It’s easy to eat more vegetables! Eating vegetables is important because they provide vitamins and minerals and most are low in calories. To fit more vegetables in your meals, follow these simple tips. It is easier than you may think.
- Savor the flavor of seasonal vegetables. Buy vegetables that are in season for maximum flavor at the lower cost. Check you local farmers market for the best-in-season buys.
- Discover fast ways to cook. Cook fresh or frozen vegetables in the microwave for a quick-and-easy dish to add to any meal. Steam green beans, carrots, or broccoli in a bowl with a small amount of water in the microwave for a quick side dish.
- Be ahead of the game. Cut up a batch of bell peppers, carrots, or broccoli. Pre-package them to use when time is limited. You can enjoy them on a salad, with hummus, or in a veggie wrap.
- Choose vegetable rich in color. Brighten your plate with vegetables that are red, orange, or dark green. They are full of vitamins and minerals. Try acorn squash, cherry tomatoes, sweet potatoes, or collard greens. They not only taste great but also are good for you, too.
- Make your garden salad glow. Brighten your salad by using colorful vegetables such as black beans, sliced red bell peppers, shredded radishes, chopped red cabbage, or watercress. Your salad will not only look good but taste good, too.
- While you’re out. If dinner is away from home, no need to worry. When ordering, ask for an extra side of vegetables or side salad instead of the typically fried side dish.
- Try something new. You never know what you may like. Choose a new vegetable – add it to your recipe and look up how to fix it online.
- Heat it and eat it. Try tomato, butternut squash, or garden vegetable soup. Fire up the grill as a lot of veggies do well on the grill, but some really stand out such as asparagus, corn, eggplant, mushrooms, peppers (hot or bell), onions, even cabbage.
*Resource: United States Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. www.choosemyplate.gov