If there’s one thing that many people really struggle with on their diet plan, it’s getting enough vegetables into their daily diet. Most of us have no problem reaching our carb and fat needs, protein can be a little more trying for some, but vegetables always seem to fall by the wayside.
Whether you simply just don’t like the taste of vegetables or you can’t seem to figure out how to cook them properly and serve them using lower calorie methods, if you aren’t getting enough, you need to change this as soon as possible.
Vegetables are going to supply some key nutrients that your body needs and will also help you get more fiber into your daily diet so that you feel satisfied after each meal you eat. To help get you started with eating more vegetables on a daily basis, let’s take a quick peak at seven tasty tips to remember to boost your vegetable consumption.
Add Frozen Veggies To Soup
The first way to boost your vegetable consumption is to add some frozen vegetables into a soup. Soups are a very fast and easy meal time solution so will be perfect for those nights when you’re in a hurry.
The problem with many store bought soup varieties however is that they do tend to fall low on the vegetable side of things.
Even if you purchase a vegetable variety, you’re still likely only getting a few green beans and carrots. To help pump up the nutritional content, toss a few frozen veggies into the soup while it’s cooking. These require no additional prep time and will cook right with the soup. Add them in about 2-3 minutes before the soup is finished and they’ll be tender but not soggy when you serve it up.
Blend Them Into Smoothies
Next, another option to consider is blending your veggies into smoothies. While this may sound rather disgusting at first and I wouldn’t recommend blending broccoli in with your banana smoothie (unless you want to take the ‘slam back’ the shake concept to a whole new level), spinach, celery, and cucumbers all work well with fruit based smoothies. You’ll hardly notice they’re in there as they’ll provide just a hint of added taste. But more importantly, they’ll boost the nutritional and fiber content considerably. Spinach especially is a nutrient powerhouse.
Add Them To Omelettes
Moving on, a third way to incorporate more vegetables into your daily diet is to add them to omelettes. Omelettes are a great way to start your day as they’re high in protein and if prepared using egg whites, low in fat and calories.
To help bulk up this meal, add some diced vegetables to the omelette. Mushrooms, carrots, peppers, broccoli, spinach, and celery all work perfectly and can either be added right into the omelette as it cooks or lightly sautéed before you even add the eggs to prepare the omelette.
Stuff Them Into A Pita
If you’re looking for a quick lunch on the go, consider a pita. Pitas work great as they can be jam-packed with a load of vegetables, easily providing you with two servings or more to add to your day. Just be sure to choose a whole wheat pita pocket so that you get some added fiber in there as well and don’t experience the blood glucose spike that you otherwise would from it.
Serve your pita with a can of tuna drizzled with some olive oil for some healthy fats, some canned salmon, or some grilled chicken breast. This is a fast and easy option to take with you to work, so makes for a great alternative to eating some high-calorie, high-fat lunch at a restaurant.
Serve Them Raw With A Dip
If you’re someone who prefers to eat your vegetables raw, you can’t go wrong serving them with a low calorie dip. Start getting into the habit of pulling out some raw veggies to snack on while you prepare your dinner and you’ll help to decrease your appetite at the dinner meal itself, lowering your calorie consumption, and help to boost your overall vegetable intake at the same time.
One great dip option is simply mixing some salsa with some fat free mayonnaise. This will add extra antioxidants from the salsa and be only around 20-40 additional calories depending on how much you eat.
Or, if you want a protein packed dip for a complete snack, consider mixing some Greek yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese with some fat-free sour cream and your favorite dip mix. This is a much healthier way to create a tasty dip than using the full-fat mayo and sour cream that most call for.
Stir-Fry Them With Low Cal Sauce
Another simple way to increase your vegetable consumption is to stir-fry them with a low calorie sauce. Stir-frying is fast and easy and will produce tender vegetables that are low calorie. To create the sauce, mix together some soy sauce, freshly grated ginger, pureed garlic, along with a sprinkle of sugar for added sweetness. Add this once the vegetables are almost ready to blend the flavors and then serve immediately. You do have to be very careful when using any store purchased stir-fry sauces as very often these contain added sugar or fat, so consider making your own instead.
Puree Them Into A Sauce
Finally, the last way to serve up your vegetables if you really dislike the taste is to puree them into a sauce. This works great for pickier individual who don’t like the taste or texture as you’ll hardly notice them in there. Next time you’re making a tomato based sauce, add the vegetables to this and then serve on top of spaghettis squash or whatever your dish happens to call for.
So there you have some fast and easy ways to increase your vegetable consumption without adding a high amount of extra calories to your day. Use these methods and you can feel confident that you’re improving your diet and helping weight loss move along faster.