Remember back to third grade or so when you learned about the food pyramid and you'll recall that vegetables were a major component to a healthy diet. Times haven't changed, but eating the right amount of vegetables still seems to be an illusive daily task.
Get creative and check out easy, simple ways to get vegetables back into your diet.
If you think that vegetable purees are just for baby food, think again. Blending vegetables into a puree makes them easy to add to any dish – the grown up, have all their teeth versions. Include vegetable purees in sauces, casseroles and even smoothies! Baked goods in general are a moist mixture before they are put in the oven; add a bit of puree and bake the vegetables in with it. Add vegetable blends to potatoes for a taste that pops.
Soups and stews
Since the majority of soups and stews are made with vegetables, adding a few more is easy. Open a can of low-sodium soup and add a bag of peas or carrots and you have a superfast and easy lunch or dinner entrée, ready to be flavored with your favorite spices. As the soup simmers, it simultaneously cooks the veggies, boosting the nutritional value and fiber.
The premise of a salad is a vegetable, so pile them on for a nutritional boost! Shred carrots and zucchini, dice tomatoes and beets to pack the salad with extra vitamins. Toss the salad with spinach leaves for shot of antioxidants.
Have a large batch of salsa ready and add chopped yellow squash and zucchini to the mix. Then put salsa on everything from potatoes, rice and chicken to eggs, steak and even bread. Don't keep the salsa just for the chips!
Here's an opportunity to add veggies to your pizza two ways: first by piling them on, and also by adding vegetable puree to the sauce. Try topping frozen or chilled pizza with extra sliced vegetables before cooking, and serve with a green salad.
Have vegetables available
We're usually pressed for time and some of us have even gotten a bit lazy, but having already cut vegetables on hand at all times is a good way to get them back into your diet. It's much easier to grab something that's right there in front of you for a snack. Have the peanut butter, ranch or hummus available there too for delicious companions to your veggies.
Getting the right amount of vegetables into your diet is easy when you get creative, and sneaky!
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