Having the same salad for lunch everyday or not getting your five serves? Nutritionist and GoodnessMe Box Health Editor Melissa Fine shares her tips for mixing up and spicing up your veg, so that you’ll want to eat more of them.
1) Skip the Cereals
A large reason we eat cereal for breakkie is because it’s marketed as a breakfast food, but there’s no reason you can’t have veggies in the morning. Some ideas:
Sweet Potato Breakkie Bowl: The only breakkie which keeps me full till lunch, probably something to do with it being low GI and high in filling fibre and healthy fats. Just cut a baked, medium sweet potato (serve warm or cold) down the middle and fill with plain/Greek yoghurt and a dollop of almond butter; Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and voila! I love the natural sweetness from the caramelised sweet potato – None of the refined sugar that you get in highly processed breakfast cereals here.
Israeli-Style Breakfast: A trip to Israel a few years back gave me a whole new perspective on breakfast – Instead of a variety of cereals and pastries at the breakkie buffet, there were raw and cooked salads, pickled veg, eggs, labneh (thick-strained, yoghurt cheese – So good!) and of course hummus and tahini. A lot of Sydney cafes are now latching onto this trend with Israeli breakkie tasting plates, which you can also easily make at home.
2) Blend Them
A green smoothie is a great way to get essential nutrients such as folate, magnesium and antioxidants like vitamin C and carotenoids, needed for eye health. My favourite combo is a frozen banana (peel before freezing), ¼-½ Cup almond/coconut milk and 2 handfuls of spinach/kale; Thanks to the sweetness and creaminess from the banana, this tastes more like a banana smoothie; You can barely taste the greens.
Or for an on-the-go option, I like Bioglan’s Go Green RAAW Juice powder – One sachet (simply mix with water) gives you the equivalent of 2 serves of green veg, plus its loaded with green superfoods like traditionally cleansing chlorella and alkalising barley grass. Tasty too, with a nice balance of flavours from ingredients like nutty, slightly sweet coconut water and creamy coconut milk.
3) Swap Your Snacks
Skip the highly processed, refined sugar loaded muesli bar or ‘fruit’ yogurt for:
Veggie Crudités with a Tbsp of Hummus or Nut Butter: Not original I know but these are crunchy and full of filling fibre, making a satisfying, low kilojoule snack. I love sweet, juicy red and yellow capsicum crudités with nutty, creamy tahini for some protein and healthy fats.
Pumpkin Yoghurt: Don’t knock it till you try it; I got this idea after a holiday in the US, where pumpkin is considered a dessert-ingredient. In a small bowl/teacup, combine ½ Cup unsweetened plain/Greek yoghurt with ¼ Cup cooked and cooled mashed pumpkin. Top with cinnamon and you have yourself a balanced snack that satisfies a sweet tooth; You can add a drop of stevia or ½ tsp rice malt syrup if you’d like, but I use Jap pumpkin because it tends to be sweeter than other pumpkin varieties so there’s no need to add sweetener.
4) Eat More Cooked Veg
Seeing that one serve of veggies is the equivalent of 1 cup of salad or ½ cup cooked veg, it can be easier to get more veg in if you cook them. I’m not saying not to eat raw veg (both raw and cooked veg have their own benefits), but rather to eat a variety of both raw and cooked veg over the day. Cooked veg also tend to be easier to digest and less likely to make you bloated than raw veg.
5) Try Something New
Next time you do a grocery shop, buy a veggie you haven’t tried or prepped before. Aim to get something different each week and you’ll probably end up with some new favourites on your meal rotation. Some ideas: Purple carrots and sweet potatoes, kumatoes (black tomatoes – super sweet) and white zucchini (sweeter and creamier fleshed).
Bioglan RAAW Juice powder is a great tasting juice, packed with super fruits – no added sugars, flavours or artificial sweeteners. Just mix a sachet with water for a refreshing and energising boost. Available in 3 flavours: Go Green, Tropical Escape and Berry Blast. For more information head to their website www.bioglan.com.au or instagram.