7 Ways to Eat More Vegetables
Most of us don't get enough vegetables. In fact, 90% of Americans don't get the recommended 2-3 servings a day. (For most vegetables, 1 cup is a serving. For raw, leafy vegetables like salad greens it's 2 cups). Vegetables are a great source of healthy nutrients like fiber, potassium, folate and vitamin A.
They also play a big role in helping people lose or maintain weight. Vegetables are rich in fiber, which helps fill you up. Plus, when you're eating more low-calorie vegetables, there's less space for eating higher-calorie, less-healthful foods.
You may think you don't like vegetables, but maybe you just haven't tried the right preparation. Broccoli may taste boring steamed, but when roasted and topped with parmesan cheese (like in this Balsamic & Parmesan Broccoli recipe), it takes on a sweet and nutty flavor.
Looking for more inspiration? Take our Eat More Vegetables Challenge.
Here are seven easy (and delicious ways) to eat more vegetables.
1. Add vegetables (and fruits) to breakfast.
The nutrients you get are a plus for your health, but eating produce in the morning can also help you maintain a healthy weight because the fiber in many fruits and vegetables will fill you up, leaving you satisfied for longer. So whip up a chock-full-of-veggies omelet, smoothie bowl bursting with fruit or a straight-up smoothie.
2. Eat more veggie soup.
Research has shown that when people eat soup they tend to eat fewer calories. Soup is also a great way to eat more vegetables because you can add a lot of produce to your soup pot. Make one of these chock-full-of-vegetables soups to help you get your fill this week.
3. Snack on vegetables.
We don't mean eat more potato chips or French fries. Your snacks should help you fill up in between meals so you don't feel starved later. They also can help you fill your vegetable quota. Try carrots or cucumbers dipped in hummus, celery with peanut butter or a small cup of vegetable soup. We even have this Lemon-Thyme Whipped Ricotta recipe that's delicious no matter the type of veg you're dipping into it.
Read more: 10 Best Snacks for Weight Loss
4. Turn vegetables into noodles.
Flip pasta night on its head and make noodles out of vegetables. Use sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, turnips or beets to replace pasta and you'll be getting loads of nutrients for not a lot of calories. Make Shrimp Scampoi Zoodles or Sweet Potato Carbornara for dinner tonight, or try our other vegetable noodle recipes. If you don't have a spiralizer, you can use a vegetable peeler to create long "noodles" with your vegetables. See our picks for the best spiralizers here.
5. Make wraps with lettuce.
Cut down on calories and carbs by using lettuce to make a wrap. Butter lettuce leaves, cabbage leaves, lacinato kale and chard all make good stand-ins. It's a fun spin on lunch or dinner and an easy way to add more vegetables to your day. Wrap up your favorite sandwich fillings or get inspired by our healthy lettuce wrap recipes.
6. Use spaghetti squash for lasagna.
Think outside the box of traditional lasagna. Instead of noodles, use spaghetti squash. You get a satisfying portion and a full serving of vegetables in this Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Broccolini recipe.
7. Turn your vegetables into chips.
Make eating vegetables fun. Whip up homemade chips with beets, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts or kale. Baking thin slices or leaves with a little salt gives you a crunchy snack or side. Even kids and picky eaters can't resist vegetables when they're served like chips!
Whether you want to learn how to eat more vegetables without eating salad or because you're on a budget or simply to learn to love a wider range of veggies, this list is a great place to start—from chips to wraps and noodle substitutes. Enjoy your veggie adventures, and remember, if you get stuck, we have plenty more healthy vegetable recipes.