Only 27 percent of American adults eat the recommended three or more servings of vegetables daily, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The reason? Let’s be honest, veggies are pretty boring. But with a little creativity and these tricks, you’ll discover how good produce can taste and be well on your way to your three-a-day.
- Kick-start your day by adding veggies to an omelet or scrambled eggs. “Spinach, peppers, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and kale work very well mixed in with protein-packed eggs,” says Marc Perry, founder of BuiltLean Fitness in New York City.
- Satisfy that sugar itch with something healthy: Some veggies can taste just as sweet as candy because baking them brings out the natural sugars. Perry recommends root veggies, such as sweet potatoes, cooked carrots and beets.
- Have you heard of kohlrabi? How about sea beans? There are many less-common yet readily available produce that go far beyond the basic tomatoes and onions. “Try one new vegetable per month,” advises Perry. “Test different recipes with that particular veggie until you find at least one dish you really like.”
- Make your life easier by setting aside one hour a week to chop up two cookie sheets’ worth of onions, peppers, zucchini, and sweet potatoes, cut to uniform size. Put them in the oven for 45 minutes at 500 degrees and you have enough cooked vegetables for a week that can be added as a side with any meal, Perry says. The mix will store in your fridge for about three to four days in tightly sealed plastic containers.
- Cut your carb intake in half by making “pasta” from long strips of squash and carrot. Experiment with different sauces such as pesto, garlic olive oil, or white bean sauce.
- Hate carrots when you were a kid? Our taste buds change as we age, so you may like them now. Or it could have just been the way they were prepared: “They may have been overcooked or covered with spices you don’t like, causing you to unfairly swear it off forever,” Perry says. So c’mon, search for a recipe that sound good, and give those Brussel sprouts one more try.
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