Ah, vegetables. We know how good they are for our health with all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that they have to offer. But somehow, we just can’t bring ourselves to eat as much of them as we ought to. Why? Because we don’t like vegetables.
Sometimes, it almost seems as if the command ‘Eat your vegetables!’ we were all so familiar with as children, has become a major part of (hashtag) adulting. But while the evidence continues to pile up in favor of vegetables, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently declared that most Americans eat less than half of their daily recommended intake of vegetables. This, in no way, is a good thing.
So here it is – the ultimate cheat guide for those who aren’t major fans of vegetables, to sneak more of these nutritional powerhouses into their meals.
Delicious Ways To Sneak More Veggies Into Your Diet
1. Make More Smoothies
This is the perfect solution for those of us who despise chomping down on greens for what seems like dreadful eternity. Drink up, instead. Simply blend your leafy veggies with some fruit and add some water, and you’ve got yourself a veggie dish that tastes fantastic. Plus, there’s an added bonus to juicing and blending your vegetables. This process increases the bioavailability of some essential micronutrients by breaking down the tough walls of those plant cells, a feat that chewing alone may not be able to accomplish.
2. Make Your Own Noodles
We love comfort food that’s piping hot, flavorful, and filling. The only problem here is that comfort food is not typically known for its nutritional value. Enter vegetable noodles.
Millennials can’t stop raving about vegetable noodles, and it makes perfect sense. Vegetable noodles are healthy, yet fast. Of course, it may throw you off a little initially, since regular pasta or spaghetti doesn’t have the crunch that their veggie counterparts do. But top it off with your favorite sauces and you won’t be able to deny yourself loving your bowl of guilt-free pasta!
You could easily buy a spiralizer from your regular cooking store, failing which a vegetable peeler will work just as fine for creating fun noodle shapes out of your veggies. Zucchini, eggplant, sweet potato, and spaghetti squash are some great vegetables to start with.
3. Bake Yourself Some Chips
Chips, did you say? Yes, but we’re not talking about the deep fried, processed kind. Behold, the rise of the alternative chip trend, that may as well spell death for your favorite store-bought potato chips.
So prepare ahead for those snack-time cravings. All you need to do is remove the stems and de-rib the leaves, if you choose leafy greens, that is. For regular vegetables, just peel and slice. Now toss them in some olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake in your oven using your lowest heat setting. Your tray will come out with deliciously crunchy and satisfying chips that score an A on the nutritional value test!
4. Whip Up Some Sauces
Sauces are the quickest way to bump up the flavor in literally any meal by several heavenly notches. And what makes sauces even better? Vegetables!
Leafy greens work extraordinarily well in savory sauces. Whether you’re into pasta sauce, or salsa, or pesto, blending in some leafy greens like spinach, or adding chopped/ pureed veggies will make it all the more healthy. You’ll be gobbling up your vegetables without even realizing it!
To make things more convenient for yourself, keep a bag of frozen chopped vegetables and leafy greens to add or toss into your sauce while it’s heating up.
5. Dig Into Some Dessert
Life is nothing if we don’t indulge that sweet tooth once in a while. And though the sound of making ‘vegetable dessert’ may gross you out initially, don’t be too quick to ditch the idea altogether. These are almost as tasty and Instagram-worthy as your regular dessert items, without compromising on your insulin levels and your waistline!
The trick you need to keep in mind while baking these treats is not to hide your veggie ingredients under several layers of sugar and butter but to embrace their natural sweetness. Also, adding a sizable handful of chocolate for good measure can work wonders. Use beetroot to whip up some pancakes, while zucchini makes for a great base ingredient when it comes to baking sweet breads and cookies. You could also use cauliflower to make thick puddings and if you’re into cakes and muffins, look no further than sweet potato and carrots!