Perhaps you’re looking for some new fruits and vegetables to add to your diet instead of the typical broccoli and tomato. I know how mundane the more well known veggies can get after awhile better than anyone. I tend to buy my favorite fruits and veggies and stop thinking about all the other nutritious pieces of produce to try. Turning to the same fruits and vegetables each day is one of the easiest ways to get in a healthy eating rut fast. If you find yourself in this situation, try adding some new fruits and vegetables to your diet in some creative ways below. I hope to show you that things can be just a bit tastier and exciting for you than chef salads and steamed broccoli!
1. Make a Smoothie
Many of you know how big of a fan I am of making smoothies, and they are one of the best ways to add new fruits and vegetables to your diet. You can take any fruit or vegetable that either looks interesting to you or that you already like and just throw it in the blender. Just add some almond milk, or maybe some of your favorite yogurt, along with some ice and half a banana. You’ll be surprised just how tasty this can be! Smoothies are one of the fastest and most creative ways to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet. They are also a great way to introduce new fruits and vegetables to your diet when you get tired of other options.
2. Make a Stir-fry
I don’t know about you all, but one of my favorite ways to eat veggies growing up was stir-fry. My mom would make a tasty dish of rice, different types of veggies, and add some low sodium sauce with grilled chicken. It was always one of my favorite meals! It’s also a fun way to try new vegetables. I suggest using some garlic and onion to flavor your stir fry with, and branch out from broccoli and zucchini a bit. Perhaps try sliced eggplant, red bell peppers, shredded cabbage, or shredded carrots. You could also try going for a rainbow stir-fry and try to incorporate all different colors into your stir-fry for a creative way to use new vegetables. I do suggest using low sodium soy-sauce or gluten-free tamari to season your dish with to avoid high sodium levels. I would also try using quinoa or brown rice in place of white rice for a low-glycemic, whole grain option.
Breakfast parfaits are so fun to make and eat, which makes them the perfect way to try new fruits each morning. Decide to try two new fruits in your parfait each week and rotate what you buy. Also, go for fun colors when making your breakfast parfaits, which makes them more appealing to eat. Have fun switching up the colors each day, and you'll likely come across some pretty delicious combinations in the meantime. I suggest layering your fruits with some organic Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt, and add nuts, seeds, or cooked oatmeal for a more filling meal. Parfaits are a great way to introduce kids or picky eaters to new fruits, and they're a fun kid-like treat anyone will enjoy.
If you’re into healthy eating and like to juice, it’s a great way to try new vegetables. I, for instance, try to pick up one new veggie a week to juice with. Some of my latest new favorites are fennel, Swiss chard, and dandelion greens. Getting a variety of veggies into your diet through juicing is one of the quickest ways to put vitamins and minerals into your body in a concentrated form. As a bonus, they’re also incredibly delicious, easy to digest, and can enhance your complexion. I do suggest minimizing fruits in your juices since they can spike the glycemic index. Instead, opt for low sugar lemons, limes, and green apples if you need some sweetness.
5. Veggie Bakes
A fantastic way to get kids or picky adults to eat their veggies is to make a veggie bake. What is a veggie bake, you ask? A veggie bake is taking a variety of veggies like zucchini, sweet potato, eggplant, yellow squash, tomatoes, and carrots, and slicing them all lengthwise in long, thin strips. Then, you layer them in a long casserole dish like lasagna noodles. On top of each layer, you can place a bit of tomato sauce, a tiny drizzle of olive oil and some fresh herbs like oregano and basil. Then, repeat the layers again, and repeat with the topping. I love to bake this in the oven for around an hour on 350 degrees, and it’s one of the heartiest, easiest dinners to fix. It’s also a great way to introduce new vegetables into your diet, by rotating what you use each time you make a veggie bake.
Something new I’ve been experimenting with lately is dips made from pureed veggies. One of my latest favorites is a sweet butternut squash dip. It’s fantastic to eat on its own, or to top oatmeal or yogurt with. You can also make savory dips made from pureed tomatoes, avocados, carrots, zucchini, and season however you like. These make great dips to dunk celery sticks into, or even whole grain bread if you wish to go that route. You can use any herbs and spices that you like to jazz up the flavor and add a little zing. Fruit dips can be made the same way, but I do suggest mixing fresh fruit with a bit of dairy or coconut yogurt, since fruit dips can be a bit more difficult to get smoother in texture. One exception is a great fruit dip I made recently, which was made of half pumpkin and half banana that I seasoned with cinnamon and vanilla. It’s a great pudding to eat alone, or makes a fantastic topping for muffins, oatmeal, yogurt, or sprouted grain bread.
This might seem like a new idea to some, but try using different veggies on your sandwich instead of multiple types of meats or cheeses. You can even make veggie based bread from nothing more than steamed sweet potato slices! Or, perhaps make open face veggie sandwiches out of sweet potato rounds, topped with tomatoes, mushrooms, and a bit of olive oil? Another great option is to use fresh cucumber and tomato on sprouted grain bread with a spread made of stone ground mustard instead of mayo. Try to get creative with your sandwiches, and even try new fruits on your sandwiches too! I’ve found sliced berries and papaya are really tasty over sprouted grain bread, and make a tasty, satisfying breakfast for a lighter option.
You can truly find so many new ways to experiment with fruits and veggies if you put your mind to it. Never let the more well known options for eating fruits and veggies cause you to get bored with them and give up altogether. Try some of these options instead, or come up with your own! How do you find new ways to eat fruits and vegetables?