full of sugar and fruits, though, think again. While fruit smoothies are extremely popular (and certainly delicious), there is such a thing as vegetable smoothies. All you have to do is toss your veggies into a blender with some liquid and voila — you have a refreshing and healthy vegetable smoothie. The real trick is to mask the vegetable taste by pairing your greens with one or two sweet pieces of fruit. This will make the drink both nutritious and delicious. Some other great smoothie building tips include:
- Put your liquid in first. Surround the blades by water or juice so they can move more easily.
- Start slowly. If your blender offers different speeds then start on the lowest speed. Then work your way up to faster speeds that will puree your veggies/fruits.
- Use organic ingredients whenever possible to avoid pesticides, chemicals, and GMOs.
Over the years, eggs have gotten a pretty bad reputation. Some people avoid eggs altogether because they believe the high fat and cholesterol content make them unhealthy. Then there are the people who only eat egg whites because they believe the yolk is the only unhealthy part. According to researchers, the truth is, eating whole eggs is extremely good for you. They are a great source of protein, healthy fats, and good cholesterol. Plus, adding some vegetables into your morning eggs just bumps up the nutritional value even more. Some veggies that taste great in an omelet include:
- Bell peppers
You can either add one vegetable to your morning eggs or mix in a whole bunch. Here are some delicious mixtures:
Skinny Greek Omelet – With a mixture of veggies, onions, and basil leaves, this is a great brunch or “brinner” option!
Vegetable Frittatas – Have a little more fun with your egg/veggie mixture by making omelet muffins. This delicious and easy-to-make frittata recipe calls for onions, basil, zucchini, and peppers. Of course, you can always swap out any of these vegetables for your favorites!
Stir-frying is a quick cooking method where meats and vegetables are seared over a high heat. It requires little oil, doesn’t take much time to cook, and it’s typically loaded with vegetables. While stir-fries are usually associated with Asian food, you can use a variety of other flavors.
Asian Zucchini Stir Fry Noodles – This dish is the ultimate take-out fake-out! The sauce tastes just like a healthier version of the one served at your local Chinese store. The biggest difference is this recipe ditches the rice noodles and uses zucchini noodles instead. I’ll talk more about veggie noodles (and how to create them) below!