“I know I should be eating them more often, but I honestly hate eating vegetables.”
That is a sentence I hear almost every single day and definitely at every Farmer’s Market when someone sees our green juice. Thankfully, I am able to convince just about every person to try a juice sample and they end up surprised they like drinking these vegetables. Unfortunately, I can’t always be there to encourage or give samples, etc. I know it can also be a struggle to get your kids to eat them, but if they see you eating them and enjoying them, they might just be willing to follow your lead.
So, let’s talk about a few really easy ways to get more vegetables in your daily diet:
Make it a family challenge. Because who doesn’t love a challenge? Create a chart with each family member's name and earn a point for each vegetable you eat in a day. Offer bonus points for including a variety of vegetables that encompasses each color of the rainbow! Decide what the ultimate prize will be and make it good! For example, maybe the winner won’t have to do chores for a week? That might be quite the incentive.
Incorporate into a juice or smoothie. I include TONS of vegetables in the Real Peel juices, but smoothies are also a really easy way of getting your greens in without having to cook and eat them separately. Most people or kids won’t even bat an eye when they drink a smoothie, especially if it’s a pretty color like purple or green! The rule of thumb for a healthy smoothie that isn’t packed full of sugar is three greens/veggies to one fruit. For example, you can choose spinach, kale, cucumber, and an apple or beet greens, beets, celery, and an orange. There are millions of combos you can come up with.
Grow your own. This is probably the most cost-effective and healthiest way of incorporating more vegetables in your life. You can start small with an herb garden and eventually grow in succession planting throughout the summer and fall. If gardening is new to you, pick out two or three of your favorite vegetables and grow them in a pot or container. If you already love gardening, maybe expand your variety of crops and incorporate new vegetables you normally wouldn’t grow or buy. This could be an incredibly rich experience for children to learn where their food comes from and will be much more delicious and nutritious than any store-bought veggie. For an awesome gardening resource check out The Farmers Almanac (www.almanac.com/gardening)!
Join a CSA or go to a farm. If starting a garden isn’t the right choice for you, then benefit from someone else's green thumb! Finding a local organic farm will give you the opportunity to purchase a crop share or simply shop in their market. Through community supported agriculture (CSA) each week you will have the privilege of eating vibrant, just-harvested produce while simultaneously giving back to your local farmer. If you decide to shop in their market, bringing your entire family could be exceptionally fun if they offer pick-your-own produce! Getting yourself or kids involved will make your experience around vegetables more positive.
Bake a sweet treat. Yes, you can incorporate your vegetables into your baking! Vegetables like squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, zucchini, and beets are the perfect addition to many baked goods. The goal is to find a recipe that includes other whole-food ingredients. Growing up, my mom made us Zucchini Bread and I never bat an eye at the fact there was zucchini in it. I would share that recipe, but it’s a family one, so I will share another one that’s alllllmost as good ;) Check out this zucchini bread recipe from Ambitious Kitchen!
Pick one and give it a go and start reaping the benefits of getting those “hidden” veggies in! Once you get one down, start another!
Until next time,
Keep it Fresh. Keep it Simple. Keep it Real.