WAYS TO BOOST YOUR VEGETABLE INTAKE
1. Eat more salads. Make salads more interesting by using a wider variety of vegetables, adding chickpeas/cannellini beans/tofu/tempeh/avocado/nuts for protein, or topping with fruit for something different. For simple dressings I usually add some olive oil and lemon juice or a splash of balsamic vinegar. Here are some healthy salad ideas:
- Greek: feta, tomatoes, olives, red onion, spinach leaves, cucumber
- Green: baby spinach, rocket, avocado, asparagus and pepitas
- Gourmet: roasted pumpkin, toasted walnuts, feta, spinach/rocket leaves
- Tofu: pan-fried tofu (marinated in soy sauce), julienne carrots and snowpeas, avocado
- Cafe style (I actually had this salad at a cafe recently): endive, pecans, grated apple and dates with a mustard dressing
2. Make vegetable based dips to keep in your fridge. Make dips such as sweet potato hummus, roasted beetroot, baba ghanoush or guacamole to store in your fridge, as a healthy snack anytime of the day.
3. Make vegetables the focus at dinner time. Make meals such as vegetable soups to really boost your vegetable intake. Use ingredients such as sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin or celery and make it more filling by adding lentils, chickpeas, cannellini beans etc. Other vegetable based meals include stir-fries, homemade pizza, baked mushrooms or ratatouille. For a simple dinner or accompaniment roast vegetables such as pumpkin, red onion or sweet potato with rosemary and sea salt and top with crumbled feta. Delicious!
4. Add vegetables to sauces. Making pesto? Why not add in a handful of rocket into the blender. Making tomato pasta sauce? Why not grate in zucchini and carrots too. It's really that simple.
5. Whizz up vegetable juices. If you have a juicer, this is a great way of increasing your intake of vegetables. Usually I'll make a juice with carrots, celery, beetroot and ginger. You could add in an orange or apple for a sweeter taste.
6. Cut up vegetable sticks to store in the fridge or take with you as snacks. Sometimes I don't eat that many vegetables during the day, because I have the mindset that they're hard to prepare, but storing carrot/cucumber/celery sticks in the fridge is such an easy go-to snack. Going to a picnic or celebration? Take vegetables with a homemade dip for a healthy contribution.
7. Grow your own! You can start out small. Maybe start growing some lettuce and tomatoes or other vegetables you'd eat on a daily basis.
Hope that was useful! Do you find it hard to boost your vegetable intake? Any other tips?