How to enjoy your veggies

Attention Veggie Haters: Sneaky ways to get your daily dose

It’s safe to say we’ve all heard our parents say, “eat your vegetables,” when we were growing up. But, let’s be honest, even as adults most of us still have a hard time getting in several servings of vegetables every day. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends 2 ½ to 3 cups per day for women and men, respectively.  Getting in your daily dose has many health benefits, including preventing cancer, heart disease, and stroke, lowering cholesterol, and aiding in weight management.

It’s time to stop treating vegetables like an afterthought. You don’t have to be a vegan or vegetarian to have a diet rich in plants. In fact, the USDA recommends making half of your plate fruits and vegetables (with a larger portion of vegetables than fruit).  So we know what we are supposed to do, now let’s dive into some ways to help you embrace the veggie love.

  • Drink Your Greens

Yes, you read that correctly. Next time you are blending up a protein shake or smoothie, throw in a handful of leafy greens. Spinach and kale taste mild enough that you’ll barely notice it there. 

  • Vegetable “Pasta”

You can use vegetables in lieu of pasta. My favorite alternatives are spaghetti squash and zoodles (use a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles). The best part is that you get to enjoy a large bowl of “pasta”, and feel good about it!

  • Cauliflower Mash

Use a food processor to blend fully cooked cauliflower florets with a small amount of broth (add 1-2 Tablespoons at a time) until smooth. It can be used in place of mashed potatoes, or added to potatoes to hide an extra veggie serving.

  • Vegetables For Snacks

Hummus, guacamole, and yogurt-based dressings all serve as great dips for vegetables. Try to stick to just a few tablespoons because those calories can add up quickly. Don’t like dips? Spread a little natural peanut butter or almond butter on some celery or carrots.

  • Carrot Fries

This guilt-free side tastes just like sweet potato fries. Slice large carrots into sticks and toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in preheated 450 degree oven for 10 minutes.

  • Kale Chips

You won’t even realize you’re eating vegetables while enjoying this crispy treat. Wash and dry one bunch of kale and tear into bite sized pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven until edges are browned, approximately 10-15 minutes.