I’ll let you in on a little secret: veggies are my favorite! Anyone with me here? They are so delicious and full of nutrients that I can feel them keeping my body healthy.
After the holidays I especially love loading up on fresh veggies. Too much processed food and sugar can leave us susceptible to all the winter bugs. So after the holidays is a perfect time to increase our veggie intake.
There are so many benefits to eating lots of veggies daily. Vegetables are naturally nutrient dense. This means for the number of calories, they have a high vitamin and mineral content. These nutrients are also easily absorbable since they are in their natural state. Veggies are also excellent immune system supporters since they are high in phytonutrients. Fiber is another benefit to eating your veggies. Most are high in fiber which supports our digestive system and also helps us feel full.
Ready to eat more veggies? I’ve got 10 ways that you can add more vegetables to your daily routine. Check out all the yummy recipes too for some tasty ideas on how to make it happen.
1. Sauté some veggies with your breakfast
Most traditional breakfast options don’t include many veggies- eggs, muffins, bagels, pancakes, etc. But starting your day with a big side of veggies greatly increases the nutritional content of your breakfast. I like to chop up whatever I’ve got handy in the fridge and sauté it with a little expeller pressed coconut oil (the tasteless kind).
Smoothies are another tasty way to increase your vegetable intake. You can add leafy greens, carrots or avocados to your fruit smoothies to give them an extra nutritional boost.
3. Substitute them for crackers or chips
Celery, carrots or cucumbers all make great cracker substitutes and come in much lower in calories and higher in vitamins and minerals- win-win! And, they are a great gluten-free option if you or someone you know is avoiding gluten.
4. Trade your noodles
You can replace your pasta noodles with spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. A spiralizer makes noodle making easy but a vegetable peeler will work too.
5. Veggie-fy your muffins and pancakes
If you are in the mood for muffins or pancakes, fill them with veggies too! Zucchini, carrots, and beets all work well in these. Simply grate them up and add to the batter.
6. Use them as a bowl
Forget your bowl, instead fill your favorite vegetable. Bell peppers, summer and winter squash, and eggplant make excellent and delicious bowls.
7. Replace your bread
Give your sandwich a nutritional boost by swapping out the bread for kale, lettuce, cabbage or collards. These leaves make perfectly nutritious wraps!
8. Roast ’em!
Almost any vegetable can be roasted and it’s quick and easy. Some of my favorites are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, onions, and turnips.
9. Fill up your soup
You can easily load up your soup with veggies and it becomes more filling and delicious. Use whatever you’ve got in your fridge. For some variety, I like adding fresh raw veggies, like grated carrot or sliced green onion, just before serving.
10. Juice them
If you haven’t juiced some veggies yet, you are missing out. Vegetable juice is a nutritional powerhouse with its dense vitamin and mineral content. Almost all veggies are juice-able. I recommend mixing them with some fruits for a little sweetness if you are new to juicing veggies. You don’t even need a juicer! All you need is a blender and nut milk bag (you can see my instructions here for this).
Recipe: Braised Leeks
These leeks are a perfect side dish for any meal. Pair with scrambled eggs for breakfast or coriander spiced salmon and rice for dinner!
1 tbsp expeller pressed coconut oil
2 large leeks
1/4 cup vegetable broth
Slice off the root from each leek and slice into 3-inch sections, discarding the green ends.
Slice each piece down the center long ways.
Wash each piece thoroughly to remove any dirt.
Cook the leeks in boiling water for 4 minutes then remove from the water and pat dry.
In a pan, melt oil on medium heat. Cook leeks face up for 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook face down for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Add broth to the pan and cook until all the liquid has evaporated.
Remove leeks from pan and season to taste with sea salt.
How do you add more veggies to your diet?