New research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that 96% of Aussies are not eating enough vegetables and legumes.
We all know veggies are great for our health so here are some simple ways to boost your intake.
1) Add some veg to lunch:
Trying to fit your recommended 5 serves of veg all in at dinner is an unlikely feat – even for the herbivores among us. Whatever you choose to eat for lunch, sneak some veg in. This may be a simple side salad, leftover roast veg, ensuring your sandwich has a ‘crunch’ factor or opting for the convenience of a microwave veggie pouch.
2) Try something new:
If you’re thinking what the heck is celeriac or you can't open a health magazine without reading about kale then it may be time to become acquainted with these less familiar plant foods. Select a vegetable you’ve never tried and see what tasty creations you come up with.
NOTE – Kale is great, but so is broccoli, and pumpkin, and…get the idea? All veg is nutritious and no one veg takes the superfood crown.
3) Frozen veggie garden:
I love my frozen veggie garden! It has produce all year round and unlike fresh produce you can guarantee they’ll stay harvest fresh.
4) Order as a side :
Enjoy eating out? Me too! Whatever cuisine takes your fancy, order a wonderful vegetable side. When I head out for Thai food we always order a few veggies plates to eat with a delicious curry or stir-fry.
5) Toast Toppers:
Mashed avo in place of butter, sliced tomato with cheese, mashed peas and feta or sautéed mushrooms and spinach with a spread of ricotta – yummo! Give your toast a savoury makeover that is D-lish!
6) Snack time:
While carrots may win the heart of Bugs Bunny, I can’t say plain carrots overly excite me. Instead, pair these and other veggies sticks with some hummus, ricotta or a homemade beetroot dip for a winning combo.
7) Cut them up straight away:
As soon as you finish your grocery shopping, chop and prep all your veggies. That way they’ll be more accessible and you will be more likely to eat them.
Be sure to keep them in clear eyesight by giving them prime real estate in the fridge.
8) Go meatless:
Trends like Meatless Monday have certainly become popular and are a terrific way to cut back on meat - most Aussies eat way too much. Try forgoing one or two meat meals a week and instead base your meal around plant foods. Legumes, beans and lentils make for a great protein rich alternative to meat and work beautifully in curries, stir-fries, blended through soups or tossed through a salad.
9) Make them fancy:
When I’m in a rush to get dinner on the table veggies are served up in a pretty simple way – steamed, salad or baked.
Come the weekend I really love to make them the star of the plate. From stuffed capsicums to roast veggie salads, veggies can really steal the show. Oh, and a good drizzle of olive oil really helps bring out their simple, natural flavours.
10) Local Produce:
Visit your local farmers market or order a veggie box from online. Here in Canberra our friends at Farmerscops put together sensational veggie boxes that are filled with local organic produce. They even deliver to your door!
Jenelle Croatto APD