vegetables / lifestyle / healthy / food / health

Easy Ways to Include Vegetables and Recipes You Will Love

By Addie Roberts

January 22nd, 2021

Last updated: January 22nd, 2021

Ways to Include Vegetables and Recipes You Will Love

There’s no denying that vegetables are some of the healthiest things that we can eat. They provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in amounts that are almost unmatched in other food groups. Including them in our diets as often as we can can greatly improve our overall health long term. But including vegetables at meal times is not always easy for some. There are many people who don’t like to eat vegetables at all and including more of them into their daily and weekly routine can sometimes be a great challenge.

While including vegetables as often as we can is always the goal, there is no one right way to go about doing this. Some believe that they have to eat their vegetable raw or that their vegetables have to be in the form of salads for them to “count”. Neither of these are true! Vegetables can be consumed in many different varieties, made in many different cooking preparations, and even hidden into recipes where you may not notice them at all.

When trying to decide which vegetables to include, there is one factor to consider: starchy vegetables vs non-starchy vegetables. Starchy vegetables are the vegetables that have a much higher carbohydrate content than others and that also tend to contain less vitamins and antioxidants than others too. These starchy vegetables are still vegetables, but should not be the only vegetable we consume when we are looking to increase health and control blood sugar. Vegetables characterized as starchy vegetables include corn, green peas, potatoes, and some winter squash like pumpkin, butternut squash, and spaghetti squash. These are great vegetables, but the emphasis should be on non-starchy vegetables when trying to consume more vegetables in general. Our non-starchy vegetables are all the remaining vegetables that are not these starchy vegetables previously mentioned. For example, some non-starchy vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, carrots, green beans, asparagus, brussel sprouts, bok choy, leafy greens like spinach and kale, and many many more vegetables.

Ways to Include Vegetables In Your Diet

There are many, many ways to include vegetables other than just steaming them or eating them raw. Several people say they “don’t like vegetables” simply because they haven’t had that particular vegetable cooked in the right way or seasoned in the best way possible.

When it comes to cooking methods, vegetables can be grilled, baked, sauteed, steamed, baked into a dish, and cooked many more ways. Depending on the vegetable you choose, the preparation will vary. But baking vegetables into dishes is the easiest hack on how to increase overall vegetable intake. Using google or Pinterest you can find several recipes such as soups, casseroles, protein dishes with vegetable garnishes, or even robust and flavorful salads as unique and new ways to try vegetables in different preparations. Another easy way to include vegetables into your daily routine is to add them to smoothies. Spinach is one of the best vegetables to add to smoothies because it blends together very smoothly and it also doesn’t add a strong flavor. A lot of other vegetables have their own distinct flavor and won’t go as nicely into a delicious smoothie. There are vegetable powders that are popular right now, but these powders do not contain the nutrients in the same fresh way and also do not contain the fiber that the whole vegetable does so it should not be a substitute for eating vegetables.

You can also add vegetables into some of your current favorite recipes as well. Do you love making pasta? Dice asparagus, saute it in olive oil with salt and pepper, and mix that into your pasta dish. Do you eat a sandwich everyday for lunch? Top the sandwich with lettuce or spinach, tomatoes, and even cucumbers to add more crunch. Experimenting with different cooking methods for different vegetables will show you how best to enjoy each food and what ways you can sneak in even more health into your daily routine.

By Addie Roberts