19 August 2013 Sneak in More Fruits and Vegetables

Sometimes it’s just hard. It’s hard to put those fruits or vegetables on your plate for every meal. But it’s also important – and we know this. Some people have it figured out – they crave fruits and veggies. But some of us fill up too fast on the “other stuff” before we get to the “good stuff.” No more! Here’s a list of ideas that can help you get more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet.

  • Use canned vegetables to thicken sauces and baked goods. A can of pumpkin puree can be tossed into spaghetti sauce. Pureed canned beets can be added to cakes, brownies and even muffin mixes. Creamy soups get healthier by adding pureed white beans, like Great Northern or Cannellini beans. Steamed, mashed cauliflower can be added to mashed potatoes.
  • Top baked potatoes with everything except butter and sour cream. Salsa is a delicious topping, as are corn kernels, green onions, steamed mushrooms, and diced red peppers.
  • Bolster burgers and meatloaf with finely chopped mushrooms, onions, shredded zucchini, grated carrots, and even pumpkin puree.
  • Ditch the bread and go leafy. Once a week use a lettuce wrap for a sandwich instead of bread slices. It’s great for tuna and egg salads too. If you like bitter greens, you can even use kale or collards.
  • Salads aren’t just for vegetables. Go big with fruit slices (fresh or dried), nuts, seeds, and even low-fat cottage cheese to turn your side salad into a main course.
  • Fruit-for-dessert: baked apples, stewed pears, fruit sorbets. There’s no limit to satisfying that sweet tooth with way fewer calories.
  • Like mac-n-cheese? Round it out with steamed broccoli and diced peppers. The trick is to add volume to a plate without adding extra calories.
  • Can’t get enough chips? Bake your own kale chips or sweet potato chips and bring those to work. It’s easy and quick. Toss a little salt, pepper, and olive oil and bake until crispy.
  • Everyone knows this one, but let’s start using it. Replace up to half the oil in recipes for baking with applesauce. Yummy!
  • Main courses go further with fruit and vegetable toppings. Turn plain baked chicken into a moist and flavorful meal by topping it with salsa. Make pork chops pop with baked apples, pears, or flash-boiled raisins (just to soften them).
  • Lasagna gets better by adding layers of frozen spinach or eggplant.
  • Ever have a frozen grape on a hot day? Try it!
  • Sliced bananas + morning oatmeal = filling.

It’s fun and easy to think of ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your daily meals. Have any tips to share with us how you do it?

Ryan Newhouse

Ryan Newhouse is the Marketing Director for MyNetDiary and writes for a variety of publications. He wants you to check out MyNetDiary on Instagram!

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Foods & Recipes/Fruit & Vegetables Meal Planning & Diets/Healthy Eating

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