Pump Up The Produce!
After going gluten free, I have a tremendous appreciation for how food impacts our health. I oftentimes encounter people who say that they HATE vegetables, but do not mind fruit. Here are just a few easy ways to get enough produce into your diet. These are the things that work for me and my family, and I hope they work for you!
Place Veggies in a Marinade! If plain veggies are not your favorite, marinate them. I do this all of the time to enhance the flavor of the vegetables. What is cool about doing this, is that you can grill your veggies, or roast them in the oven. It is also very easy, and keeps things from getting boring.
I meet quite a few people who think that eating more vegetables is tough. My sister for instance, does NOT like vegetables, save a few, but in order to get them in, she juices them. The combination of fruit and vegetables can not only be packed with nutrients, but it makes it easier to consume more at a time. My only problem with juicing, is that some of the nutrients are lost during the process. I am still a huge fan though. One of my favorite juice recipes is a spinach or kale ginger, green grape, pear juice. It is excellent for times when you are having digestive difficulties. Not to mention, it is just plain ole' delicious! Vegetable and fruit juice possibilities are endless! I do not have a picture, but I also absolutely love strawberry/spinach smoothies! I will post my recipe soon.
Throw veggies into other dishes. I throw lots of spinach in pasta sauce as well as, shredded carrots and zucchini into sloppy joe sauce. I also ground up cauliflower in the food processor and stir it into mashed potatoes. I do not make mashed potatoes often, but when I do, I pump it up with cauliflower or broccoli. The added bonus is that people can't really tell the taste difference.
Veggies rock in scrambled eggs, omelets and quiches! I love throwing spinach and/or kale into egg bakes. It is one very easy way to get a veggie fix! You can even use frozen veggies. Just make sure you drain them or saute them so that your eggs will not be runny.
Of course there are salads. One way to keep salads from getting so boring, is by actually adding fruit and nuts to them. Blueberries are high in antioxidants and apples are great for getting fiber. Add them to mixed greens with pecans and herb seasoned chicken breasts and you have a delicious meal. A combination of pears and walnuts with balsamic vinaigrette on a bed of mixed greens is stellar as well!
Portion out Veggies. As I have mentioned before, I love divided containers. They make it really easy to cut up some of the produce that you would like to snack on throughout the day. When produce is easily accessible, you may find it easier to grab the healthy stuff instead of the cookies or chips. Start with the produce that you like, and then try to expand your palette with different types.
These are just some of the things that work for me. I know that I did not mention anything ground breaking or mind moving, but sometimes looking at how others accomplish things can help. Have a delicious produce filled gluten and or dairy free day!