10 Ways To Get More Veggies In Your Daily Diet

When it comes to nutrition there is so much conflicting information out there. It can be hard to sift through all the information and find what's right for you. The one thing most experts agree on, is getting more plants in your daily diet. By eating a wide variety of veggies and fruits, you can be sure to get the amazing health promoting benefits of plants.

I love to cook for color, flavor and texture. When I think in terms of color in my meals, I think plants. Having a rainbow on your plate not only looks pretty, but can offer different textures, flavors and tons of phytonutrients to help boost immunity, aid in weight loss, prevent disease and help promote glowing, healthy skin.

Here are 10 tips on ways to get more veggies in your diet.

1. Shop for color, eat the rainbow. Try going beyond the basics and pick up veggies in a variety of color. Sweet potatoes can be roasted and added to a bed of mixed greens or to quinoa, brown rice or served along eggs at breakfast. Red, orange, yellow and green peppers are great sliced raw and added to sesame noodles. Add purple cabbage, shredded beet and carrots to mesclun greens for a colorful salad. Dark leafy greens can be steamed, sauteed with garlic and olive oil or added to soups. Radishes are excellent sliced thinly and tossed with cilantro and lime juice to go with tacos or try a mayo free slaw by cutting green cabbage finely, grate in a clove of garlic, add some minced cilantro and sliced radishes and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and lime juice.

2. Go with the flow of the seasons. Each season has amazing color to offer. Right now we have beautiful winter squashes, kale, collards and brussels sprouts are in full swing and root veggies are bountiful. My favorite way to eat fall veggies is to cut a variety like rutabaga, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, brussles sprouts, onions and garlic, toss with olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and roast at 350 for about 30 minutes. This makes a great side dish with roasted chicken, herbed polenta or salmon.

3. Smoothies. If my kids knew that in every smoothie they drink there is kale, spinach, arugula or chard, they would probably not drink them! I often put a scoop of greens powder, mulberry powder or moringa in our smoothies for an added punch. Greens are always the base of my smoothies, followed by blueberries, raspberries, grapes or peaches. Try adding your favorite protein powder, nut butter or yogurt for added protein.

4. Juice it up! Green juices are an excellent addition to any diet, and offer a quick blast of readily available nutrients. Start with a few leaves of kale, collards of handfuls of spinach, add an apple, 1/2 a lemon or lime, a small cucumber and a 1" piece of ginger for a spicy, citrusy treat. You can also juice unlikely veggies like sweet potatoes and purple cabbage for a change of color & flavor.

5. Stir Fry. Think beyond the Asian style stir fry and try diced eggplant, zucchini, broccoli. tomato, onion & garlic in a little olive oil or butter and season with a sprinkle of nutmeg, salt & pepper.

6. Veggie based soups. Soups are incredibly satisfying this time of year, and a great way to get a large variety of veggies. Try a tomato based veggie and bean minestrone, carrot ginger, white bean & kale or chicken soup with bone broth, onions, carrots, garlic, celery, green beans, parsley, rutabaga and leeks.

7. Make one day a week meatless. Meatless Monday's are a great way to sneak in more veggies. Try beans or bean products for protein and see how many colors you can get into each meal. How about curried lentil soup, quinoa tabouli, roasted garlic hummus, olives and a baby greens salad for lunch or dinner?

8. Focus on raw foods. By adding more raw plant foods to your diet, you can incorporate a huge variety of colors into your meals. One of my favorite raw food meals is Thai spring rolls. Jazzing up your salads with beans, nuts, seeds, spiralized or shredded veggies can not only help add color and texture, but can be great for weight loss as well.

9. Try ethnic cooking. Indian, Japanese and Thai foods often incorporate many types of veggies, spices, sauces and cooking styles that offer amazing flavors, colors and health benefits.

10. Sauces, herbs and spices. Try making a homemade marinara with tomaotes, carrots, onions, celery, garlic, oregano, parsley and olive oil and pureeing it after cooking. Herb based sauces like basil pesto or chimichurri are excellent on fish, chicken and beef and give you the added benefits of herbs. One of my favorite dressings over greens, salads and grains is pumpkin seeds, parsley and lemon juice pureed in a blender with a little water to smooth it out. Another favorite dip at our house is hummus. I love roasted eggplant or roasted red pepper hummus. These are super easy and very inexpensive to make at home, and last for at least 10 days in the fridge.

For more help on learning creative ways to add veggies to your diet, contact me for a free consultation or check the recipe section on my website. Also, follow me on instagram for some yummy, healthy inspiration! https://www.instagram.com/madewlove_/?hl=en

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