We all know that vegetables are good for us and we should be eating at least 5 serves per day from the vegetables and /legumes food group. Some days, reaching that number of serves may be more of a struggle than others!
Why should you eat the recommended servings of vegetables each day? Veggies are sources of vitamins and minerals, fibre, water and antioxidants, nutrients your body needs. Vegetables can not only help you to maintain a healthy weight, but may also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
To help you out, I’ve put together some easy ways you can add more vegetables to your plate.
Add vegetables to your breakfast
It might seem a little strange at first, but adding vegetables to your breakfast is a simple way to eat more veggies in a day. Omelettes and frittatas are a great way to eat extra veggies and they can keep you feeling satisfied.
You can top your toast with veggies as well! Try adding some beetroot relish, sweet potato or sliced radish to your toast in the morning. Vegetables and fruit contain phytochemicals, which can help protect your body against heart disease and some forms of cancer. That’s why starting your day with serves of fruit or vegetables is a good idea — you get a serve in for the first meal of the day.
Use vegetables in unconventional ways
Cauliflower shouldn’t always be the side dish — it can stand out as the star! Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, which may help protect your body against some forms of cancer. You can use cauliflower as a substitute for rice, add it to soup or make it into a salad with some tabouli.
Instead of using traditional pizza bases, add some veggies by making this quick cauliflower pizza base recipe, which is gluten free, crispy and delicious! If you dislike cauliflower, try making pizzas using vegetables as a base. I’ve made pizza using sliced eggplant as the base, but you could also use slices of sweet potato or zucchini.
Another idea is to try using a vegetable pattie in homemade burgers, like this pumpkin and chickpea fritter, or pile the vegetables into your burger. Some roasted sweet potato is delicious in a burger and it adds lots of flavour too.
Next time you want to use your barbecue, throw on some extra vegetables. Grilling not only adds a little texture, but it reduces the need for oils during the cooking process.
Another way to sneak more vegetables onto your plate at a barbecue? Thread some zucchini ribbons (or slices) onto some skewers. Drizzle them with a little oil and place them on a grilling plate. They only take a few minutes to grill and they’re super tasty!
Make a vegetable spread
Try making a vegetable puree as a spread to use on sandwiches, homemade pizza or even to use as a healthy dip! Sweet potato is perfect for this, but you can also make one out of beetroot, pumpkin or even mushroom. Or try a spinach puree — green vegetables like spinach and kale contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are good for eye health!
Substitute vegetables for snack foods
If you love hummus or guacamole, try switching out crackers or corn chips for sliced raw vegetables. I like to call them veggie soldiers! Cucumber, capsicum, or celery can be cut into slices for dipping, or you can use baby corn, snow peas or baby carrots. YUM!
Drink your veggies
While I don’t recommend ONLY drinking smoothies to get your fill of greens, it can be helpful for adding more veggies to your day. One of the great things about green smoothies is you can customise them to your tastes. Don’t like the taste of spinach? Switch it out for kale or bok choy instead. A green smoothie can provide you with a bunch of nutrients, and they taste fantastic!
While we should all aim to eat more vegetables, sometimes you might need to get a bit creative to get enough serves in a day! Remember that vegetables are SO GOOD for your body, and eating them shouldn’t be a chore. Play around with different cooking methods to find what works for you.
Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely day ❤