At the risk of sounding like your mom or grandma, you’re probably not getting enough vegetables in your diet. We all know veggies are full of healthy nutrients and play a big role in helping us lose or maintain weight. However, 90 percent of Americans still don’t get the recommended two to three servings per day. Try some of these creative ideas and tasty recipes to help incorporate more veggies into your meals and snacks.
Turn Vegetables Into Noodles
Ditch the carbs and boost the health benefits by replacing the noodles in your favorite pasta dishes with spiralized vegetables. If you don’t have a spiralizer tool, you can use a vegetable peeler to make long, thin ribbons or “noodles” from sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, turnips, beets, and more. Most grocery stores also sell fresh veggie noodles in their produce section. You can use them raw or lightly steamed or boiled. Try this yummy recipe for Shrimp Scampi Zoodles (zucchini noodles) from Eating Well.
Make Your Own Veggie Chips
Homemade vegetable chips are a crunchy, satisfying, and delicious alternative to potato chips. They’re also super simple to make. You can use kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, and more. Arrange leaves or very thin slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with salt and/or your favorite spices, then bake until crisp. Oven temperature and cooking time will vary, depending on the vegetable you’re using. Here are suggestions and instructions from Wide Open Eats for 14 different veggie chips.
Add Vegetables to Breakfast
Since most vegetables are nutrient dense but relatively low in calories, incorporating veggies into your breakfast will energize you and help stop you from snacking during the day or overeating at lunch time. One obvious option is blending veggies such as spinach and carrots into a fruit smoothie. Or take it a step further and make a smoothie bowl with an extra thick and creamy fruit and veggie base served with nuts, seeds, and pieces of fresh fruit. No straw here – this breakfast calls for a spoon! Another hearty breakfast option is a veggie omelette or frittata.
It really won’t be a chore to eat more veggies using these delicious recipes, and you’ll make mom proud! There are lots more great lifestyle ideas on the Olympus Waterford blog, so take a look.