Have you been trying to get more vegetables into your diet? Unless you are a natural experimental eater, it can be intimidating to jump into the deep end of unknown vegetables. Well, you may know of these vegetables, but you may not know how to prepare them or what dishes you would make with them.
Whatever your reason for wanting to eat more vegetables, it is a good one. Fresh vegetables are loaded with essential nutrients that the body needs to function optimally. Some of you may have that little voice in the back of your heads saying, “Eat more veggies. Trust me…they’re good for you.” Trying new vegetables is a great way to step out of your comfort zone and learn to create new and exciting dishes, which you can store in your cooking arsenal.
Expose Yourself to More Veggies
One of the best ways to expose yourself to more vegetables is to shop for what is in season. Head to local farmers markets, or stop in grocery stores to see what is in season. Buying produce that is in season can actually save you money! Once you buy these vegetables, you can search recipes online or in cookbooks and make the ones that appeal to you.
Make Veggies Easy and Available
What we mean by “make your veggies available” is that they shouldn’t be hiding from you in the refrigerator. Have them in plain sight so that you are more likely to use them. If they are behind some containers or shoved underneath things in a drawer, you are less likely to use them. Learn how to store your produce as well! Not everything goes in the fridge! Using vegetables involves prep work, so prepping them ahead of time can make cooking with them a lot easier.
Drink Your Veggies
Drinking your veggies is an excellent way to get more green vegetables in your diet. You can actually get a full day’s worth of green vegetables in one homemade green juice or smoothie! Because the flavor of green smoothies can be intense, it is best to add other bold flavors like strawberries, blueberries, ginger, banana, watermelon, or pineapple. Visit our smoothie section for some inspiration.
Use Veggies in Every Dish You Make
If you start using vegetables in every meal (well, you don’t have to eat them for breakfast, even though you can), it will become a habit. Are you craving pasta, but are unsure how to add vegetables to the dish? Use zucchini noodles or add spinach, kale, or broccoli to your favorite pasta dish. It is also best to make your own sauce from scratch. If you are going to eat pasta, try to buy pasta made from quinoa or lentils. Try varying your salad ingredients and dressings so that you continue to entice your palate.
Start Your Day With Veggies
Vegetables for breakfast? That is every child’s worst nightmare! Don’t be scared, though, because it is very easy to incorporate vegetables into your breakfast schedule. You could make butternut squash muffins or eat a breakfast wrap with spinach, hummus, cucumbers, and tomatoes. You can also add some spinach or kale to a fruit smoothie!
Seasoning, Dip and Sauces
Some vegetables, herbs in particular, can enhance the flavor of a mundane dish. For example, beets can bring a sweet, earthy flavor to some homemade hummus, and cilantro and parsley can awaken a dish to make it vibrant. Don’t be afraid to experiment and use things like ginger, turmeric, garlic, and fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage, mint, or parsley. Make an avocado dressing with cilantro, or make a green smoothie bowl!
It can be beneficial to set goals for yourself and keep track of what you accomplish. You’ll come to realize that it is fun and exciting to see all the new things you are exposing yourself to. A few possible goals could be buying five new vegetables at the store, eating meatless a few days out of the week, or even having a vegetables only day. You could even dedicate a week to making dishes with sprouts, artichokes, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Get excited about it and step up to the challenge