A salad a day keeps the doctor away right? But how many days can you eat salad without getting tired of it?? It’s time to think outside the bowl and find new ways to “veggie-mize” your daily means. Here are 6 creative twists on your regular day to day vegetables.
1) Blend them up.
If you are one of those people who does not care too much for the taste of vegetables but realizes you need to add more into your routine, this is an excellent fix. Take your typical smoothie whether it be with strawberries and bananas and add in a handful of spinach, carrots, etc. and blend them all up together. Smoothies are a great way of “hiding” the vegetables flavor but still providing you with all of their nutritional benefits. Another popular alternative to raw vegetables is blending them up into a sauce. For example, take your favorite pesto sauce and replace half of the basil with spinach or kale and you won’t even be able to tell the difference! Here are some yummy smoothie recipes that you can add more vegetables to!
2) Add more veggies to foods you already eat.
When you think about it, you might be surprised at the amount of times you already eat vegetables throughout your day. Recognizing when you’re having a meal with vegetables or taking advantage of the times where your dish would pair nicely with a side of veggies is half the struggle. Once you start noticing those times then you can take advantage and increase the nutritional value of those meals. Here are some ways to add on to what you are already eating throughout your day:
Kabobs: Stack the skewers with more vegetables and less meat.
Stir-fry: When cooking it, use more vegetables and less meat and or rice.
Soup: Dish your serving with extra veggies such as spinach, broccoli, or kale, and less noodles and meat.
Burrito: Similar to the stir-fry, consider prepping them with less meat and rice, more beans (if in season), and grilled veggies. (remember burritos can be made with a leaf of lettuce!)
3) Spiralize them
A really easy substitute that not only helps make meals more WILDFIT friendly, but also increases the nutritional intake is replacing noodles with vegetables! Take one of your favorite pesto sauces and pair it with zucchini noodles and you have a great weekly go-to meal. Here is one of our favorites.
4) Scramble them into an omelet
In light of the concern of eggs having a large amount of cholesterol, when eating in moderation they are an important piece to a balanced diet. They can actually help raise HDL which is the “good cholesterol”. So starting your morning off with an egg or two and scrambling a handful of veggies can help provide you with multiple nutritional benefits.
5) Turn veggies into chips
Think about how easy it is to pop open a bag of chips and get lost in the savory and salty crunch of each bite. And sometimes it’s just too late before you realize that you’ve finished the whole bag. Well what if it was just as easy to eat vegetables like that? Be-leaf it or not you can make homemade chips with sweet potatoes, beets, kale, and even brussel sprouts. You just have to cut them into thin slices/or leaves, and bake them with a little salt or your favorite seasoning, and you’ll have the perfect snack. I mean who would turn down vegetables especially when they are served like chips!
6) “Supersize” your salads
Once again, when you think about it, you already probably have vegetables in your diet, however there may be room for increasing your intake of them. Salads are a great way to get the healthy servings your body needs, you just have to make sure they contain the right things. Next time you make one instead of using a lot of dressing, try cutting that in half and doubling the veggie portion of it. Most of the time you might not even be able to tell the difference when you are eating it!
Although the recommended five to nine servings of vegetables a day may seem a little daunting at first, there are plenty of ways to increase your veggie intake, you just have to get a little creative with it!