The #1 Way to Eat More Vegetables, According to a Dietitian
As a dietitian, I'm well aware of the benefits that come with eating more veggies. From better blood pressure, a reduced risk for certain cancers and an easier time losing and maintaining a healthy weight, the benefits are endless. That being said, veggie's aren't always the first thing I crave when my stomach starts to rumble, and there are days where I need some serious motivation to actually get in the recommended 2 to 3 servings. My number one trick for helping myself eat more veggies? Making a really tasty dressing (or two) for dipping veggie sticks and drizzling over salads.
Related: Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes
A good dressing can really make all the difference. I know that when I have a yummy salad dressing on hand—even if its just bottled ranch dressing—I'm guaranteed to eat way more veggies. My two favorite dressing as of late are the Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette and the Creamy Garlic Dressing from this recipe. They're both insanely delicious and easy to make—two very important factors to consider when trying to make a healthy habit stick!
You probably already have everything on hand to make the Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette—olive oil, red-wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic and salt and pepper. And while the Creamy Garlic Dressing requires some additional ingredients, it's well worth the few extra minutes of mixing. You might be thinking, can a creamy salad dressing made with mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese be all that good for you? When it's coating a massive bowl of salad greens or being scooped up with veggie sticks, the answer is yes! Plus, we did lighten it up by using mostly yogurt as the dressing base.
See More: 31 Healthy Salads to Eat This Month
Salad dressings are a vessel for veggies, and using one that you like will help you get in more. If you're topping your salad with olive oil and vinegar because you think it's the healthy thing to do, but aren't really enjoying it, you'll soon lose the motivation to continue to eat that not-so-exciting meal and will instead turn to something else (likely not veggies) to satisfy your craving.
When I have one or both of the above dressings on hand, I find myself actually reaching for carrot sticks come snack time and sometimes I'll even cut up a whole cucumber for dipping. And these delicious dressings make it easy to fill a big bowl with salad greens to have with lunch or dinner. This trick works with frozen or canned vegetables too. They just need a little flavor to be more exciting. And, it can help kids gobble down more veggies to serve them with ranch dressing, or even ketchup.
While I'm as happy as can be with a convenient bottle of store-bought dressing, you just can't beat a flavorful homemade dressing. Not to mention, making it on your own gives you more control over what goes in it (read: healthier oils, plus less salt and sugar). Start by choosing one of our delicious dressing or vinaigrette recipes to make for this week and see how many more veggies you end up eating. If you're like me and enjoy variety, choose an additional recipe to keep on hand.
Our Best Salad Dressing & Vinaigrette Recipes
Lemon-Tahini Dressing (pictured above)