More veggies, please!

Elevate Naturopath and Nutritionist, Amanda Harasym, is particularly passionate about inspiring her clients to get more vegetables into their diet. She likes to get creative with her approach and shares below some tips for picky eaters and veggie lovers alike!

Amanda explains, people who eat a diet rich in vegetables and some fruits have a much lower risk of many chronic diseases (DCD, 2018). For example, potassium found in Swiss chard and potatoes, helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure, while dietary fibre, found in many different types of veggies, helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels, maintain a healthy weight, and may lower the risk of heart disease (DCD, 2018).

So, here are some of her suggestions to get more vegetables into your daily diet.

  • Add minced broccoli to your scrambled eggs. This vegetable doesn’t change the texture of scrambled eggs; try adding in a finely minced 1/3 of a cup. Mixing cauliflower into your scrambled eggs works just as well. Broccoli and cauliflower are part of the Brassica family of vegetables. These veggies are high in fibre and contain potent anti-oxidant compounds.
  • Veg out on savoury oatmeal. Typically, people add berries and honey to their oats, however, don’t be fooled-oats can be made savoury flavoured too! Add in finely diced scallions and your favourite sautéed or steamed veggies to your oats and enjoy the savoury side. Option to top with a poached or boiled egg for extra protein.
  • Add in pureed pumpkin, squash, or sweet potatoes to your pancake, loaf, or waffle recipe. This is a fantastic way to add in a sneaky serving of veggies into your day. Sweet potato or pumpkin pancakes taste delicious, drizzled with some maple syrup and a hint of cinnamon spice… YUM!
  • Add an avocado to your morning smoothie. This is a great way to sneak in extra fibre and B vitamins for energy to kick start your day!
  • Add in a handful of greens to your smoothie. A handful of spinach or kale to your smoothie will give you an extra serving of greens and add blend in tastelessly with most fruit smoothies. Try blending: 1 cup coconut water + 1 small banana + handful of spinach + 2 tablespoons mashed avocado + 1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries + 1 scoop of your favourite protein powder.
  • Experiment with veggie noodles. Use a spiralizer to create zucchini, sweet potato, or squash noodles and skip the pasta altogether. Or, combine half veggie noodles with half portion of pasta. Delicious and nutritious!
  • Mix up your mashed potatoes. Why not shake up plain mashed potatoes and add in mashed carrots, sweet potato, turnip, or squash. A great way to get some extra vitamin A from these orange veggies.
  • Sneak vegetables into casseroles. Anytime you pull out a casserole dish recipe, whip out your grater, too. Finely shredded zucchini can be added to any casserole dish without changing texture or flavour.
  • Add veggies to grilled cheese. Instead of option for the classic cheese and bread combination, cut the cheese by half and sub in some finely sliced peppers and onion.
  • Bulk up burgers. Grated apple, zucchini, and carrot are fantastic additions to bulk up your favourite burger recipe.
  • Get saucy! Grate any vegetable of your choice into your favourite pasta sauce. This is a great way to hide vegetables for those picky eaters!
  • Soups and stews are an easy way to get more vegetables into your diet. The tradition chicken and noodle soup can be jazzed up with heaps of chopped up vegetables of your choice: sweet potato, broccoli, leeks, pumpkin, potatoes, beets, Swiss chard, kale… the options are endless! Splurge on spinach. Spinach and rocket are great toppings to add onto your favourite pizza. They also make great purees, which can be added onto pizza, along with the traditional tomato sauce.
  • Disguise greens in chocolate! Spinach in brownies? Yes! See recipe link below.
  • Add avocados into pudding. Believe it or not, the combination of avocados, bananas, cacao powder, and raw honey make for a fantastic chocolate pudding recipe. Try it yourself!

Check out Amanda’s Sneaky Spinach Brownie recipe HERE

Thanks to Athena @light_reid for the gorgeous photo! 

REFERENCES
Dairy Council of California (2018). Health benefits of vegetables. Retrieved from http://www.healthyeating.org.
Whitbread, D. (My Food Data, Nutrition Database, 2018). 20 vegetables high in potassium: a ranking from highest to lowest. Retrieved from http://www.myfooddata.com. Recipe adapted from: www.popsugar.com, written by Zelana Montminy, January 2012
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