Can’t imagine how you’ll eat all your veggies each day? If so, you’re not alone! Over 90 percent of Americans don’t eat the recommended daily amount of vegetables, which is about two to three cups.
There are so many good reasons to eat your veggies—they’re good for your heart, can help fight cancer, reduce your risk of some chronic diseases and may slim your waistline, among other health-boosting benefits. But if you can’t stomach another salad for lunch or a side of steamed veggies for dinner, that’s okay. Here are 5 ways you can add more vegetables into the foods you already love:
1. Eat them for breakfast. Even if you prefer foods in the morning that are sweet, you can easily add some veggies. Shred zucchini and carrots in muffins or breads. Mix pureed pumpkin or butternut squash into pancake or waffle mix. If smoothies are your thing, throw in a handful of spinach or kale. It won’t change the taste, but it will make your smoothie green.
2. Transform your sandwich. Instead of carbohydrate-filled breads, use veggies. Wrap your favorite sandwich or taco fillings in lettuce or cabbage leaves. Use grilled eggplant slices or portabella mushroom caps instead of buns. Halve cucumbers or bell peppers to hold tuna or egg salad. They’re portable, crispy and delicious.
3. Mix up your stir-fry. Not only are stir-fries already filled with an assortment of colorful veggies, but if you swap out the rice for riced cauliflower or parsnips, you’ll be getting even more servings of vegetables in a single meal without changing the taste.
4. Boost your comfort foods. Love mac n’ cheese, meatloaf or casseroles? It’s easy to add veggies to these foods without anyone noticing—just puree or shred them first! Some good choices include cauliflower, squash, carrots, peas or sweet potatoes. Most veggies won’t change the taste or texture.
5. Hide veggies in desserts. Those delicious goodies you eat at the end of a meal are a great place to sneak in more veggies. You can add anything from sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots to beets, eggplant and black beans in your favorite brownie, cupcake, or cookie recipe.
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