It’s the topic you’ve pondered since your mom tried to bribe you to eat broccoli when you were a kid: how to eat more vegetables. We all know that spinach, red peppers, and Brussels sprouts are good for us, but what’s a girl to do when spicy vodka pasta exists in the world? The answer: a few easy tips and tricks to sneak more in. Veggies are not just something we try to eat because we’re supposed to but because nutrients in vegetables can help us feel our very best. And feeling our best doesn’t have to mean eating boring salads or entirely transforming our diets. Read on for five easy tips that make eating more veggies a breeze.
1. Get your meals delivered
TBH, the hardest part about eating your veggies is making the decision to. When you’re at the grocery store or planning out recipes for the week, it’s easy to stock up on frozen pizzas or plan for tasty pasta dishes without thinking of fitting in fresh produce. Plus, we all know the produce section can be overwhelming AF (sorry, how many kinds of squashes are there?). The fix: Get your meals delivered. Blue Apron offers wellness options like vegetarian, 600 calories or less, WW-approved, and carb conscious, so you’ll have veggie-loaded dishes that you didn’t have to think about prepping or grocery shopping for delivered to your doorstep. The best part is that you’ll be cooking with a wider variety of veggies that you never would have thought to cook for yourself (I just made a recipe with kohlrabi and shishito peppers for the first time this week, thanks to Blue Apron!).
2. Add leafy greens to two meals a day
You get it at this point: What can’t leafy greens do? Since leafy greens pack a whole lot of health benefits, one of the simplest ways to eat more veggies is to add greens like arugula, spinach, and kale to at least two meals a day. Try making a side salad with dinner or adding it to your smoothie in the AM. If you’re bored with the same old salad or smoothie, there are lots of tricks and tips to incorporate greens into the meals you love. For example, replace a wrap with a collard green or bib lettuce, make a pesto sauce out of kale, or add spinach to your omelet.
3. Eat the rainbow
Incorporating reds (tomatoes, apples, red pepper), oranges (sweet potato, butternut squash, tangerines), yellows (spaghetti squash, bananas, corn), greens (leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, zucchini), blues (blueberries, blackberries, blue potatoes), and purples (purple cabbage, eggplant, grapes) is the easiest—and prettiest—way to ensure you’re getting an abundance of phytonutrients and the full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. As an easy hack, try to add at least three different colors to each meal or keep in mind each color of the rainbow while grocery shopping.
4. Try one new food every week
While having a go-to grocery list is necessary for us busy people (and my other lazy people out there), it doesn’t always set you up for the most inventive meals. Challenge yourself to try one different veggie that you’ve never tried before. Maybe you saw a delicious butternut squash recipe and have never cooked butternut squash, or maybe you saw beets at the grocery store and want to Google how to prepare them. Or perhaps you came across a new leafy green at the farmer’s market that you’ve never tried but want to eat. Trying (or cooking) something new will make your meals more exciting, and having a wider variety of food means a wider variety of nutrients. Plus, you might like something so much that it ends up on your go-to grocery list.
5. Add them to sauces, soups, and smoothies
A truth that will inevitably change your life: You can add vegetables to just about anything you’re going to blend. Even your strawberry banana or peanut butter and chocolate smoothie could get a major upgrade with some spinach or cauliflower without a difference in taste. Beyond just smoothies, you can toss a wide variety of veggies into sauces or soups to not only make them more nutritious but also to make them more flavorful or creamy. A butternut squash soup tastes decadent even without cream, and arugula adds a peppery element to cauliflower or broccoli soup. For sauces, add spinach, kale, broccoli, or even beets to pesto, purée carrots or red bell peppers and add them to a marinara sauce, or make a creamy sauce a little healthier by including cauliflower or hearts of palm.
This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Blue Apron, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.