Whether you're on top of your daily servings, or struggling to include vegetables at all, these helpful tips will make veggies an easy part of your nutrition plan.
1. Dehydrated Veggies1 of 11
Not all veggies have to be fresh. Dehydrated veggies are an easy snack that can be made in bulk weeks ahead of time (hello, meal prepping), and they're super flavorful when combined with different spices. Try dried green beans or sweet potato crisps with paprika seasoning or simple sea salt.
Dry roasting veggies can also add a punch of flavor similar to that of roasted nuts and seeds. Add a little ranch flavoring if you're feeling saucy.
2. Vegetable Stew2 of 11
When it's cooler outside, a piping hot soup filled with hearty vegetables is just what the doctor ordered. This is a perfect place to try vegetables you're unsure about. Squash, carrots, sweet potato, cauliflower, fennel and even collard greens are great additions to a hearty fall soup.
3. Homemade Pizza3 of 11
A definite crowd pleaser, pizza is the ultimate go-to meal for busy evenings. It's also the perfect place to pile on complimentary veggies, and the possibilities are endless. Try tomatoes, red onion, spinach, olives, mushrooms and red peppers.
How's that for a guiltless treat?
4. Breakfast Casserole4 of 11
Make-ahead breakfast casseroles like frittatas, quiches and omelets are excellent ways to meet your vegetable quota and save time. Using eggs as a base, try adding in these nutrient-packed superstars: spinach, kale, onion, leek, broccoli, zucchini, cilantro, peppers or asparagus.
With so many possible variations, you won't get bored, and you'll enjoy your veggies more when paired with a delicious cheese or your favorite meat.
5. Gluten-free Options5 of 11
You can find gluten-free options just about anywhere these days, and that makes it even easier to get in extra vegetables. Items like zucchini noodles, cauliflower pizza crusts and "riced" cauliflower will help you work in more veggies in recipes that would normally call for bread or pasta. The best part is that you can hardly tell the difference, and sometimes, the veggie option tastes even better.
If you still like your sandwiches and burgers, substituting lettuce for a bun is also a great way to add leafy greens. Just be sure that the lettuce stock is thick enough to hold the contents. Swiss chard, romaine or iceberg should do the trick.
6. Comfort Food6 of 11
Sometimes the texture and taste of vegetables can deter people from making them a regular part of their diet. If you have difficulty with either texture or taste, chop up or shred the vegetables into smaller pieces and add them to your favorite comfort foods. Think zucchini in pasta sauce or broccoli florets in mac-and-cheese.
7. Meatless Mondays7 of 11
You don't have to be a vegetarian to appreciate a vegetarian dish. Meatless Mondays give you a chance to be creative and try new versions of recipes you may not have thought of. Toss together a quinoa loaded up with veggies, make a juicy homemade veggie burger or try out a seasonal curry.
Challenge yourself to a new vegetarian creation each week, and you'll naturally eat more vegetables.
8. Stir-Fry8 of 11
When you don't feel like making an elaborate dinner and need to get your vegetables in for the day, stir-fry is your best friend. Much like a frittata dish, stir-fry is easily customizable. Think of the crunch of watercress and sweet peppers or the sweetness of sautéed carrots and snow peas. Toss these veggies together with a lean meat and sauce of your choice.
9. Green Smoothies9 of 11
The old standby for sneaking veggies in (especially for those adverse to the taste) is a delicious green smoothie. The taste of the greens is easy to disguise when you throw in fruit, such as pineapple or berries. Mix in unsweetened vanilla almond milk to further mask the taste, and you'd never know that you're drinking a serving of kale before lunchtime.
10. Veggie Bread10 of 11
Do you enjoy baking your own bread? There are so many vegetable combinations that make amazing pairings with bread. The following are just a few combinations you may not have thought of before:
Zucchini, olive and goat cheese
Zucchini and carrot
Tomato and pumpkin seed
Cherry tomato and cheese