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How to Eat More Vegetables with Less Hassle

How to Eat More Vegetables with Less Hassle 9 Rating(s)

 

 

vegetables, farmers market, healthy recipes, vegetarian recipesHave you wondered how many vegetables are enough?  Does it seem too difficult to get enough veggies in your menu every day?  Actually, the recommended amounts, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture come out to about 2-1/2 cups of vegetables each day.  And that doesn’t seem so bad, right?

Out of these five categories of vegetables, we should try to eat some from each category throughout the week, which gives options for good variety and finding ones you like, so you can rotate them in and out each day.

Maybe the following break-down will help you and your family decide on a plan of action. (Of course, your plan will be more in-depth if following a clean eating or vegetarian menu).

Types of Vegetables and their Serving Size Portions:

1. Starchy vegetablescorn (1 large ear or 1 cup), potatoes (1 medium – about 3 inches diameter, or 1 cup diced or mashed), green peas (1 cup), lima beans (1 cup), and plantains (1 medium)

2. Beans and Peas (1 cup, cooked) – soy beans or edamame (1 cup raw), split peas, lentils, and colored beans (including black, kidney, navy, pinto, and garbanzo beans)

3. Red and Orange – Acorn or butternut squash (1 cup cubed / cooked), red bell peppers (1 large or 1 cup sliced), tomatoes (1 medium – 3 inches diameter or 1 cup chopped / sliced), carrots (2 medium or 1 cup baby or chopped), sweet potatoes (1 large – 2 inches diameter or 1 cup sliced or mashed), pumpkin (1 cup mashed)

4. Dark Green – Watercress and arugula (2 cups raw), Kale, collard, mustard and other big dark leafy greens (2 cups raw; 1 cup cooked), Romaine lettuce (2 cups raw), broccoli (three 5-inch spears or 1 cup florets)

5. Other – (Wait, what?  There’s an “other” category of vegetables?) – 1 cup of each of these equals one serving, except for the Iceberg lettuce which is a 2 cup serving of raw lettuce — artichokes, cauliflower, celery, green beans, mushrooms, turnips, wax beans, asparagus, bean sprouts, brussels sprouts, cucumber, eggplant, cabbage, green bell peppers, okra, and zucchini.

Thinking of it like this might break it down simply.  For example, having two cups of lettuce along with 1/2 cup of other vegetable salad ingredients (carrot, cucumber, tomato, etc) gives you all your vegetables for the day.  Enjoying a cup of baby carrots throughout the day for snacking, and then having sweet potato and beans with your dinner (or in a soup for dinner) is enough, as well.

sweet potato gnocchi

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Eat them raw, cook them up in a casserole or soup, roast or sauté them individually with a little olive oil, salt and pepper (isn’t that simple?).

Italian-roasted-vegetables

Italian Roasted Vegetables

Of course, if you are really averse to vegetables, like a few of my friends, packing them into your day in a big green smoothie or some orange or red smoothies might be the perfect answer instead.

Pick a few favorites, make a plan, and see how easy it is to work them in to your week.  And let us know how it goes – for you and yours.  What worked well or what didn’t?  Please leave us a comment below; we love hearing from you.

July 10th, 2015

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