A delicious appetizer with celery, curried cauliflower, carrots, sesamed seeds and more - Sternewirth Tavern - Hotel Emma - San Antonio. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
There are so many benefits to a diet that is rich in vegetables.
It doesn’t matter if you are vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, paleo, or a person who eats anything and everything - it is important for good health and vital for strong performance to eat a wide variety of vegetables every day.
If fat loss is your goal, bulking up your meals with low calorie, high volume veggies is a great way to stay full longer.
If hiding veggies in your kid’s food who simply refuses to eat them is your goal, sneaky veggies is the way to go.
Regardless of your current health and fitness goals or situation, learning more ways to incorporate different vegetables is beneficial for all.
How to sneak veggies into your meals:
Add them to your daily oats.
Adding either grated carrot or zucchini to your oats is a little-known hack that will sneak extra veggies into your morning and leave you feeling full longer without sacrificing the taste.
Hang on, before the thought of veggies in your oats encourages you to promptly stop reading, just think about the concept of your morning oats tasting like carrot cake… what’s not to love about that?
Add grated carrot, cinnamon and nutmeg and now you’re eating cake for breakfast!
And of course, add them to your smoothies.
Most smoothie recipes contain frozen banana to get that thick, creamy consistency.
There are many health enthusiasts out there, however, that are intolerant to banana (who me?).
What’s the perfect alternative to adding banana, while still getting a creamy smoothie consistency?
Seriously, I didn’t believe it either.
Frozen cauliflower or even frozen zucchini will thicken up any smoothie without giving it a weird savory taste that you might expect.
If you are using protein powder, cacao powder, raspberries or peanut butter, this will entirely mask any slight veggie taste and again, you’d never be able to tell.
Make them your pasta.
By now, you’ve likely heard of ‘zoodles’.
Zoodles are spiraled zucchini, which you purchase at any major retailer.
Or, if you’re the love to cook type of person (not me) you can make them at home with a spiralizer.
Another way to turn your veggies into pasta is by using spaghetti squash.
If you roast spaghetti squash in the oven, then use a fork to scrape the inside out, it will come out in long noodle-like strands (even I do this), which work perfectly for a pasta bowl.
Finally, mix them in with your favorite sauce.
If swapping out your pasta for zucchini or squash is a no go, then add them to your favorite sauce.
There is something so delicious about a sauce that is loaded with grated zucchini, grated carrot, mushrooms or even broccoli. It adds so much flavor, volume and textures that your regular old bowl of pasta will never be the same.
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