how to get vegetables without eating them

Eating enough vegetables every day is important for overall health and wellbeing. Vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants that help protect against chronic diseases and promote a healthy body. However, many people struggle to eat the recommended 2-3 cups of vegetables per day.

Luckily, there are some clever ways to get your daily dose of veggies without having to eat big salads or platefuls of steamed broccoli. This article will explore simple strategies for incorporating more vegetables into your diet without much effort.

Key Takeaways:

  • Blend vegetables into smoothies, juices, soups and sauces to easily increase intake.
  • Look for fortified foods like breads, cereals, pasta and snacks that have added vegetables.
  • Use vegetable powders to add to foods and drinks for an antioxidant and nutrient boost.
  • Take a greens powder supplement made from dehydrated vegetables.
  • Cook with vegetable oils and vinegars infused with veggie essence.
  • Grow sprouts and microgreens at home for a convenient veggie boost.

Make Vegetable Smoothies and Juices

Blending up fruits and vegetables into a smoothie or juicing them is an easy way to pack in multiple servings of produce in one drink. Smoothies contain the whole vegetables blended up, including all the fiber. Juices extract the liquid and leave behind the fiber. Both can provide an excellent vegetable boost.

Some easy smoothie ideas include:

  • Green Protein Power Smoothie: Spinach, kale, banana, greek yogurt, milk, peanut butter, protein powder.
  • Carrot Cake Smoothie: Carrots, apples, cinnamon, almond butter, greek yogurt, milk.
  • Chocolate Cherry Smoothie: Beets, cherries, cacao powder, almond milk, protein powder.
  • Tropical Green Smoothie: Kale, mango, pineapple, banana, coconut water.

For vegetable juices, good combinations include:

  • Carrot, celery, beet, cucumber, lemon
  • Tomato, carrot, bell pepper, parsley, garlic
  • Kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, lemon, ginger
  • Broccoli, cucumber, apple, parsley

Aim for at least 1-2 cups of veggies per smoothie or juice for a significant vegetable intake boost in one drink.

Tip:

Disguise strong-tasting veggies like spinach and kale in smoothies with fruits like bananas, berries and pineapple. The sweetness covers up the earthy flavor.

Make Vegetable Soups and Sauces

Soups and sauces are a great way to hide multiple servings of vegetables in a delicious meal. Simply blend up veggies into the broth for creamy soups or simmer chopped veggies into pasta sauce, tomato sauce or curry sauce.

Soup ideas:

  • Carrot ginger soup – Carrot, ginger, onion, garlic, vegetable broth
  • Cream of broccoli – Broccoli, garlic, onion, potato, vegetable broth
  • Roasted red pepper and tomato soup – Tomato, red pepper, garlic, onion, vegetable broth
  • Curried cauliflower soup – Cauliflower, carrot, onion, curry powder, coconut milk

Sauce ideas:

  • Pasta primavera – Zucchini, broccoli, carrots, tomato sauce, garlic, olive oil, basil
  • Vegetable curry – Carrot, pepper, onion, spinach, tomato sauce, curry powder, coconut milk
  • Marinara – Tomato, carrot, onion, spinach, garlic, olive oil, basil
  • Cheese sauce – Carrot, potato, garlic, onion, milk, cheese

Aim for 1 to 2 cups of chopped or blended vegetables per serving of soup or sauce.

Tip:

Make extra vegetable soup or sauce and freeze single servings for quick, healthy meals later on.

Eat More Vegetables in Disguise

Many common foods are now fortified with added vegetables to boost the nutritional value. Choosing fortified products is an effortless way to consume more veggies without much thought. Look for these hidden vegetable products:

  • Breads and muffins – Carrot, zucchini, spinach, sweet potato
  • Cereals – Spinach flakes
  • Crackers – Tomato, beet, carrot
  • Pasta – Tomato, spinach, carrot
  • Waffles and pancakes – Carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin
  • Pizza crust – Cauliflower, spinach
  • Snack bars – Kale, beet, carrot

Check the ingredient lists for vegetable powders or purees within fortified foods. Each serving may contain a half cup to a cup of extra vegetables to help reach your daily needs.

Tip:

Choose whole grain fortified products over refined flour versions for the added benefits of fiber and nutrients.

