How many vegetables do you eat? Sadly, less than one in four adults eat just three servings of vegetables per day—never mind a much healthier five to nine servings.
Plus, for some people that vegetable consumption includes potatoes, frozen peas, and salads made from iceberg lettuce and croutons.
Yet, the produce aisle of the supermarket is filled with health-boosting vegetables, most of which are rich in fiber, protective antioxidants, and vitamins—and are low on the glycemic scale so they won’t spike your blood sugar. They’re also one of the biggest calorie bargains you can find in the grocery store. It takes a huge number of vegetables to add up to just one serving of chips.
Here are four easy, healthy ways to add more vegetables to your diet:
- Pan sautéed garlic green beans: Mince two cloves of fresh garlic and sauté in a pan in one tablespoon of olive oil over medium to medium-high heat for two minutes. Add two cups of washed, trimmed green beans and sauté, stirring constantly, for three additional minutes. Add ¼ cup of water, cover, and steam until beans are tender crisp. Just before serving, remove lid, turn up heat and boil off any excess liquid.
- Vegetable kabobs: Wash and slice celery, zucchini, onions, and red and green peppers into 1” chunks. Wash and dry ½ package of cherry or grape tomatoes. Thread all vegetables onto kabob skewers. Spray with olive oil and season with garlic powder and dried dill. Cook on the grill or in your oven on a roasting pan for 5-10 minutes until vegetables are tender crisp.
- Cucumber salad: Combine 16 ounces plain nonfat yogurt, one peeled and seeded chopped cucumber, one small diced tomato, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon cumin seed, two tablespoons fresh cilantro, and a pinch of salt. Serve cold as a spicy, tangy side dish.
- Chopped salad: In a large bowl combine chopped romaine lettuce, field greens, diced cucumber, diced carrot, sliced scallions, diced tomatoes, and any other vegetables that you enjoy. Toss, and top each serving with one sliced hardboiled egg, one teaspoon slivered almonds, one tablespoons black olives, and a drizzle of low-fat vinaigrette.
Now it’s your turn: What’s your favorite way to enjoy vegetables?