Whether you’re looking for a quick bite of information or want to drop some knowledge on your dinnertime companions, here’s our Featured 5 of the Week!
Happy National Nutrition Month! Vegetables are one of the most nutritious foods we can consume, and our bodies need a lot of them. Fruits and veggies should fill half our plates at every meal. If that seems like a hassle to you, it shouldn’t! There are lots of fun and yummy ways to get your daily value of veggies.
Need to get a little more vegetables in your diet? Throw them in your smoothie!
Packing your morning smoothie with vegetables is a great way to start your day. The vitamins and minerals will give you energy and help get your day started on the right foot. If you’re worried that your delicious smoothie will taste more like a V8, then fear not. If you add the right fruit and other ingredients, you won’t even be able to taste it.
Spinach is a great vegetable to add to smoothies because it’s a nutrient-dense leafy green with a mild flavor. Just be aware that the blender can strip some nutrients, so don’t rely solely on smoothies for your veggie intake.
4. Load up those eggs
One of my favorite ways to get my vegetables in is to put them in my scrambled eggs.
Again, eating vegetables first thing in the morning is excellent for your body and adding your favorites to eggs is also delicious. I love to add bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, and sometimes even broccoli to my eggs, finished with some spices like Lucifer or Everything But the Bagel Seasoning and feta cheese. It’s one of my favorite meals and gives me the energy to get through my morning.
If you’re looking for a recipe for a veggie breakfast wrap, click here.
3. Veggie-packed bowls
Big bowls of rice and veggies are trendy on social media, but you can make them the most nutritious meal of your day.
When we think of these dishes, the first thing that comes to mind is the rice or quinoa. But, it’s so easy to make the veggies the star of the show by remembering two things – versatility and color. With veggies, you want lots of different kinds because they all contain other yet equally essential nutrients.
Another dish that can fit in this category is stir fry. What’s so great about stir fry is you can add whatever you like. We mix up the veggies all the time. You can switch out the regular rice for cauliflower rice and can also use frozen vegetables.
Did you know that some vegetables are more nutritious in their frozen form than fresh? For example, carrots, sweet potatoes, and collard greens may lose some of their nutrients during transportation. This is why frozen vegetables may be the better choice because they retain more nutrients.
2. Add veggies to your pasta
Veggies and pasta are probably one of our favorite combinations because the flavor is out of this world.
You don’t need to overthink this one; it’s as easy as it sounds. For example, we’ve added seasoned sweet potatoes, carrots, and celery to our Japanese buckwheat pasta. The flavor of this dish is light, but it’s packed with nutrients. One of our favorite ways is to add bell peppers and mushrooms to marinara sauce. This sauce paired with a spicy protein, like spicy turkey sausage, is overflowing with flavor.
You can even opt for veggie pasta, like spinach, chickpea, or zoodles. The possibilities are endless! And, check out this recipe for lentil pasta with veggies and turkey sausage.
1. When in doubt, swap it out
What do we mean by this? 1 word: cauliflower.
I will admit, I was not a believer in cauliflower products. I thought, “Gross, just give me my carbs.” Then I tried cauliflower rice, and it was instant love. Now, I can’t get enough! Cauliflower rice with grated cheese, cauliflower pizza crust, mashed cauliflower, cauliflower tater tots, even buffalo cauliflower. You can do so much with this one vegetable.
Now, I’m not saying only to eat cauliflower. But, if you need extra veggies, swapping out your usual carbs with cauliflower is a great solution.
The Bottom Line
Vegetables are crucial for our immune system, gut microbiome, and overall health. Aim to eat at least 2.5 cups of vegetables a day, or just fill half your plate at every meal. And, remember vegetables don’t have to be boring. They are what you make them, and you can make them fun and delicious!