Home > Cooper Updates > 10 Easy Ways to Add Vegetables to Your Meals

10 Easy Ways to Add Vegetables to Your Meals

Did you know that only 9 percent of Americans eat enough vegetables every day? That’s less than one in every 10 people.

148074457_veggies in storeHow many veggies should we be consuming daily? Dr. Kenneth Cooper always refer to the adage, “Five is fine, but nine is divine.” That’s talking about servings (one serving is half a cup) of fruits and veggies we should consume every day. If you’re not getting enough, start with five servings a day and work your way to nine.

Some may believe that getting the recommended amount of vegetables every day is difficult. However, there are many ways you can add vegetables into your eating plan. The following is a list of quick and easy solutions:

1. Prepare “zoodles” by using a spiralizer or buy spiralized zucchini to replace traditional pasta noodles. You can also use squash, asparagus or cucumbers.

2. Purchase premade cauliflower pizza crust and top with extra vegetables including tomatoes, green and orange bell peppers, onions and broccoli.

3. Prepare or purchase riced cauliflower. You can buy it fresh or frozen or make it by grinding up whole cauliflower. Use it in any recipe in place of traditional rice.

4. Try adding carrot puree, grated zucchini, finely chopped broccoli, pureed spinach or chopped mushrooms to ground beef recipes such as meat loaf.

5. Add greens to smoothies by blending:
8 oz. of 1% or fat-free milk
One frozen banana
2-3 handfuls of spinach
1 tbsp. nut butter

6. Add vegetables like spinach, tomatoes, peas and broccoli to macaroni and cheese.                      Tip: Use boiled and blended butternut squash as a substitute for cheese.

7. Turn vegetables into fries or chips:
Slice up zucchini, carrots, green beans or kale
Toss in a small amount of olive oil
Bake in 425 degree oven until crispy

8. Add carrot, sweet potato or butternut squash puree to any chili or stew. Add pureed tomatoes, squash or potatoes to chicken soup.

9. Make or purchase veggie tater tots. They can be made from broccoli, cauliflower or sweet potatoes.

10. Grate zucchini or carrots and add them to your favorite muffin recipe.

Provided by: Steffany Bixby, Oklahoma State University Dietetic Student

Categories: Cooper Updates
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