Most adults need to eat 2-3 cups of vegetables every day. But less than 1 in 10 Americans actually do this. Cost, access, and lack of time are common reasons people don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. But it’s possible to get more veggies on your plate without too much work or cost. Check out these cooking hacks to help your family eat more vegetables every day.
Double Up On Veggies
This is one of the simplest ways to get more vegetables. Simply add double the amount of vegetables in your recipe. If the recipe calls for 1 pepper, use 2. It doesn’t take much extra time prep them since you’re already washing, peeling, and/or chopping them. Unless you’re baking, it’s not going to affect how the recipe turns out. You’ll just get more vegetables in a recipe you already enjoy. And not only does this increase your vegetables, it also helps increase the nutrient density of your meal. Meaning you get more nutrients and less calories in each bite.
Meal Prep Veggies
Ask anyone how to eat more veggies and one of the most common answers is to eat a salad. And that’s because it works! Making a large salad to eat with several meals is a convenient way to eat more vegetables. Check out our post for how to Build Your Own Salad.
Salads aren’t the only meal prep vegetables you can make in bulk. Bake a batch of white or sweet potatoes to eat with your meals. You can also roast a large batch of your favorite veggies to have with your meals, too. Here’s a recipe for Roasted Root Vegetables for inspiration.
Fast Veggies from the Freezer
I love using frozen veggies. They’re already prepped and ready to use straight from the freezer. Toss in a bag of frozen peas or broccoli when cooking pasta dishes. Microwave a bag of green beans or cauliflower and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and your favorite seasonings. Use vegetable blends, like pepper and onion mix or mixed vegetables, in soups or casseroles.
Use shredded or pureed vegetables in recipes that don’t usually have vegetables. This helps stretch more expensive ingredients further and may help a pickier eater finally enjoy a green veggie. Meatloaf is a great recipe to add extra veggies and it keeps the meatloaf moist. Shredded carrots or zucchini, diced onions or peppers, or corn are all great additions to meatloaf. Use pumpkin puree in place of oil in muffins or quick breads. Use mashed potatoes instead of cream in soups. Get creative.
What other hacks do you use to vary your veggies and get 2-3 cups a day? Share your ideas with us!