Veggie Hacks

“Sneak” more vegetables into your diet with these tips

It’s no secret that vegetables are paramount in a healthy diet. They are a great source of vitamins, nutrients and fiber and they even help prevent certain diseases and obesity. Still, sometimes it can be hard to work several servings a day into your diet—especially if you’re tired of simple salads and vegetable stir fries or just not a fan of the food group. Whether you’re bored of the standard veggie dish or looking for a way to get more into you and your family’s diets, these tips are bound to help.

Smoothie Power

One delicious, fool-proof way to get more vegetables is by making a “green” smoothie—a 60/40 ratio of whole fruit to leafy greens. If the drink is too bitter, add more fruit. You can also experiment with different liquid bases. While water is the default, you can also try coconut water and milk, fresh fruit juice, or green tea.

Plant Pasta

Who says you have to save your vegetables for the pasta sauce? Using a spiral slicer, a mandolin slicer or simply a vegetable peeler, you can cut vegetables into long strands to make a cold “pasta” dish. Try it with zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, cucumbers or eggplant  and top with your favorite sauce, hot or cold.

Green Chips

Satisfy your craving for a crunchy, salty snack and get another serving of vegetables with kale chips. To make: tear kale leaves into two-inch pieces, toss them with a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil, spread them on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 30-35 minutes, turning them after about 15 minutes.

Veggies, Sweet Veggies

Folks with a serious sweet tooth may think that snacking on vegetables just won’t cut it, but that’s not the case. Try different nut butters on carrots and celery sticks. Top with natural sweeteners like raw honey, agave nectar and stevia for a healthy snack. This is also a great way to get vegetables at breakfast.