1. Make veggie-based soups : Soups are an excellent way to consume multiple servings of vegetables at once. You can make veggies the “base” by pureeing them and adding spices, such as in this broccoli spinach quinoa soup. Furthermore, it’s simple to cook veggies into broth- or cream-based soups. Adding even a small number of extra veggies, such as broccoli, to soups is a great way to increase your intake of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
2. Experiment with veggie noodles : Veggie noodles are easy to make, and a great way to get more veggies in your eating plan. They’re also an excellent low carb substitute for high carb foods, such as pasta. They’re made by inserting vegetables into a spiralizer, which processes them into noodle-like shapes. You can also:
- shred them
- slice them with a mandoline
- just cut them up as you please
You can use a spiralizer for almost any type of vegetable. They’re commonly used for zucchini, carrots, spaghetti squash, and sweet potatoes, all of which come packed with extra nutrients. Once the “noodles” are made, they can be consumed just like pasta and combined with sauces, other vegetables, or meat.
3. Add veggies to sauces : Adding extra vegetables to your sauces and dressings is a sneaky way to increase your veggie intake, especially if you have picky kids. While you’re cooking sauces, such as marinara sauce, simply add some veggies and herbs of your choice to the mix, such as chopped onions, carrots, bell peppers, and leafy greens like spinach. Pureeing roasted root vegetables can make for rich sauces with an Alfredo-like feel. Think carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, turnips, purple yam, beets, and kohlrabi. Try making pesto with roasted beets for the most vibrant dish ever.
4. Make a cauliflower pizza crust : Cauliflower is extremely versatile. You can rice it, roast it, stick it in a stew, puree it for silky goodness, and make it into a pizza crust. Replacing a regular, flour-based pizza crust with a cauliflower crust is as easy as combining finely chopped and drained cauliflower with eggs, almond flour, and some seasonings. You can then add your own toppings, such as fresh veggies, tomato sauce, and cheese. A cup (100 grams) of cauliflower contains only about 5 grams of carbs and 26 calories, in addition to lots of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
5. Blend into smoothies : Smoothies make for a refreshing breakfast or snack. Green smoothies in particular are very popular for hiding loads of leafy greens in fruity packages. Typically, they’re made by combining fruit with ice, milk, or water in a blender. However, you can also add veggies to smoothies without compromising the flavor. Fresh, leafy greens are common smoothie additions, such as in this recipe, which combines kale with blueberries, bananas, and cucumber. Just 1 loosely packed cup (25 grams) of spinach contains more than a full day’s recommended amount of vitamin K and half of the recommended amount of vitamin A. The same serving of kale also provides high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, and lots of vitamin K. In addition, frozen zucchini, pumpkin, beets, avocado, and sweet potatoes work well blended into smoothies.