Maybe you don’t like vegetables that much but know that you should be eating more of them, or you’re a veggie lover that finds it hard to get creative when it comes to cooking. Regardless, finding ways to include more vegetables in your diet should be a priority if you’re looking to stay healthy - particularly if you’re an active person with fitness goals!
Vegetables are nutritional powerhouses, some more than others, but they all offer you different vitamins and minerals that your body needs, plus tons of fiber for a healthy gut. Along with fruits, veggies should be a staple in your kitchen so that you can keep a good nutritional balance.
But how can you eat more vegetables?
You might be struggling to come up with new recipes or different ways to cook your foods so that you can add more veggies, which is why we’ve put together a list of easy ways to eat more vegetables for a healthier diet, so you can achieve your fitness goals with the nutritional support that you need.
Blend them into smoothies
This is probably one of the most common ways to incorporate vegetables into your diet because the rich mix of flavors makes it super tasty and enjoyable - and what’s better, highly nutritious!
The great thing about green smoothies is that you can toss in pretty much anything that you want. Fruits, veggies, seeds, nuts and nut butter, yogurt… You name it. When it comes to choosing your veggies, some great options are leafy greens such as kale and spinach because they blend really well and give you a nutritious punch for your day, whether you choose to drink your smoothie as a healthy breakfast, a snack, or after a gym session.
Other popular options are avocado because of its creaminess, as well as carrots, cucumber, and even pumpkin! You can mix them in with frozen fruits, your favorite almond butter or some Greek yogurt, and some chia seeds for a delicious and veggie-rich smoothie.
Get creative with veggie soups
Soups are one of the staple recipes that everyone should learn how to make because of how easy and delicious they are. Not to mention that they can be highly nutritious because of how many ingredients you can add - including a bunch of vegetables!
Veggie-based soups such as pumpkin soup or carrot soup are delicious and incredibly healthy, and you can add even more veggies for extra flavor such as red onions and celery. But even if you prefer staying away from strong vegetable flavors, you still have a lot of options, such as making a tasty chicken broth and adding some leafy greens and even some corn.
A great way to hide the different flavors while still having enough veggies packed with nutrients in your soup is by picking a base that you like, such as potatoes. Then you can add some other vegetables in small portions such as carrots, celery, onions, bell peppers, and eggplant and blend them all in together with your favorite herbs and spices so that you have a delicious cream soup.
Add them to your sauces and dips
Similar to soups, sauces and dips can have a bunch of veggies blended in and you won’t even notice them!
You can make your own tomato sauce, for example, by picking some fresh tomatoes and adding onions, basil, celery, parsley, and garlic. You’ll barely notice the additional flavors and instead taste a very rich tomato flavor that can go perfect with your favorite pasta, add it to your lasagna, or even use it as a dip!
And talking about dips, there are so many different dip recipes that you can try that are veggie-based, such as spinach dips and even pesto. And of course, don’t forget about salad dressings, which you can make from scratch with your favorite vegetables such as butternut squash and peppers with some extra-virgin olive oil so that you can have a delicious veggie dressing for your veggie salad!
Give veggie noodles a try
If you haven’t tried veggie noodles yet, what are you waiting for? Instead of opening that box of pasta that you have in your pantry, consider using a spiralizer or another kind of slicer or peeler to make your vegetables into thin low-calorie noodles that you can then eat as pasta with your favorite sauces, such as spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.
This is a great way of adding veggies to your diet because it takes a staple food and gives it a creative and highly nutritious twist, which you can then mix with your own homemade veggie-based sauce to create a healthy lunch or dinner dish. Some vegetables that you can turn into noodles are carrots, beets, cucumbers, and so many more!
When you come home after going grocery shopping, you can take a few minutes to wash your fresh produce and prepare them for your future meals. This is known as meal prepping and it will save you a lot of time when it’s time to cook! Just take a portion of your veggies and make them into noodles for future use, and the rest you can just dice up or chop into tiny bits to use in other recipes or your pasta sauce.
Make lettuce wraps or burgers
You’ve probably seen this one already because it has become a very popular healthy food swap because of how convenient it is!
Next time you want to make a taco or a burrito, instead of reaching for that pack of tortillas or taco shells in your fridge, try using lettuce instead! Grab one or two leaves and fill them in with whatever you want, whether it’s chicken, beef, or just more vegetables and your favorite dressing to make a delicious breakfast wrap or a quick nutritious dinner.
Using lettuce as your burger buns is also a great way to add veggies in while cutting down on calories! You just need to grab a pair of lettuce leaves and build your veggie burger with it, with your favorite kind of patty and some tomato, onions, and pickles to make it tastier. This food hack isn’t only healthier, it’s also a creative way to make your meals more interesting by adding some extra crunchiness!
Add them to your casseroles
If there’s a dish that you can make with 100 ingredients and it’ll still turn out delicious, it’s a good and tasty casserole. Why? Because there’s no one way to do it, you can just choose your favorite combination of ingredients, throw it in the oven, and you’ll have a healthy lunch or dinner - for days, even!
No matter how you prefer to make it, whether it’s with chicken or beef, pasta or potatoes… One thing that will make it ten times better is adding a bunch of veggies! You can dice your favorite vegetables, slice them, or just use a food processor if you prefer to have minimal texture but still have that nutritious addition. Some delicious veggies that you can add to a casserole are green beans, carrots, squash, and broccoli.
So don’t be afraid to get creative and try different recipes until you find one or several that you really enjoy!
Make veggie chips
Did you think we weren’t going to include tasty veggie snacks in here? There are many ways to cook vegetables, and veggie chips are one of the best ways to make eating vegetables a fun experience because it’s just like eating potato chips but with more variety and even more nutrients!
Slice some sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, or even beets, spray them with some extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkle some salt and pepper and you’ll be all set. You just need to toss them in the air fryer or the oven for a quick and healthy way to have a delicious midday snack without worrying about the extra calories. You can then eat them paired with some of your favorite hummus, or a veggie dip that you made earlier.
And slicing isn’t the only way! You can just throw some Brussels sprouts in there, or dice your vegetables for a change in texture while still having the fun crunchiness of a chip. There are so many variations that you can try, just pick your favorite veggies and air fry or bake them for a delicious and healthy treat that you can take anywhere.
Try veggie pizza crusts
The perfect way to make a delicious pizza with vegetables without even noticing it is by starting with the crust! Veggie pizza crusts are super popular nowadays because they’re a great option for those who don’t eat gluten, but it’s also the perfect choice if you’re looking to incorporate more vegetables into your regular diet.
The most popular choice is cauliflower crust, which is delicious and doesn’t alter the flavor of whatever toppings you choose for your pizza, whether you’re a meat-lover or prefer to have some additional veggies such as onions, bell peppers, and black olives. But you can also make pizza crust out of zucchini, squash, spinach, and more!
Not only will your pizza be super healthy and nutritious, but it’ll also look great! You can have pizza night with your friends or family and cook different pizzas with different crusts so that you can try all the different options, whether it’s a green, orange, or purple veggie crust.
These are only a few ideas so you can eat vegetables more easily, but you can find an infinite amount of different recipes and creative twists on well-known recipes so you can enjoy each dish knowing that you’re getting all the nutrients that your body needs.
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The Fit With Iulia app has everything that you need!
The app offers a Kitchen feature where you can search through an expansive food library by macros, how healthy they are, if they’re vegan or vegetarian, and even if they’re lactose or gluten-free. You can build a new healthy meal plan from scratch with the Kitchen or just improve your current plan, as well as keep track of what you eat every day. Try the Fit With Iulia app and start your healthy eating journey today!