TIP OF THE DAY: 5 Ways To Sneak More Veggies Into Your Diet | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures TIP OF THE DAY: 5 Ways To Sneak More Veggies Into Your Diet | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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TIP OF THE DAY: 5 Ways To Sneak More Veggies Into Your Diet

Eating healthier in the new year, Part 2 (see yesterday’s Part 1):

If you’re not a veggie lover—or simply don’t make the right choices—increasing your daily intake of vegetables may seem like a chore. But it pays off big time over the long run, and is worth your attention.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits can help you ward off heart disease and stroke, control blood pressure, prevent some types of cancer, avoid a painful intestinal ailment called diverticulitis, and guard against cataract and macular degeneration, two common causes of vision loss.”

If you don’t already pack three or more servings of veggies into your daily food plan, here are five pretty painless ways to get with the program.

That got your attention, didn’t it? If you regularly enjoy a piece of cake or a muffin, switch to carrot, pumpkin or zucchini bread (make them yourself to pack in the maximum amount of veggies); or a carrot muffin instead of another variety. Add some nuts for protein. Add mashed beets to chocolate cake and cupcakes: That’s how the original red velvet cake was created.


Zucchini bread, like carrot bread and pumpkin bread, does include a serving of veggies (or partial serving, depending on the recipe and portion size). Photo courtesy Valerie Confections.


Mind you, this isn’t “health food”; but it’s a better choice.

Forget that tasteless slice of tomato until the real deal arrives with summer. Instead, add grilled vegetables: red bell peppers to replace that tomato, grilled summer squash or other favorite. Cucumbers don’t pack a lot of nutrition, but if you like the crunch, pile them on.

Pickled vegetables are another delicious option. You can pickle them in an hour, and keep them in the fridge for easy access. Here’s how to pickle vegetables. You can also pickle fruit, like apple and pear slices.


Not mashed potatoes, but mashed cauliflower!
Photo courtesy FAGE Greek Yogurt.

Mash them! Cauliflower and broccoli make an impressive alternative to mashed potatoes. To get the best out of them, simply boil the florets in salted water for about five minutes, then blend with olive oil, salt and pepper.

In fact, mashed cauliflower is a far more nutritious alternative to mashed potatoes. While it’s delicious as cauliflower, some of the veggie-averse might think it’s mashed potatoes. You can fool some of the people some of the time.
*There is a famous quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” However, there is no record that Lincoln ever said this (here are the facts). However, it’s such a great quote, we have to attribute it to someone.

It’s easy to “hide” vegetables in pasta dishes. You can dice them, steam them and mix them into the sauce; or simply toss them with olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

Another great trick: Layer them into lasagna: In go bell peppers, carrots, green beans, asparagus and broccoli. Yummy, as well as good for health!

And while you’re at it, switch the refined white flour pasta for whole wheat pasta. No one will complain.

Even people who don’t like to eat veggies enjoy a bowl of vegetable soup. If you don’t have time to make your own, just steam chopped veggies in the microwave and toss them into store-bought soup to amp up the veggies in there. Or cook them in your choice of beef, chicken or vegetable broth (like College Inn or Swanson’s), tomato or vegetable juice.

Get the most nutritional mileage from deep-colored vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, green beans and summer squash; and the cruciferous group, which includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale, among others.†

While you’re at it, add some protein-packed, fiber-filled beans.

This article was adapted from an original article by Shubhra Krishan published on Care2.com.
*The expanded group includes arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens, cress, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mizuna (a variety of mustard green), radish, rapini (broccoli rabe), rutabaga, tatsoi (also called rosette bok choy, spinach mustard or spoon mustard), turnip and wasabi (a type of horseradish).


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