Did you know that the least eaten food in the US is leafy greens? They should be the highest on your list. We’ve all been told to “eat more greens,” but it can be a daunting task, especially for families with young children or picky eaters. Vegetables give us fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They’re also low in fat and calories, contain protein and some even protect us from certain cancers.
Here are 12 ways to increase your veggie intake each and every day!
1. Add some fresh baby spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms and/or onions to your morning omelet. Top with fresh salsa and diced avocado.
2. Tear some dark green lettuce leaves into a large bowl, along with arugula and a pinch of fresh herbs like cilantro or mint. Add sliced carrots, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, diced bell peppers, avocado, add a lean protein like tuna, grilled chicken breast, hard-boiled egg, or cooked quinoa.
3. Try one new veggie for dinner each week. Don’t know how to slice fennel or kohlrabi, or are you perplexed by artichokes? Ask your farmer at the market or ask your grocer how to prepare a particular vegetable. You can “Google” Brussels sprouts and get 3 million results (my favorite way to eat those is roasted!). Check out You Tube for videos on how to cut and prepare almost anything!
4. Shred them! Kids especially won’t turn their nose up to Zucchini bread and fun veggie fritters. Play around with different veggies like shredded zucchini, squash, or carrots and make little fritters.
5. Don’t forget snacking! Veggies make great snacks too. Set out a variety of cucumbers, snap peas, sweet bell pepper strips, broccoli, and celery and let your kids try them all. Serve with hummus or ranch dip.
6. Make a fun new chip - Kale Chips! Just wash and tear the leaves onto a baking sheet, drizzle olive oil, sea salt and pepper (or red pepper flakes for a kick) and bake on 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
7. Try juicing! Play around with different veggies to juice like, cucumber, celery, spinach, kale, beet greens, apple, and carrots. Create new combos every day and have some juice for a great afternoon pick-me-up.
8. Skip the fries at a restaurant and order an extra serving of veggies or a salad.
9. When planning your dinner, skip the rice or potatoes and add an extra veggie. A nice filet of fish or chicken is great with a serving of broccoli and a kale salad.
10. When making a sandwich, pile it high with lettuce, sliced cucumber, tomato, avocado, broccoli sprouts, and smaller portions of protein. The “crunch” is so satisfying!
11. Make it easy for you to access your veggies. When you get home from your weekly shopping trip, wash and cut your veggies for your meals that week. That way they are ready for nights when you are rushed and don’t have a lot of time to prep.
12. Add them to soups, casseroles, lasagna, enchiladas, burritos and tacos.
Not sure how to prepare some of these veggies or need some help in the kitchen. I have a full library of cooking classes to choose from on www.UnlockBetterHealth.com.
Eating this way can help build your nutrient stores and keep you healthy.