food · healthyliving

Eat Your Vegetables!

Hello and good morning!

I hope you are all enjoying your week and are looking forward to a fun weekend 🙂  

Today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite tips for adding vegetables to your day.  I often get asked by friends and family how to learn to ‘like’ veggies or eat healthier and wanted to share some of my favorite (and most approved!) suggestions that go beyond enjoying a big, hearty salad.

Let me preface the tips by saying that we should stop the idea that eating veggies is a punishment or a chore; I view eating each one as a positive choice.  When eating veggies, fruits, and other whole foods, you are making the choice to nourish your body and give it the nutrients it needs to thrive!

Despite my current view and opinions on eating vegetables, I’m human and have my fair share of gross veggie stories and times when they just didn’t taste GOOD.   As a kid, my parents made sure we had a vegetable with each meal and we definitely had our favorites, as well as the ones we absolutely dreaded seeing on the table.  To this day, my least favorite green thing to eat are frozen peas because of how many times I had to eat them when I was little.  Despite not being crazy about peas, there are still a ton of veggies I LOVE to eat…and I want to help you learn to enjoy them, too!

Here are my top tips for adding vegetables to your diet:

vegetables1.  Roast them. Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower (even things like rutabaga and parsnips if you’re adventurous!) become absolutely delish after roasting. You can even top them with a little grated Parmesan cheese if you still need another flavor. An easy way to roast them is to cut them into similar-size pieces, coat them in a little olive oil, spread in a single layer on a baking sheet, sprinkle on a touch a salt and pepper, and put in a 400 degree oven for anywhere from 20-45 minutes, depending on the veggie you’re roasting.

2.  Use Dips, Marinades, and Seasonings. You probably already know this, but if not, please don’t let me shock you when I say that ranch is not the best thing for you. However, if you use a little bit of dip to get the veggies in, at least you got the veggies in! That’s my opinion, anyway, until you get used to the flavor and texture of the vegetable. Then you can use less and less dip until you don’t need any at all. There are also other dips out there that are not ranch that do have some nutritional value, like hummus or guacamole!  Hummus is my family’s go-to dip – there are so many different flavors and you can make your own at home easily, too! It’s got a ton of fiber, healthy fats, and a little protein, too.

You might like:

The Definitive Guide to Homemade Hummus (many different recipes for many different tastes!)
5 Marinades for Grilled Vegetables

3.  Put Veggies in Other Things!!  I put spinach and kale in my morning smoothies unless my smoothie is Shakeology. A big tip for making veggies transform into a delicious smoothie are to make sure you have a really good blender.  I don’t like when my veggies don’t blend and I end up with kale flakes in my drink!  A sample smoothie for me looks like: A big handful spinach, berries, 1/2 banana, plain Greek yogurt (protein!), ice, and enough water to get things moving.

You might like: How to Create Your Custom Green Smoothie

Other things I’ve done is add chopped veggies to scrambled eggs, made “zoodles” from zucchini (mock spaghetti noodles), used thin slices of eggplant instead of lasagna noodles, and even put sweet potatoes in brownies!  There are a bunch of ‘sneaky’ recipes out there, but I really encourage you to try sampling different recipes that feature the vegetable so you can learn what they taste like and how YOU like them prepared.  

What are some of YOUR favorite ways to eat your veggies?  How do you encourage your family, friends, kids, etc. to eat their veggies?

What was your LEAST favorite veggie to eat as a child?  Do you still feel that way?

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