Simple tips to sneak veggies into your meal
Your doctor is always telling you how to eat more vegetables. You may have some veggies you enjoy eating, but eating the same thing can get boring. You hear of trying to sneak greens into smoothies and now there are all these plant-based food options. Even Burger King, Subway and KFC have hopped on the plant-based train, offering meatless alternatives. There are plenty of food options and products that will leave you wondering, is this really made of plants?
Check out these tips on how to eat more vegetables and let us know which ones you are willing to try!
1. Spinach Everywhere
Spinach is a great source of magnesium, iron, and calcium. No wonder Popeye always ate it to grow strong! Eating your vitamins and minerals has a better effect on your health than just taking supplements. Eating your vitamins help balance your diet by getting much-needed fiber and other nutrients found from the food vs. supplements. Spinach can be masked in a variety of foods.
Dropping some spinach leaves in a smoothie, pasta, and stir-fry will give you all the benefits without the taste you are actually eating something healthy. Just remember if you are cooking spinach, it will wilt down, be sure to add a little extra to account for the shrinkage.
2. Vegetable-Based Foods
It may be out for debate if plant-based burgers like Beyond Meat are better for you then red meat. It all depends on what your goals are and what your body needs to be healthy and nutrient-rich. If your goal is to add more vegetables to your diet, it is a great choice. There are so many other options for vegetable-based foods disguised as your favorite meals.
My favorite is Bird’s Eye veggie pasta. Their alfredo rotini pasta tastes exactly like pasta but made entirely from vegetables and legumes like lentils. It also is an affordable and quick dinner option. All you have to do is microwave it for 4 minutes and bam you are done! The sauce is already in the bag and the texture is spot on. They are available and retail stores like Walmart, Kroger, Giant Eagle and some Targets with grocery sections. Bird’s Eye also has other products like cauliflower rice, broccoli tots, mac and cheese and more all made for vegetables. Note this is not an ad, I just really like their products!
3. Switch Out Veggies For Dips
If you are always snacking on tortilla chips, pita chips, and crackers—Try using different vegetables as a vehicle for your hummus and dips.
- Plantain chips are great with salsa and guac
- Cucumber, celery and cherry tomatoes with tzatziki
- Carrots, broccoli or pretty much any raw vegetable you like, for hummus.
I know some of the foods I listed are technically fruits, but they still offer a lot more health benefits then chips and bread. They offer the same crunch as chips but without the empty calories and carbs.
If you can’t go without the chips and bread, try eating your dips with veggies first before switching to the chips. You don’t have to change your habits all at once. The little things you change add up.
4. Homemade Veggie Chips
When walking down to the grocery store aisle, you see a variety of veggie straws and veggie chips. These may be a better alternative to your typical potato chip, but making your own homemade veggie chips will ensure all of the valuable nutrients are kept in. Making your own chips is pretty easy, especially if you have an air fryer.
- slice up some parsnips, sweet potato, beet, carrots and a potato (1/4 inch thin)
- add Seasoning (kosher salt, garlic powder, pepper and onion powder) and oil (Canola)
- stick them in the air fryer (15-18 mins on 350, flip halfway)
and you are done!
5. Veggie Omelet
Omelets are a great way to balance your health and add much-needed protein to your diet. You can make your omelets with just egg whites which are lower in calories and cholesterol.
But don’t be so quick to cut out the yolk. The yolk adds more vitamins and minerals to your food. It all depends on your health goals and what you need in your diet. Your doctor or dietitian is a great source to figure out what works best for you.
When going to the omelet bar, or making one at home, be conscious of the toppings you add. Try reducing the amount of cheese and replace it with more veggies. Artichokes, mushrooms, spinach, onions, and peppers are great options. Add some more flavor with spices, and hot sauce. It will give your omelet a more exciting flavor without having to add more cheese.
Again, it is all about finding the right balance for your personal health needs. Everyone has different goals and path to a healthier version of themselves.
At HealthMetric, we recognize your health path is unique to you, we offer help and support through your journey of getting better sleep, being more active or staying hydrated (and many more). Learn how to get healthy with HealthMetric today and start your journey to a healthier you!
A helpful tip on how to eat more vegetables: Put your vegetables in an easy to see place in the fridge. Sometimes you honestly just forget what is buried in your fridge when you are trying to pull out a quick dinner.