Fall is all about warming, stick-to-your-ribs, comfort food. Piping hot stews, casseroles, baked this, and baked that. It’s also the time of year to get nostalgic and bring out the all-time family favorites. Cookies, pies, and rich hearty foods line tables household after household, week after week.
With so many food options to choose from its no surprise that vegetables mysteriously fall to the side to make room for mashed potatoes, homemade desserts, and tons of carby goodness. This is not to say that these items should never be eaten. There is a reason and time for everything, but vegetables are part of the equation for good reason. All those vitamins and minerals found in fresh produce are needed to keep the body happy. We need the antioxidants and fiber vegetables offer. They fill us up and give us energy. Plus, vegetables are yummy 😊.
Ready to make sure your plate is full of veggie goodness? Check out these four ways to get more veg onto your plate:
- Start with Soup. Start a meal with a bowl of veggie soup and chances are you are off to a nutritious start. The more vegetables the better, and opt for at least ½ cup serving of soup. The hot broth will warm you up on a chilly day and the vegetables will help keep your belly full. Need some souptastic inspo? Try this healing detox soup. This soup is not only filling, but detoxifying as well, helping the body eliminate unnecessary toxins.
- Roast it. If the thought of eating a vegetable side dish sounds boring and mundane try roasting you vegetables for added flavor. Roasting brings out the natural sugars in produce, creating a sweeter, more flavorful component to any plate. Try popping heartier vegetables like brussels sprouts or broccoli into the oven with a little oil and salt. Or try cauliflower and pair it with a rich tahini sauce as a way to get more flavor into your side dish. Not only is roasting a flavorful option, but an easy one as well: all that’s needed is a sheet pan, some fat, and a little bit of time.
- Snack it up. Switch up the routine and snack on vegetables instead of carb-heavy nibbles like pretzels or crackers. Try making these special kale chips, or have containers filled with carrots and celery sticks on hand to dunk into some creamy dips. Making your snacks vegetable heavy means you are one step closer to hitting your vegetable intake for the day. Score!
- Add it to Desserts. Desserts have so much potential, and I’m not talking only about carrot cake. Just remember to take into consideration the bigger picture. Adding vegetables to a dish does not negate the two cups of brown sugar in a recipe. Look for recipes that are low sugar and low carb to really reap the overall benefits. Get creative with your desserts and toss in some neutral-tasting veg like zucchini, or cauliflower as in this cauliflower rice pudding. You can also blend spinach or beets with water to use as the liquid in a recipe.