How to Sneak More Fruits and Vegetables Into Your Diet

If I asked you to name one diet-related thing you could be better about, I’m pretty sure it would be to eat more fruits and especially more vegetables.  For some reason, that’s something almost all of us could be a little better about.  I even talk to vegetarians who don’t eat enough vegetables.  We all know they’re good for us, and most of us know we should be eating a half plate full at each meal, or at least 5 to 7 servings each day, but do you?  Excuse me while I hang my own head in shame.

Research shows that fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants and phytochemicals that protect us from diseases and cell damage – and for some reason taking supplements doesn’t work the same way.  Experts at the American Institute for Cancer research also recommend eating fruits and vegetables throughout the day, so the protective compounds are circulating in your body all day long, rather than only at breakfast or dinner time.  So if you’re not eating enough, it’s time to ramp it up!

While some of us just don’t like them, I think most of us feel that preparing vegetables and even some fruits, is just too much work.  I will admit I’m occasionally guilty of buying produce and then having to throw it out a week later because I just didn’t have the time or inclination to peel, slice or dice.  Fresh fruit salad?  Sigh, maybe I’ll do it tomorrow.

So since spring is (supposedly) here, and the produce will very soon be abundant – if it isn’t already by you- let’s all try to work on eating more fruits and vegetables.  Here are a few suggestions for ways to sneak more of them into your diet.

 

 Drink them!  Have a smoothie for breakfast and knock off at least 2 servings.

 

Carrot Mango and Kiwi Smoothie |Kitchen Confidante
Carrot Mango and Kiwi Smoothie |Kitchen Confidante
Green Melon Smoothie|Craving Something Healthy
Green Melon Smoothie|Craving Something Healthy

 

Keep a few bags of frozen fruit on hand to add to make-ahead breakfast recipes.

 

Wild Blueberry Cheesecake Baked Oats|Craving Something Healthy
Wild Blueberry Cheesecake Baked Oats|Craving Something Healthy
Coconut Mango Overnight Oats|Oh My Veggies
Coconut Mango Overnight Oats|Oh My Veggies

Roast or grill a whole pan for dinner, and have the leftovers the next night.

 

Lemon Thyme Roasted Vegetables|Craving Something Healthy
Lemon Thyme Roasted Vegetables|Craving Something Healthy
Chipotle Roasted Baby Carrots|Food and Wine
Chipotle Roasted Baby Carrots|Food and Wine

 

Or add the leftover cooked vegetables to a grain salad.  Lunch will be made for a few days.

Rainbow Roasted Veggies with Quinoa|The Garden Grazer
Rainbow Roasted Veggies with Quinoa|The Garden Grazer
Grilled Vegetable Salad with Wheat Berries|Craving Something Healthy
Grilled Vegetable Salad with Wheat Berries|Craving Something Healthy

 

Make vegetable soup.

Bean and Barley Vegetable Soup|Craving Something Healthy
Bean and Barley Vegetable Soup|Craving Something Healthy
Garden Minestrone|Cooking Light
Garden Minestrone|Cooking Light

 

Pickle some vegetables and eat them for snacks, or add them to meats or vegetables.

Lemony Cucumber Salad|Cooking Light
Lemony Cucumber Salad|Cooking Light
Pickled Vegetables Mexican Style|Craving Something Healthy
Pickled Vegetables Mexican Style|Craving Something Healthy

 

Make fruit salsa to go with chicken or fish. 

Before you add cilantro or savory seasonings, scoop some out to add to yogurt or cereal the next day.

3 Step Fruit Salsa|Craving Something Healthy
3 Step Fruit Salsa|Craving Something Healthy
Peach Pineapple Salsa|The Kitchen is My Playground
Peach Pineapple Salsa|The Kitchen is My Playground

 

Do you have any suggestions for getting more fruits and veggies in to your diet?

Eat well!

 

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. Definitely always looking for ways to eat more vegetables. I like to try to fit them into breakfast when I’m having something savory…spinach with eggs is always great, but recently I’ve also added leftover roasted brussels sprouts or other roasted veggies to my scrambled eggs.
    Definitely going to try your lemon thyme roasted vegetables, those look so good!!

    1. Great idea to do veggies + eggs. I get stuck in the oatmeal rut, have to remember to do that sometimes 🙂

    1. I’m the same way. I love the pickled veggies – great for a snack or on top of tacos or a sandwich. Let me know it you like them! 🙂

  2. I roast a big pan of veggies on Sundays and I super size everything with them! Down 15 pounds! Go me! If it were not for the extra veggies, it would be tough to control the hunger at times. Love your column and advice – always so practical and easy to follow.
    kathi

  3. These are such awesome tips! I LOVE throwing tons of veggies in a big pot of soup. Just about anything goes! I notice my husband will eat a lot more fruits/veggies if I wash and prepare them so they’re ready to eat without any fuss. 😉 And thanks so much for including my Rainbow Roasted Veggies with Quinoa! 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by Kaitlin – loved your beautiful recipe! I make a pot of soup almost every week all winter. It’s one of my favorite ways to get veggies in too 🙂

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