Oral Care and Health Daily

Sneaky Ways to Love Your Veggies

These five healthy and stealthy ways will help you slide more veggies into your meals.

Fitting the recommended five to nine -- nine! -- servings of fruit and vegetables into your daily routine isn’t easy. And sometimes, the last thing you want is another salad. But it’s vital to good nutrition and one of the best ways to fend off obesity. Here are my five favorite ways to slip more veggies into your daily routine … and yes, they’ll pass the taste test for even the pickiest eaters:

1. Make your french fries sweet. For a change of pace, peel sweet potatoes, cut them into thin strips, drizzle them with olive oil and bake them in the oven. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, a compound that may reduce your risk of developing heart disease and cancer.

2. Sneak in some puree. Make a vitamin-C-rich red pepper puree, and add it to pasta sauce, meatloaf or casseroles. Surprise: Red peppers contain more vitamin C than oranges. And vitamin C is vital for a strong immune system and healthy gums.

3. Try a simpler guacamole. Mash an avocado, add lemon juice to prevent browning and set it on the table for fresh vegetable dipping. You’ll avoid all the fat of store-bought dressing, not to mention that avocado prevents cancer, lowers cholesterol and protects your heart.

4. Sauce ’em up. Create a garlic-flavored yogurt sauce with nonfat yogurt, crushed garlic, freshly ground pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and salt to taste. Serve over steamed or stir-fried vegetables. Garlic provides powerful antioxidants, and this recipe is rich in calcium -- a nutrient that’s vital for strong teeth.

5. Dazzle them with a fruit fake-out. Try topping favorite vegetable dishes with a sprinkle of dried fruits, such as chopped dates, raisins, apricots and dried plums. It will satisfy anyone with a nagging sweet tooth!

Photo Credit: @iStockphoto.com/mrohana



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