Healthy Hacks to Eat More Vegetables
By Sara Butler
The average American adult should eat between two and three cups of vegetables each and every day, but the reality is less than 10 percent of Americans actually get that much. It's common to cite lack of time, access, and steep costs to dwindling vegetable consumption, but it is possible to get more vegetables without more work or more money. Here are a few hacks to help you and your family get more of the good stuff.
One of the easiest ways to get more vegetables is to simply put more on your plate. When you have vegetables during a meal, double them. For example, if a recipe calls for one red pepper, add two red peppers. As long as you're not baking, throwing in more vegetables won't impact how your recipe turns out. This helps to increase your vegetable intake and makes your meals more nutritious in the process.
An easy way to eat more vegetables is to eat salad. One of the best things about salad is that you can prep a large salad at the beginning of the week and eat several meals off of it. It's definitely a convenient way to get more vegetables in your life.
Beyond salads, you can also prep your vegetables for meals in bulk. It's easy to roast a big batch of roast potatoes to warm up with meals or chop and freeze vegetables to microwave and serve up fast. Frozen vegetables are also an acceptable way to add more vegetables to your meals as long as they don't contain any sauces or seasonings that may add salt, fat, and calories to your meal.
Sneak Them In
You can also add more vegetables to your meals by sneaking them in. Simply shred or puree vegetables to add to soups, casseroles, and even dishes such as meatloaf. Diced onions and peppers, shredded zucchini and carrots, or even corn can serve up more vegetables in your meals. It's also a good idea to use things such as pumpkin puree to bake goods in order to take their vegetable profile up a notch. Get creative!
As long as you get two to three cups of vegetables each day it doesn't matter how you do it. Simply remember that a diet high in vegetables is a diet that helps you stay healthy!
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