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We all know that we should be eating vegetables every day. But how many of us actually eat the recommended daily intake of 5 serves a day? According to Go for 2 & 5, “most Australians eat only half the amount of fruit and veggies recommended for good health.”
With this is mind we thought we’d create a list of clever and easy ways to help you sneak more veggies into your diet.
Eat Salad Before Your Main Meal
This is a super easy one, and a tactic that guarantees you a healthy dose of veggies daily. Plus having a hearty, veggie packed salad before your main meal is a good way to help keep your appetite in check and stop you from overeating some of the foods that aren’t so good for you.
Puree Veggies Into Soups
Incorporating soups into your diet is a great way to up your veggie intake. Simply use a blender or a juicer to easily puree your favourite combos into tasty soups. Making soups is time and cost effective, and with so many amazing veggie soups just waiting to be made, we reckon this is a simple and practical way to sneak more veggies into your diet.
Add Veggies to Your Desserts
Okay, this is a strange one... But while your gut instinct may very well be telling you that veggies should never feature in desserts, we disagree. Give it a go, and start replacing all of those empty calories common to sweet desserts with desserts full of vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. English blogger Kate Hackworthy is an expert when it comes to finding creative ways to make healthy desserts. Some of her more digestible recipes include chocolate cauliflower cake, chocolate mashed potato cake, and carrot cake protein balls.
Hide Them in Pasta Sauce
This idea may be old, but as any mother knows, it works. All you’ve got to do to sneak a few extra veggies into your sauce (without ruining it) is shred carrots, zucchini, and maybe some green and red capsicum into the mix, and voila. Another trick to keep up your sleeve is to try adding celery and spinach in the last half-hour of cooking to let the sauce absorb all of the good nutrients from these additional veggies. Even if you don't eat the celery or the spinach, the sauce will still be packed full of added nutrients.
Make Your Own Veggie Based Dips
Not only are dips fun and tasty, but a whole bunch of the best ones are vegetable based; think pumpkin, beetroot, eggplant, and avocado. But even if you feel more comfortable sticking to an old favourite like hummus, you can still add a couple of sneaky veggies into the mix such as finely chopped carrots and/or spinach before processing it in your food processor.
Getting your recommended intake of 5 servings of veg a day is hard work, no one’s saying that it isn’t. You have to be prepared to get a little creative. Finding clever ways to add vegetables to dishes which are normally veggie free is an effective way of upping your daily intake, and improving your overall diet.