5 ways to pack more vegetables into your day!

If you just aren't the biggest veggie fan or have a fussy child who isn't keen on eating the boiled stuff every night- give these tips a go!

Why? Here are just a few benefits to eating more veggies:

  • They make meals and snacks way more filling!

  • Contain nutrients that we can otherwise only get through an expensive bottle of supplements.

  • They are one of the easiest ways to truly fuel and support your liver.

  • They help to prevent colds and flu.

  • Proven mood and energy boosters!

The list could go on. But after working with clients for many years and analyzing my fair share of diets, it seems that getting the veggies in is hard- even if we are fully aware of the benefits!

Here are a few ways to get more vegetables into your day:

1. Breakfast.

Smoothie? Throw in some spinach! Or if you hate the green flavour- leftover boiled cauliflower or carrot is honestly amazing in a smoothie. They are both super sweet and you barely taste them!

Alternatively- add some tomatoes/ mushrooms/ spinach/ or onion to your usual eggs or omelette. Yes it takes a couple more minutes but you will be amazed at the difference it makes in fullness levels throughout the morning.

2. Baking

I am particularly partial to a baked good- and also love baking them! But if we are talking traditional cakes, biscuits, and slices, then these can be packed full of sugar and saturated fat. Not ideal for our energy levels or cholesterol! Instead- make some mini muffins (savoury or sweet) and add extra grated carrot or pumpkin. Watch this (blog) space for a pumpkin cupcake recipe coming soon- too good not to share!

3. Be prepared

It's normal to feel hungry at the end of the day-especially if you have eaten lunch at 12 and are now walking in the door at 5:30/6pm! That's a long time without food! Pack a snaplock bag or container with some chopped up veggies to eat on the way home from work. Pair this with chugging back some water and you will arrive home feeling refreshed and without that urge to eat everything in sight!

Another fave tip of mine is to store your little chopped up veggie snack packs in the fridge. If you arrive home on a hunger rampage then this will be the first thing you see when you open the fridge- and an easy, convenient option.

4. Dips

I never make a dip that doesn't contain a vegetable anymore. Roast up some beetroot, capsicum, or carrots, and combine with a base of sour cream, legumes, or yoghurt- and you have yourself a dip! Of course- it gets alot more delicious if you throw in some lemon juice, garlic, and herbs like we do in our cooking classes. Entree- inpso features in our cooking classes every time!

5. Sauces

Forget the bottled or packet stuff! Make it from scratch! Fresh onion, tinned tomatoes, and some lashings of herbs and spices make up some of the best sauces! I have an AMAZING mexican sauce that uses tinned tomatoes as a base and this features in my vegetarian enchilada recipe and can also be used with a mince/ vegetarian chilli dish, mexican chicken salad, and loads of other recipes.

Recently I had a client (9yrs old) who hated vegetables and refused to try anything new- but absolutely loved tacos and lasagne. I challenged him with five different vegetable sauce recipes to add to his usual faves. He did this, realised that the veggies really aren't so bad- and now is eating half a plate of non-starchy goodness every night! Amazing!

If you need some more vegetable recipe inspiration then make sure to check out our cooking classes! We have dates booked in Palmerston North and Waipukurau but are also open for group bookings and are gradually expanding our locations!

ALEXANDRA TULLY- PALMERSTON NORTH DIETITIAN- PALMERSTON NORTH & CENTRAL HAWKES BAY COOKING CLASSES, NZ