A 2015 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report on how well American adults meet the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables showed we’re not doing so well! Only 13.1 percent of respondents met the fruit intake recommendations, while only 8.9 percent met vegetable intake recommendations.
We need to find new ways to add fruits and veggies to our daily routines. Here are my four favorite ways to increase produce intake.
Add Them to Smoothies
This might seem like a no-brainer to some, but a lot of people fear the weird green color that can result from adding greens to smoothies, or think it will make them taste bland. Not true! I like to start by blending 1 cup of spinach or kale with 1 cup of almond milk, then adding in mixed fruit, dates and even peanut butter. Sometimes I’ll throw in diced carrots for a beta-carotene boost. And adding beets is a great way to get a strong pink color if you’re not into green!
Mix Them Into Your Breakfast
Have a muffin, pancake or waffle recipe that calls for milk? Blend some spinach with the milk before adding it to the remainder of your ingredients. Just like with smoothies, you can’t even taste it! Adding sweet bell peppers, onions, garlic and mushrooms to your eggs every morning also is a great option if you’re wanting something more savory.
Hide Them in Your Sandwiches and Wraps
Do you typically pack a sandwich or wrap for lunch? Add in a few veggies or, better yet, make an all-veggie sandwich! My favorites are spinach, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, sprouts, cucumbers – the list goes on!
Who doesn’t like pizza? Homemade pizza is one of my all-time favorite dinners, and it also is a perfect way to get in a couple servings of veggies. I like to start with my Sweet Potato Pizza Crust and top it with tomato sauce, mushrooms, spinach, onions, peppers and some vegan cheese!
Sweet Potato Pizza Crust
Makes 1 large pizza
- 2 medium cooked and mashed sweet potatoes, about 1 cup
- ¾ cup almond flour
- ¼ cup cooked quinoa, or add an additional ¼ cup of almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare a baking sheet or pizza pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until combined.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and shape into a circle. Crust should be about ½ inch thick.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
- Add sauce, cheese and toppings and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes. Enjoy!