When Facebook readers were asked, "Which should you be eating more of: fruits or veggies?" take a wild guess what most people said. Fruits are sweet, juicy, portable, and in many people's opinions, much tastier than vegetables, so it's no surprise that people are lacking on the veggie consumption. Here are some ideas for making this food group more accessible and easy to nosh on so you make sure to get your fill each day.
- Prep veggies ahead of time. Planning a stir-fry for Tuesday? Cut up broccoli, mushrooms, and green peppers and store them in a bag or container. Grilling Summer squash and asparagus spears for Wednesday's barbecue? Wash and slice these veggies and place them in the fridge. If you're planning on roasted root veggies for Thursday, wash, peel, and cut up carrots, parsnips, beets, and sweet potatoes, so they're ready to drizzle with olive oil. Prepping might take a chunk of time once a week, but you'll waste less time staring blankly at the fridge trying to decide what to make for dinner.
- Keep bags of veggies in the freezer. Frozen peas, green beans, and corn can easily be added to meals since you don't have to prep them. They add color, texture, and nutrition to cooked whole grains, soups, and casseroles.
Keep on reading for more ways to sneak veggies into your day.
- Prepare a big salad for the week. Either keep a huge bowl in the fridge so you can easily scoop out servings for dinner, or package them in individual containers so you can grab them for lunch.
- Hide veggies in dishes. Shredding or grinding these foods makes them appear less like veggies, and so you can easily add them to foods and no one will know. Mix grated carrots into turkey burgers, add pureed broccoli to tomato sauce, and throw a kale leaf into the blender when making your morning smoothie.
- Make individual snack packs. Snack-sized servings of washed celery, carrot, and pepper strips paired with small containers of hummus means you always have a veggie-filled go-to afternoon snack.
- Double the amount of veggies in recipes. Does your chickpea salad call for half a cup of diced grape tomatoes? Add one cup instead. Your quesadilla recipe says to use one cup of corn? Add two cups. Or get creative and add veggies that aren't in the recipe to enhance the flavor and increase the fiber.