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HOW TO EAT MORE VEGETABLES: TIPS, RECIPES AND IDEAS | SOUL IN THE RAWWhether you are already plant based or not, eating more vegetables will never hurt you. It’s always an obsession of mine, and a little game I play with myself to see how many vegetables I can eat in a day!

Adding more raw and cooked vegetables into your diet is super important because not only does it help you dilute the caloric density of your meals (if you’re trying to lose weight, this is really crucial), but of course, vegetables have a really high amount of nutrients that you want to make sure to eat every single day.

In addition, it’s really important to get a variety of vegetables into your diet. A lot of people get stuck with their routine of 3-5 vegetables they love, and never try new ones. If you do this, it means that you are skipping out on very important nutrients, because a variety of vegetables provides you with a variety of phytonutrients as well as feeds different bacteria. Each vegetable, specifically each colorful vegetable, has a different nutrient profile. In addition, each vegetable feeds a different strain of bacteria with its fibers, which is so crucial for our gut health.

In this blog post, you’ll learn some great simple, super creative and insanely delicious ways on how to eat more vegetables, including tips on how to eat a variety of vegetables, and not just get stuck on your favorites. You’ll get ideas on how to eat more vegetables for all meals of the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks too.

 

Here is How to Eat More Vegetables in Delicious Plant Based Meals

Download Deliciously Planty, a 1-month meal plan [includes// weekly grocery lists, meal prep guides, bonus video course on nutrition].

You’ll feel like I’m right by your side, grocery shopping and cooking with you. And we will make the most delicious, veggie-rich dishes.

How to Eat More Vegetables: Which Vegetables Should You Eat?

HOW TO EAT MORE VEGETABLES: TIPS, RECIPES AND IDEAS | SOUL IN THE RAW

While all vegetables have some nutrient value, certain ones are more nutrient-dense than others.

When you make a choice, following the tips below, on which vegetable to include in your meal and which to purchase, focus on two things: variety and the ANDI score.

First, think about which vegetables you ate the week before. Whatever you pick this week, make it different that the previous week. Again, variety is an absolute key to success on a plant based diet, both in terms of your health and in terms of flavor and keeping your meals interesting.

Second, the ANDI score is a great metric by which to know the highest-nutrient density vegetables. Dr. Joel Fuhrman came up with this chart, which you can view here.

According to this chart, the best bang for your buck when it comes to nutrients would be mostly dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables: kale, collard greens, mustard greens, watercress, Swiss chard, bok choy, spinach, arugula, romaine, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, etc.

Because most of these are relatively bitter, it can be hard to find ways to include them in meals without sacrificing flavor. But the food news is: there are ways to do that! And that is what I am going to share with you in the tips below on how to eat more vegetables.

  1. How to Eat More Vegetables: always have vegetables on hand and ready to go

HOW TO EAT MORE VEGETABLES: TIPS, RECIPES AND IDEAS | SOUL IN THE RAWHow can you eat more vegetables if you don’t have any at home to cook and prep with? Well, the first step is to have your vegetables on hand!

Make sure to start your grocery shopping with the produce section, and focus on vegetables! Fill your cart with them, and try new ones all the time (more on that in the next tip).

One of my favorite ways to eat more vegetables is to not only have them available, but to also have them ready to go. This means buying things like frozen vegetables, baby mix (including spring mix, baby arugula, baby kale, and baby spinach) that are already washed and require minimal preparation, and also pre-preparing certain vegetables by washing and cooking them.

When your vegetables require minimal preparation as you start making your dinner (while most likely being tired and hungry after work) you are so much more likely to actually eat them! I’ll have more on that for you in tip #3.

  1. How to Eat More Vegetables: try 1 new vegetable a week

HOW TO EAT MORE VEGETABLES: TIPS, RECIPES AND IDEAS | SOUL IN THE RAW

This tip on how to eat more vegetables is all about mindset. You must know that it’s very easy to incorporate vegetables into your diet. Don’t be intimidated by funky looking veggies at the grocery store, because each one can be easily incorporated using the tips in this post.

And if you have absolutely no idea how to cook with a certain vegetable, then easy! Just Google it!

Some of the most interesting places to buy new vegetables are your local Asian, Mexican, and International produce markets. You’ll always find some interesting vegetables to try. Some of my favorites have been taro root, Japanese sweet potato, Jerusalem artichokes, and jicama.

Make a habit and a challenge for yourself to try a new vegetable every week, and remember that if all else fails, in a majority of cases you can just grate the vegetable small and put it in a salad or Buddha bowl!

  1. How to Eat More Vegetables: meal prep your vegetables

If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you know my obsession with meal prep. Without it, even I would probably not eat my vegetables.

Like I already said: the less steps you must take in putting your meal together, the more likely you are to actually eat your vegetables. So the key is minimizing those steps!

This is where meal prep comes in. It allows you to literally throw a bunch of ingredients in a bowl in minutes and make a meal of it.

In terms of vegetables, meal prep means pre-cooking vegetables on the weekend so that they are easily available during the week. This doesn’t have to be complicated: you can steam, boil, or bake a bunch of veggies. You don’t even have to add seasonings, because your delicious sauces will take care of that for you. 

Learn to Meal Prep with Vegan Meal Prep for Wellness

This online course will teach you everything you need to learn about vegan meal prep, meal planning, and setting up your kitchen and fridge for making delicious and healthy plant based meals.

