10 Easy Ways to Eat More Vegetables
Discover 10 sneaky ways to eat more veggies using the superstars of the produce department. Even in brownies!
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Tips to Sneak In Veggies
Any nutritionist will tell you that eating plenty of vegetables is the cornerstone of good health. After all, veggies are loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and the necessary dietary fiber to help control blood sugar numbers. What's more, in a recent Pennsylvania State University study, adults who consumed meals that incorporated more veggies took in as many as 357 fewer calories throughout the day. But reaching your daily quota doesn't mean you have to resort to nibbling on salads and choking down carrot sticks. The trick is to find ways to seamlessly sneak vegetables into some of your favorite dishes. Here's proof that getting those extra servings can be easy and delicious.
Whip It Good: Spinach
Smoothies can be a great way to sneak in more nutritionally charged dark leafy greens, such as spinach and kale. When blended with sweet and tangy foods, such as frozen berries and Greek yogurt, their flavor will blend right in, so to speak.
Under Wraps: Lettuce
To cut down on carbs and up your vitamin intake, use large lettuce leaves, such as romaine or Bibb, instead of flour tortillas for wrapping up your lunchtime sandwich. Or use the green giants in place of corn shells to add a twist to taco night.
Orange Crush: Pumpkin
Stir pumpkin puree into cooked oats for a deliciously creamy start to the day. The vivid orange color is a clue that pumpkin provides a payload of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that converts to vitamin A to bolster eye, bone, and immune health.
Magical Meal: Mushrooms
When making meat loaf or burgers, swap half of the ground meat for chopped mushrooms. The result is a moist burger and hefty calorie and fat savings (mushrooms contain one-sixth the calories of extra-lean ground beef).
Spread the Love: Broccoli
Punch up your sandwich spread by blending reduced-fat mayonnaise with cooked frozen broccoli florets in a food processor. Add more flavor to the mayo mix with lemon juice, garlic, fresh basil, and Dijon mustard.
Better Breakfast: Tomatoes
Give your morning scrambled eggs or omelet a taste of sunshine by tossing in a handful of chopped sun-dried tomatoes for a source of the disease-thwarting antioxidant lycopene.
Mash It Up: Cauliflower
For a low-glycemic riff on mashed potatoes, steam the florets from a head of cauliflower and place in a food processor along with olive oil, fresh thyme, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper. Blend it into a smooth and flavorful side dish.
Well Dressed: Red Peppers
Top your veggies with more veggies and give your diet an added dose of the antioxidant vitamin C. Make a vinaigrette by blending jarred roasted red sweet peppers, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, and a garlic clove.
Perfect Pasta: Zucchini
Peel two zucchini and slice them into planks lengthwise. Cut the planks into long thin strips. When making spaghetti, replace half of the pasta you'd normally serve with these zucchini "noodles." Add them to the pasta water during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
Red Riot: Beets
Skip the red food coloring. Cooked and pureed beets are easy to make and add splendid color to baked goods like brownies without tasting "beety." Naturally sweet, beets help to cut the need for added sugar and provide moisture in lieu of adding fat.