Less than 10% of Americans consume the recommended 1.5-2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables per day. We get it. With the variety of food choices available, produce may not be the most exciting thing to eat. Your goal should be to incorporate fruits and veggies each time you eat a meal. Why? Both pack a ton of health benefits including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your body needs to thrive. They also keep you full for longer and support good gut health, thanks to all the fiber packed in. They can even reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Eating more fruit is usually easier for people than eating more vegetables. Your Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) can help you accomplish both goals. In the meantime, we’ve come up with some easy ways to sneak more veggies into your meals and snacks.
Blending into Sauces- You can add zucchini and butternut squash, kale, beets, and cauliflower (really any puréed veggies will do!) to add more depth and nutrients to your tomato sauce.
Veggie Pastas- Use a spiralizer or buy veggies already noodled at the store like zoodles, carrot noodles, butternut squash noodles, spaghetti squash. You can also layer veggies in lasagna or make veggie lasagna itself! You can pair with the sauce listed above.
Pureed/Blended Soups- When we think of blended soups, our minds go directly to tomato (or at least mine does!). But you can take any soup, for example chicken noodle soup, and add a can of pureed tomatoes, squash, beans or potato. It will make for a thicker soup while sneaking in some extra veggies.
Chili- Who said chili has to be just meat and beans? Add carrot, sweet potato, or butternut squash to your favorite recipe.
Side Dishes- Add some cauliflower to your mashed potatoes for some extra fiber. You can also mix in some yams. You’ll add some sweetness, plus a serving of beta-carotene.
Smoothies- Add greens to smoothies. A handful of spinach or kale blends well with any fruit smoothie. Try this classic recipe: Blend 1 cup milk (we love almond milk!), 1 frozen banana, 2 handfuls spinach, and 1 tablespoon almond butter. Cauliflower is another great addition to a smoothie. We swear you won’t taste it!
Snacks– veggie chips or veggie fries. Slice up some zucchini, avocado, carrots, or green beans. Lightly bread them and bake or air fry until crispy.
Breakfast- We love adding veggies to high protein scrambled eggs to start your day. Eggs have gotten a bad rep for their high cholesterol content, but they’re also a good source of protein and choline. You get bonus points if you make enough to eat all week!
Homemade Pizza Crust- Add riced cauliflower or broccoli to pizza crust. You can also put a layer of spinach puree on the pizza dough before topping with sauce to add a dose of green veggies. Bonus: top your pizza with veggies as well!
Add avocados to pudding- Sneak extra nutrients into chocolate pudding. Avocados’ texture blends nicely.
Did you know that people who meal plan are more likely to have an overall higher quality food variety? Anderson’s Nutrition has a robust meal planning program to assist you on your journey to better health. Everything is customized to you. Meet with one of our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists to receive nutrition guidance and a personalized meal plan.