Sneaking More Veggies Into Our Diet

Those of us who love eating vegetables are lucky, since eating a lot of them - especially the non-starchy varieties - is highly recommended for people with, and without diabetes.

Fortunately, for those who don’t enjoy loading their dinner plate with carrots and broccoli, there are many ways to eat more veggies without having to actually chew our way through piles of them.

We can, for instance, sneak vegetables into our day by blending leafy greens with fruit to make a smoothie. When blended with berries, a cup of kale vanishes into the tangy fruit-flavor blast, and bright berry pigments. This is a great way for those who disdain leafy greens to benefit from their fiber and nutrients.

Seven Sneaky Tips

Though it’s not always possible to completely coverup the presence of vegetables, here are seven slightly surreptitious ways of padding our diet with more of them:

  • We can stir some pumpkin puree into our cooked oatmeal. The body converts pumpkin's beta-carotene into vitamin A, a nutrient necessary for healthy skin, eyes, and immune system.
  • In a food processor, cooked antioxidant-rich broccoli florets are easily blended into mayonnaise. Those wanting to further mask the broccoli might add other flavorings such as lemon juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, or fresh basil.
  • When preparing burgers or meatloaf, chopped mushrooms make a healthy substitute for half the ground meat. This reduces the meal's calorie and fat content, and many mushroom varieties are good sources of selenium, copper, niacin, potassium, and phosphorous.
  • We can disguise cauliflower as mashed potatoes by blending steamed cauliflower florets with olive oil, fresh thyme, paprika, black pepper, and salt. The vitamin K in cauliflower is vital for healthy blood, and bones.
  • With a supply of chopped sun dried tomatoes in the pantry, it’s easy to toss a handful into our omelets, or scrambled eggs. Tomatoes are a stupendous source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect our eyesight.
  • It’s a cinch to camouflage veggies in pasta by slicing two zucchini into lengthwise planks, cutting the planks into long, thin strips, and replacing half the pasta with our “noodled” zucchini—adding it to the pasta water during the final two minutes of cooking. Zucchini is an excellent source of fiber, manganese, and vitamin C.
  • A simple vinaigrette can provide a vitamin C boost: blend a jar of roasted red sweet peppers with extra virgin olive oil, a garlic clove, and some red wine vinegar.

A more obvious way to increase our daily veggie intake is wrapping lunch meats, or other sandwich fillings with large leaf lettuce, instead of using bread. We can also use lettuce in lieu of taco shells. Lettuce will never satisfy the way breads and corn tacos can, but it’s a great way to cut back on calories after splurging during the holiday season.

Sources: Diabetic Living; Healthy Eating; OrganiFacts; Dr. Axe; Medical News Today

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