• Deanne Pandey

Want to have more vegetables? Here’s How

We all know that vegetables are important for our body. We have all heard our elders say “Eat your vegetables”. But why is that? Vegetables are full of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that provide many important health benefits to your body. For instance, carrots are known for being very high in vitamin A, which plays an important role in eye health, as you grow older. They are a good source of dietary fiber, a type of carbohydrate that helps pass food through your digestive system. Many green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and chard contain potassium. Potassium helps your kidneys filter sodium out of your body more efficiently, which can reduce your blood pressure. Vegetables are particularly high in fiber, which is needed for optimal digestion. They have a low glycemic index, so your blood sugar won’t rise quickly after a meal. Clearly, vegetables offer endless benefits. They are a necessity for every body type and diet regime. But vegetables are not everyone’s favourite go-to food. Most of us avoid vegetables in our meals. Moreover, it is hard to come up with different ways to eat vegetables. This does not mean we give up on the variety of benefits that vegetables have to offer. You may think you don't like vegetables, but maybe you just haven't tried the right preparation. For an instance, Broccoli may taste boring steamed, but roasted and topped with parmesan cheese, and it takes on a sweet and nutty flavour. In order to eat more veggies, its important to know how to cook and eat different vegetables.

Here are some ways to eat more vegetables-

1. Soups

Soups are an excellent way to consume multiple servings of vegetables at once.You can make veggies the “base” by pureeing them and adding spices. Furthermore, it’s simple to cook veggies into broth- or cream-based soups. Adding even a small number of extra veggies, such as broccoli, to soups is a great way to increase your intake of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Here are a few other veggie-based soup recipes for you to try- Green papaya fish soup, Kale, tomato, and white bean soup and Pho packed with spinach and bok choy.

2. Zucchini Pasta

Another creative way to eat more veggies is by making pasta-free zucchini lasagna. Traditional lasagna is a pasta-based dish made by layering lasagna noodles with sauce, cheese, and meat. It’s tasty, but it’s also typically very high in carbs and doesn’t come with veggies automatically. A great way to prepare this delicious dish so that it has a lower carb content and more nutrients is to replace the lasagna noodles with strips of zucchini. Zucchini is a rich source of B vitamins and vitamin C, in addition to trace minerals and fiber. Take your favourite lasagna recipe and replace those noodles with strips of zucchini sliced with a vegetable peeler. Tip: Salt the zucchini, let it sit for 15 minutes, and pat it dry with a paper towel to draw out the extra water.

3. Sauces

Adding extra vegetables to your sauces and dressings is a sneaky way to increase your veggie intake, especially if you have picky kids. While you’re cooking sauces, such as marinara sauce, simply add some veggies and herbs of your choice to the mix, such as chopped onions, carrots, bell peppers, and leafy greens like spinach. Pureeing roasted root vegetables can make for rich sauces with an Alfredo-like feel. Think carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, turnips, purple yam, and beets.Try making pesto with roasted beets.

4. Smoothies

Smoothies make for a refreshing breakfast or snack. Green smoothies in particular are very popular for hiding loads of leafy greens in fruity packages. Typically, they’re made by combining fruit with ice, milk, or water in a blender. However, you can also add veggies to smoothies without compromising the flavour. Fresh, leafy greens are common smoothie additions, such as kale with blueberries, bananas, and cucumber.

5. Wraps

Using lettuce as a wrap or certain veggies as buns in place of tortillas and bread is an easy way to eat more veggies. Lettuce wraps can be a part of several types of dishes and are often used to make low carb sandwiches and bun-less burgers. Additionally, many types of veggies, such as portobello mushroom caps, sliced sweet potatoes, halved red or yellow peppers, tomato halves, and sliced eggplant make excellent buns. Lettuce wraps and veggie buns are an easy way to reduce your calorie intake, as one lettuce leaf contains only one calorie. Refined bread is much higher in calories.

Explore these ways and add your personal twists to include more vegetables in your diet. Let us know in the comments how you include vegetables in your diet!

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