12 Ways to Eat More Vegetables and Fruit
12 Ways to Eat More Vegetables and Fruit
Eat More Fruits & Veggies
You’ve heard it before… Americans just aren’t getting enough fruits and vegetables. And as the foundation of a healthy diet, consider fruits and vegetables your fountain of youth. Rich in vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, and water, it’s hard to understand how so many can resist that gorgeous nutritional profile. But the hard facts tell us that less than 30% of us – that’s seven out of every ten Americans – are failing to meet the recommended 5 A Day.
Enter in The 12 Healthy Habits. We’re not asking for a revolution. Just a few small and very simple changes to make you eat better, feel better, and create an overall new sense of well-being. Step one: Eat more Fruits & Veggies. Yes, we are actually asking you to eat more of something. How often do you get to hear that? Here are 12 simple ways to get you eating veggies and fruits today.
Tip 1: Boost Your Breakfast
The importance of eating breakfast is immeasurable. Not only does it break the fast and jumpstart your metabolism, but it also boosts your performance at work or school, helps with weight maintenance, and for the purposes of Healthy Habit #1, is the perfect time get in an extra fruit or vegetable serving for the day.
• Stir berries (fresh or frozen), dried fruit, or banana slices into yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal. Our Banana, Wheat Germ, and Oats recipe(shown here) boasts a full serving of fruit plus the benefits of wheat germ. Every 1/2 cup of fruit you add is a serving.
• Make a smoothie. Combine some low fat milk or yogurt, 1/2 cup frozen berries and a banana for a super easy blended breakfast – and 2 entire fruit servings!
Boost Your Breakfast
• Add peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms or onions to your eggs for a delicious omelet, or pile the whole scramble on your favorite bread, tortilla, or bagel for a booster breakfast sandwich.
• Have a glass of juice. Make sure it’s made from 100% fruit juice, and limit yourself to eight ounces per day to avoid too many added sugars.
• Don’t have time for breakfast? Whole fruits are quick, prep-free, on-the-go solution. Grab an apple, peach, banana, or orange and enjoy it on your way to work.
View Recipe: Huevos Revueltos
Tip 2. Double the Veggies
In soups, salads, pastas, sandwiches, pizzas, and casseroles, most recipes call for a certain amount of vegetables. Our advice? Double the amount called for in the original recipe. You are already doing the prep work; so a little extra chopping can go a long way for your vegetable intake.
• Stir extra veggies into soups. Don’t be afraid to steer off the beaten recipe path just a bit. When it comes to something like soups, an overdose of chopped vegetables will not ruin the recipe. It will enhance the flavor, nutritional value, and your daily vegetable tally. A half cup of chopped vegetables and a whole cup of dark leafy greens is another serving. InWhite Bean Soup with Kale and Chorizo (shown), you can double the amount of kale or add chopped carrots, celery, red bell peppers, zucchini…the possibilities are endless.
Double the Veggies
• Pile them on the pizza. Don’t hold back on the veggies! Add extra veggies to a frozen pizza, order double veggies from delivery, or create your own where the sky is the limit.
• Cram them into casseroles. Cooking up a Mexican casserole? Add some extra peppers, mushrooms, and squash. Don’t be shy with topping with tomato- and veggie-heavy salsa, either. Eggplant Parmesan? Double the eggplant. Chicken Pot Pie? Double those peas and carrots. You’ve got the idea.
• Stuff them into sandwiches. A sandwich is another blank canvas just waiting to get stuffed with color. Take your routine turkey sandwich and jazz it up with sliced apples, cucumber, zucchini, sprouts, and spinach. A 1/2 cup of this colorful combination just scored you another serving.
View Recipe: Biscuit-Topped Chicken Potpie
Tip 3. Be a Sneaky Chef
Sometimes, it’s okay to be sneaky in the kitchen. Try these tips to sneak in one or two extra servings into your day. An added bonus? You’ll be adding a new twist to an old favorite recipe.
• Grate your way to goodness. Shred or grate fruits and vegetables down, or puree them up and see how creative you can get with your favorite recipes. Grated zucchini and carrots do wonders for turkey burgers, meatloaf (like our Classic Meatloaf shown here), and meatballs, adding both moisture and nutrients to the dish.
• Puree cooked cauliflower, winter squash, or red peppers and stir them into sauces, mashed potatoes, pot pies, or even mac and cheese.
Be a Sneaky Chef
• The secret is in the sauce. Make a mean marinara that’s loaded with vegetables. In addition to your traditional tomato sauce base, use any combination of chopped mushrooms, eggplant, onions, peppers, squash, and carrots. This versatile sauce can then be used in a variety of creative ways to add both flavor, as well as a serving of vegetables to your day. Spoon it over noodles, mix it into lasagna, start it as a soup base, spread it over pizza crust, or use it as a dipping sauce.
• Bribe yourself with baked goods. Both vegetables and fruits are healthy, delicious, and fabulous additions to breads, cakes, biscuits, and pies. Both savory and sweet, what better way to add a vegetable serving to your day? Carrot cake,pumpkin pie, sweet potato biscuits,zucchini bread or pancakes, corn muffins…. The list goes on, and the same is true for fruits. While we can’t exactly count an entire serving in a slice or piece, it’s still a way to sneak in half of a satisfying serving.
View Recipe: Basic Marinara