No matter what foodie philosophy you follow, from vegan, to paleo, ketogenic, or flexitarian, each diet can find a common ground — each one of these diets should include vegetables. Lots and lots of yummy veggies.
The sad reality is, the majority of us are not consuming enough veggies. A survey done by the American Heart Associationreports that nearly 98% of Americans are not meeting the optimal amount of vegetables. What is that optimal amount? Well our friends at the The World Health Organization, recommend a minimum of 5 servings, and that does not include potatoes... and definitely not french fries. sorry.
Why should we be so concerned about eating more vegetables? These vegetables are our weapons in the fight for better health! Veggies are powerhouses, full of antioxidants and nutrients that equip us with the ability to beat the battle of the bulge (obesity), not to mention type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and even dementia - do you really need more reasons?
Incorporating more vegetables in the day can be deliciously simple, too! Here are just a few tips and tricks plus a brownie recipe with a secret ingredient!
1. Make a Big Bowl of Green Goodness.
There's the obvious salad option, though your not limited to a boring bowl of veg. Play around with your veggie options - try including roasted or pickled veggies. And don't forget to add nuts or seed, quinoa, even fresh fruits for a fun twist on your salad. Need help? Try this Asian Kale Salad!
2. Stir Some Superfood into Your Breakfast.
I love oatmeal! To kick it up a green notch, I stir in a scoop of Amazing Grass Chocolate Superfood. Chocolate goodness with yummy chocolate flavor and hidden veg. It's also a delicious addition to these Amazing Pancakes
3. Sip More Smoothies.
You probably already knew you could include veggies into your smoothies like kale or spinach, but don't forget about carrots, celery even frozen cauliflower!
4. Keep Snacks Simple.
Baby carrots, celery, broccoli, each of these can be tossed in a plastic bag along with a side of hummus for easy snacking throughout the day.
5. Veggies are a "Grate"Addition.
Grated zucchini, carrots and kohlrabi and be baked into veggies burgers like these savory burgers, you can also add them to desserts like the brownies below.
6. Soups and Sauces are Vessels for for Hidden Vegetables.
Vegetables can be chopped, diced and spiralized in your soups, but you can also try adding a puree (think carrot, cauliflower or butternut squash) into your soups and sauces.
Ready to start sneaking in some veggies? Here's a recipe for Chocolate "Zucchini" Brownies to get you started.
Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons raw almond butter
- 1 pureed banana or 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
- 1/4 cup oat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of pink himalayan salt
- 1 cup shredded zucchini; use a towel to squeeze out extra moisture
- a handful of non-dairy dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°F and like an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.
Combine wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir in dry ingredients followed by shredded zucchini and chocolate chips. Mix well.
Pour brownie batter into prepared baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool before enjoying.