  1. How to Eat More Vegetables: add veggies to smoothie bowls

Smoothie Bowl Challenge Ebook | Soul in the Raw

The easiest way for how to eat more vegetables is adding them to smoothie bowls. Because this involves blending them, you won’t be compromising much (flavor) besides the color of your meal. And I’m guessing you’re a fan of green, so that’s an added bonus!

It’s very easy to blend up your fruits with things like kale, chard, spinach, parsley, cilantro, basil, mint, and romaine. Because the fruits are sweet, they will cover up the bitter flavor of the greens.

One note of caution (and this goes for the whole list of tips): make sure to not overdo certain greens in their raw form, especially the ones rich in oxalic acid (beet greens, spinach and Swiss chard are especially high- so it’s better to have them lightly cooked as I’ll  suggest below). For more on why, watch this video.

In general, it’s a great idea to rotate the types of greens that you use in your smoothie bowls. You can use these recipes, and add a different green each time, starting with 1 cup and working up to more.

In addition, you can also add frozen vegetables to your smoothie bowls. The best ones include cauliflower, zucchini, and green peas. Because frozen vegetables are already slightly pre-cooked, using them in your smoothie bowl is perfect and doesn’t change the flavor too much.

Alternatively, you can steam these raw vegetables and freeze them for use in smoothie bowls. I recommend starting with ¼ cup of vegetables, and working up to more.

  1. How to Eat More Vegetables: add vegetables to sauces

Adding different vegetables like tomatoes and bell peppers to your sauces and dressings not only makes them more colorful and nutrient dense, it also helps you use less fat.

I teach all about how to do this right (for maximum flavor and health benefits) in my online cooking academy, The Effortlessly Flavorful Vegan Kitchen.

  1. How to Eat More Vegetables: add greens to all cooked dishes

vegan work lunch recipe: Kale Caesar Salad with Oil-Free Croutons

Lining your bowls with greens, and then piling on cooked, hot foods on top is a perfect way to eat more greens and vegetables. The hot foods will soften the greens, and this will result in a smaller volume of greens that are very palatable.

Bonus tip: add greens to soups just 2-3 minutes before you finish cooking the soup. Spinach, chard, and kale work especially well! Check out how I did this in this white bean soup recently.

Bonus tip #2: if you do want to enjoy your greens completely raw, and if you love cruciferous, hearty greens like kale (which you should, because they are super healthy), then you can massage them to make them much softer, less bitter, and more palatable. Here is how.

  1. How to Eat More Vegetables: add vegetables to pates

raw vegan walnut pate with flax seeds

Pates are much less watery sauces. They are of the consistency of ground beef (so sorry for the comparison here, but it’s the easiest way to explain!)

The best way to make pates is using a food processor, and they are perfect for putting in salads, topping sandwiches, and even adding to pasta for extra flavor.

Making vegetables the base of pates, just like with sauces, will give your pates more flavor, eliminate the need to use lots of salt, and of course, decrease the amount of fat used.

To learn how to make your own flavorful and easy, veggie-rich pates, be sure to check out my cooking academy, The Effortlessly Flavorful Vegan Kitchen.

  1. How to Eat More Vegetables: eat everything with pesto!

Pesto is incredibly versatile because you can literally make it with pretty much any leafy green and it’ll still taste great. Pesto can be enjoyed in pasta, lasagna, sandwiches, salads, and more! Here is a great pesto recipe for you to try.

  1. How to Eat More Vegetables: eat them with a sauce

We already talked about adding vegetables to the sauce. Now, what about eating vegetables with a sauce?

Let’s face it:  most of us will not just munch on a head of raw broccoli. And that’s totally fine. You can be a health freak without putting yourself through that. I mean, I know some of you will, but I think you’re the minority!

Instead, you gotta make your veggies taste amazing in order to easily enjoy them. The absolute best way to do this is making a delicious sauce. Sauces are great not only because they provide your vegetable-rich meals with flavor. They are also great because they allow you to absorb the fat-soluble nutrients from your vegetables, as they contain fat.

I teach all about how to make amazing sauces that will make you obsessed with eating vegetables in The Effortlessly Flavorful Vegan Kitchen. 

  1. How to Eat More Vegetables: ferment

Fermented foods are rich in healthy gut bacteria that will populate your digestive tract with those little creatures that help you have better digest, improve mood, strengthen your immunity, and more!

You can ferment pretty much any vegetable, and this will give your dishes a delicious salty taste. Do your best to add the least amount of salt to your ferments, as the fermentation process will give a very pleasant flavor to your food, and then you will use less salt in your meal overall.

Some of my favorite vegetables to ferment include cabbage, jalapenos, carrots, and cauliflower. Here is how I make sauerkraut, with fermented cabbage.

Here is How to Eat More Vegetables in Delicious Plant Based Meals

Download Deliciously Planty, a 1-month meal plan [includes// weekly grocery lists, meal prep guides, bonus video course on nutrition].

You’ll feel like I’m right by your side, grocery shopping and cooking with you. And we will make the most delicious, veggie-rich dishes.

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Soul in the Raw is a high-raw vegan recipe + education blog. Marina creates quick, easy, and delicious high-raw vegan recipes and blogs about the health benefits of a high-raw plant-based diet. You can get more of Marina’s awesome recipes, tips, and lifestyle techniques on the free Facebook group: Raw Souls .
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