Add Vegetable Powders to Foods

Vegetable powders made from dehydrated veggies can be easily added into all sorts of dishes and drinks for an antioxidant and nutrient boost. Common vegetable powders include:

  • Beet powder – Nitrates, folate, iron
  • Carrot powder – Vitamin A, beta carotene, fiber
  • Spinach powder – Iron, vitamin K, folate
  • Tomato powder – Lycopene, potassium, vitamin C
  • Broccoli powder – Vitamin C, vitamin K, folate

These powders have a neutral flavor so they can be added to:

  • Smoothies
  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Soups and sauces
  • Dips and dressings
  • Baked goods like muffins and breads
  • Protein shakes

A half to full teaspoon of vegetable powder can provide the nutrients from 1 to 2 servings of vegetables.

Tip:

Look for organic vegetable powders that have been cold-processed to maintain nutrient integrity.

Take a Greens Supplement

Greens powders and capsules made from dehydrated vegetables, grasses, algae and phytonutrients can help fill any gaps in vegetable intake. Look for a greens supplement with a diverse blend including:

  • Cruciferous veggies: Broccoli, kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts
  • Leafy greens: Spinach, romaine, parsley, alfalfa
  • Aquatic greens: Spirulina, chlorella, algae
  • Phytonutrients and herbs: Wheatgrass, turmeric, acai berry, cinnamon, ginger

Quality greens supplements will provide antioxidant protection, anti-inflammatory benefits, digestive support and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Follow the suggested serving size to get at least 1-2 servings of veggies.

Tip:

Mix greens powder into a smoothie rather than taking it with water which can be gritty. Frozen berries and bananas help mask any earthy taste.

Cook with Vegetable Oils and Vinegars

Using vegetable-based oils and vinegars infused with the essence of veggies can help increase your daily intake, especially of hard-to-eat veggies.

Oils:

  • Carrot oil
  • Red bell pepper oil
  • Jalapeno oil
  • Roasted garlic oil
  • Spinach oil
  • Tomato seed oil
  • Pumpkin seed oil

Vinegars:

  • Beet vinegar
  • Spinach vinegar
  • Asparagus vinegar
  • Carrot vinegar
  • Tomato vinegar

Add these flavorful oils and vinegars to dressings, marinades, sauces and dips. Drizzle over cooked veggies, grains, chicken, fish and salads. The serving size may seem small but the intense essence helps contribute to daily needs over time.

Tip:

To make your own infused vinegar, soak vegetable scraps or peels in vinegar for 1-2 weeks then strain out solids.

Grow Your Own Sprouts and Microgreens

Growing your own sprouts and microgreens is an easy and inexpensive way to add more veggies to your diet. These functional mini-veggies are packed with nutrients and can be grown right on the kitchen counter in just a week or two.

Sprouts are germinated from seeds like alfalfa, radish, broccoli and mung bean. Eat them raw in salads, sandwiches, wraps and Buddha bowls.

Microgreens are the young seedlings of vegetables and herbs. Common varieties are kale, cabbage, arugula, basil, cilantro. Snip microgreens with scissors and add to everything for a nutritional boost.

Sprouts and microgreens are more nutritious than their full-grown counterparts, containing higher levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Just a small daily serving provides a concentrated dose of vegetables.

Tip:

Use a sprout tray or wide-mouth mason jar along with cheesecloth and seeds for an easy sprouting setup.

In Summary

Eating enough vegetables every day provides many benefits for health. But actually eating big servings of salads, veggies or side dishes can be difficult for many people to fit in. The good news is that with a little creativity, you can get your daily dose of vegetables without much extra effort.

Focus on blending vegetables into smoothies, juices and soups, finding fortified foods, using supplements and powders strategically, and growing your own sprouts. With these practical tips, you can easily meet your daily veggie needs for better overall wellness.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many vegetables should you eat per day?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day depending on age, gender and activity level. This equals around 5 to 6 servings of veggies when 1 serving is 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw.

What are the health benefits of eating vegetables?

Eating plenty of vegetables provides vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and plant compounds that benefit nearly every part of the body. Potential benefits include decreased inflammation, lower disease risk, improved gut and brain health, healthy aging and weight control.

What are the best vegetables to eat raw?

Many vegetables are great for eating raw in salads or sides: lettuces, spinach, kale, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, radishes, beets and onions. Choose fresh, ripe vegetables and wash thoroughly before eating.

What are the best vegetables to cook?

Some vegetables are better cooked to soften cell walls and release more nutrients: asparagus, green beans, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, mushrooms, potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, turnips, peas. Steam, roast or sauté veggies lightly with healthy oils to retain nutrients.

Are frozen vegetables as healthy as fresh?

Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh since they are picked at peak ripeness then flash frozen. The quick freezing process locks in nutrients. Look for plain frozen vegetables without added sauce or seasonings.

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