As a nation, it’s indisputable: We need to up our Veggie Game!
National reports from 2015 indicate that less than nine percent of Americans are eating enough vegetables.
And I get it. I really do! Preparing vegetables can be time-consuming. Depending on where you buy them from, vegetables can seem a little more costly. And they sure don’t light up your tastebuds the way that a junk food meal is designed to do! (Or at least, not at first).
For most of us, getting in our recommended daily intake of veggies isn’t going to happen in one meal. Perhaps not even over two meals. Small little tweaks here and there in your vegetable intake really do add up to make a difference.
That’s why I’ve listed these top 20 tasty, simple and totally nutritious tips for boosting up your veggie intake at snack time!
1. Garnish Here ‘n’ There With Microherbs.
Do you ever eat crackers and dip? Or some cultured cheese spread over crispbread? Try sprinkling just a small amount of microherbs over crackers or chips and just about any savory topping. Microherbs pack up to four times more nutrients than full-grown spinach, Swiss chard or other green leaves. Plus, they can be easily grown in your home at virtually no cost.
2. Make A Pesto Based On Kale Or Spinach.
Pesto dip with a few brown rice crackers is incredibly satiating as a snack at any time of day. Make your own at home (it’ll also be cheaper!) but add in plenty of kale or spinach. The other flavors of the pesto are so strong that you’ll barely taste the extra greens.
3. Create A Cauliflower Dip.
While we’re talking about dips, try this one for a veggie-packed, très délicieuse option. Simply blend together one steamed cauliflower head with lemon juice, salt, garlic and a little cultured yoghurt of your choice. It’s super creamy and super YUM!
4. Grate Veggies In Homemade Muffins.
Do you ever make your own muffins or fruit loaves? Try grating in a little zucchini, carrot, pumpkin or yams (sweet potato/kumara) – you’ll barely notice the taste and it’s a fantastic option to pump up your veggie intake.
5. PB And Carrot Sticks – What A Game Changer!
Did you ever make ‘ants on a log’ as a kid? I remember combining celery, PB and sultanas to this effect and it going down a treat. For a simpler, adult version, trying cutting up a carrot with a tablespoon of peanut butter as a snack… It’s surprisingly delicious! Just make sure to buy a pure peanut butter that doesn’t have the added fats and salt.
6. Sip On A Veggie Juice.
Sure, it’s a drink, but why not have it as a snack as well? There’s no rule of thumb that says we must have a veggie juice first thing in the morning. It’s nourishing at any time of day. I find that a bitter green juice is particularly helpful for switching off any sneaky sweet cravings, too. Try it for yourself and let me know in the comments at the end :-)
7. Get Green!
If you don’t have time to juice, dissolving a high-quality greens powder in some filtered water is the next best thing! Have it along with whatever you’re eating for a snack for an easy yet potent vegetable option. We love our Superfood Greens!
8. Mmmm… Mahammara Dip!
If you’ve never tried this delightful dip, you’re in for a real treat.
Simply roast up some peppers (capsicum), pumpkin, onion and garlic, then blend together with walnuts, olive oil, cumin, lemon juice and little honey or molasses. Divine.
9. The Healthy Way To Eat Chips.
Instead of reaching for a bag of potato chips, try some kale chips, beetroot chips or kumara chips instead. You may be very surprised by how good these alternatives taste!
10. Love Up Your Legumes.
Did you know that in Australia, legumes are considered to fit within the protein AND vegetable food groups? So tuck into some hummus. According to the Aussie nutrition experts, that’s as good as getting some extra vegetables into your system!
11. Snack On Cherry Tomatoes.
We snack on sweet fruit, so why are cherry tomatoes really any different? Purchased in season and preferably sun-ripened, I think I’d even prefer this to a fruity snack!
Just be mindful of tomatoes’ acid content – when eaten too frequently they may affect your dental enamel.
12. Sneak In A Little Pumpkin Puree.
If you’re ever making healthy cookies or granola bars at home, try pureeing some pumpkin and mixing it through. It adds a mellow, earthy sweetness that is truly delicious. Plus your body will love this beautiful dose of carotene!
13. Make A Miso Mug.
During the cooler seasons, there’s nothing like a warming drink or soup for comfort. Try dissolving a little miso with some shredded Swiss chard and ginger powder into a mug of hot water. It’s incredibly warming and so uplifting!
14. Look For Corn Chips Made With Kale, Yams Or Other Veggies.
Instead of snacking on regular corn chips, search for the brands that incorporate kale, carrots and even beetroot powder.
15. Chop Fresh Mint Or Basil Through A Fruit Salad.
For nutritional purposes, herbs are classed as vegetables and tend to be very high in health-promoting phytochemicals. Mint and basil can taste absolutely beautiful chopped up with fruit. Seriously, give it a go!
16. Avocado With Sauerkraut – A Match Made In Heaven.
This is one of my favorite go-to snacks, especially when I know I’ll need a bit more energy than usual to get through my day. Simply take one half of an avocado, scoop out the seed and fill the hole with a generous scoop of sauerkraut. Then tuck in with a spoon – you don’t even need a plate.
17. Ever Made Zucchini Bread?
Now could be the time to try! This recipe for Zucchini Breakfast Bread from the Food Matters Kitchen is tried and true – the team here will vouch for how delicious it truly is.
18. Sweet Potato Brownies.
Okay, so this one’s pushing it a bit on the Health front, but you’ve gotta have a bit of fun with food sometimes, right? And I reckon that if you’re going to snack on a brownie, this is the way to do it ;-) Here's a recipe we love!
19. An Icy Refresher.
Make your own ‘veggie’ ice cubes with freshly squeezed carrot juice, ginger and lemon. Pop one into your afternoon glass of water – it flavors your drink terrifically!
20. Use Leftover Juice Pulp In Your Bliss Balls.
All that high-fiber, leftover vegetable pulp from juicing can be used to help bind together your favorite bliss ball ingredients! Just be mindful that this will make your bliss balls spoil faster, so simply freeze any bliss balls that you won’t be eating within the next day or two. Don’t worry, they still defrost very nicely.