15 Fun Ways to Get More Greens Into Your Daily Diet

Wednesday Jul 16 | BY |
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Get More Greens

If you’re getting bored with the same old steamed and raw veggies,
try these ideas for getting more greens into your diet.

You’ve heard it a million times before—eat your vegetables! The USDA now recommends filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal. They’re low in calories, high in nutrients, and associated with a reduced risk of most of today’s chronic diseases.

But even the most die-hard health nut is likely to find salads, steamed and raw veggies, and even the ever-popular smoothies a little tiresome sometimes. Are there other ways to incorporate more greens into your daily diet?

We did some research and came up with some. Let us know what you think, and if you have other creative ideas!

  1. Puree them and add to soups and muffins. Spinach, zucchini, pumpkin, squash, and sweet potatoes work particularly well in muffins and other baked goods. Simply use the vegetable puree to replace at least half of the fat (butter, margarine, cooking oil) in baked items. Just about any green when pureed can go into a soup. It will make it a bit thicker and more flavorful.
  2. Color up your omelets. Greens work really well in omelets. Try kale, spinach, peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, and onions. Simply combine with the eggs before cooking.
  3. Make green pancakes. Really! Just like you can add greens to your baked goods, they can also work great in pancakes. Stir some finely chopped or pureed veggies into the batter, or try something even more inventive like this recipe at Weelicious.com. You can also throw in some pumpkin or squash puree into any pancake or waffle mix.
  4. Try veggie oatmeal. Don’t wrinkle your nose. You’ve added fruit before, right? Why not try veggies? Cook old-fashioned oatmeal and add your choice of steamed or sautéed veggies, then top with an egg for extra protein if you like. Can’t knock it until you try it!
  5. Avocado breakfast pudding. Found this recipe on thekitchn.com—it just sounds tasty. Avocado, milk (or almond milk, if you prefer), honey, and granola or crushed almonds. Blend until smooth.
  6. Toss them into pasta dishes. Spinach, cauliflower, bell peppers, eggplant, and celery work well in lasagna or over noodles. Sautee them in olive oil while your noodles are cooking and then add them on top, or stir finely chopped veggies into low-fat ricotta cheese for lasagna. (If you’re craving macaroni and cheese, you can even add these to that to assuage your guilt. ?) Frozen peas, carrots and onions are great in a cold pasta salad. You can also puree veggies and add them to your pasta sauce—a good option to hide the flavor if you have little picky eaters.
  7. Bring some pizzazz to your beans. After cooking a pot of beans, add in some blanched greens like kale, spinach, or chard to create more texture and flavor.
  8. Have fresh veggies delivered to your door. Many natural food stores now ship fresh veggies to your home, saving you the trouble of scouting them out and encouraging you to use them so they don’t go to waste. Usually they are of a different variety every week, which can also be fun. Farm Fresh to You, The Backyard Farmer, Planet Organics, and The Produce Box are just some examples. Typically your local area will have the best option.
  9. Add them to wraps, sandwiches, and burgers. Tomatoes are the old standby, but you can get more creative. Add chopped spinach and green onion to your burger, sneak green peas into turkey meatballs, or try some bell peppers, banana peppers, sliced carrots, alfalfa sprouts, red cabbage, cucumbers, olives, bean sprouts, and whatever else strikes your fancy on sandwiches and wraps.
  10. Make the vegetable your meal. We’re used to having at least three different foods for most dinners, but if you’ve missed your veggies, you can tank up at your last meal of the day. Try roasting a head of cabbage with a little bacon or other flavoring and you’re likely to feel fully satisfied. Other options include one roasted beet with goat cheese, one acorn squash with spices, or roasted cauliflower with garlic and pepper.
  11. Serve up veggie quesadillas. These are super easy and usually a family favorite. Instead of the regular old boring chicken-and-cheese combo, throw in your favorite veggies and cut back on the cheese. Some good options include peppers, onions, tomatoes, baby spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, and carrots.
  12. Choose healthy fries. Can’t get away from fries? Make them healthy. Slice zucchini, avocado, carrot, or green beans, lightly bread and bake until crispy.
  13. Have fun with your pesto. Modify your usual recipe with spinach, arugula, watercress, mustard greens, or even Swiss chard, in place of the basil.
  14. Kebab it. Summer is the perfect time for kebabs. Haul out the barbeque grill if you like. Skewer chunks of eggplant, zucchini, squash, tomato, and other favorites, brush with olive oil, and grill away.
  15. Get fancy with garnishes. Serving a meat or fish dish? Add on the veggies with a fancy garnish. Combine broccoli stems, flat-leaf parsley, watercress, and other similar options in a food processor, add some garlic and/or sea salt, and sprinkle on top of your main dish.

How do you work more greens into your diet? Please share your ideas and recipes!

Colleen M. Story

Colleen M. Story

Colleen M. Story, a northwest-based writer, editor, and ghostwriter, has been creating non-fiction materials for individuals, corporations, and commercial magazines for over 17 years. She specializes in the health and wellness field, where she writes and ghostwrites books, e-books, blogs, magazine articles, and more.

Colleen is the founder of Writing and Wellness. Her fantasy novel, “Rise of the Sidenah,” was released with Jupiter Gardens Press in September 2015. Her literary novel, “Loreena’s Gift,” is forthcoming in spring 2016 from Dzanc Books. She lives in Idaho. www.colleenmstory.com

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  1. Tessa Gazi says:

    My husband and my children have never been huge fans of greens. I knew that I had to do something about it, so I got really creative: using a handheld blender, I sneaked lots of different veggies into lots of different meals, soups, sauces, even smoothies! And I’ll definitely try some of these ideas too. Thanks for sharing!

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