The best way to add color to your diet is by sneaking vegetables into meals. The American Heart Association recommends you enjoy a variety of highly colored vegetables. A brighter plate is healthier for your heart.
We should be eating more vegetables. Some of us love veggies and eat them on a regular basis. There are those of us who can’t stand the thought of vegetables. But creatively adding vegetables into meals can make picturesque dishes that boast heart health.
If you and your family don’t usually include vegetables in home-cooked meals, we have solutions. Here are some ingenious ways to help add highly colorful vegetables into meals without anyone knowing. You can be creative in an effortless way. You will save time and eat heart healthy too.
Shredding is a creative way to add vegetables to any meal! Grab a grater to shred brightly colored vegetables; like zucchini, beets, carrots, and parsnips. You can even add vegetables to your favorite desserts, like brownies or cookies, by mixing shredded zucchini into your batter before baking. You can also sauté shredded carrots or squash and add them to a pasta sauce. Most folks won’t notice the inclusion, and devour the meal!
Another way is embracing vegetable substitutes in meat-based dishes! Replace portions of ground meat in recipes like burgers, meatloaf and meatballs with mushrooms. Finely chop or grate mushrooms (or your choice of vegetable), then sauté in light olive oil until soft. Once the vegetables are cool, mix with your lean meat. Cook thoroughly and follow the recipe as stated. Another diverse and veriscolored dish that is a creative approach of adding vegetables to your heart healthy diet.
Another creative way to be heart healthy is to decrease dairy by adding color! Cooked and pureed orange vegetables like butternut squash, sweet potatoes and carrots can be blended into cheesy dishes like macaroni & cheese, lasagna, enchiladas, and so forth. Thus using less cheese, which decreases saturated fat and sodium levels, which is good heart health prevention. You can also add sweeter-tasting vegetables to a blender with broth and puree them into a soup too.
The last way is to make a fruit smoothie. Add in a frozen banana and some spinach, carrots, squash or just about any bright vegetable. The frozen banana makes for a sweet, thick, and creamy smoothie and it adds a strong flavor that helps hide the flavor of the veggies. If you want a more colorful smoothie add beet, avocado or sweet potato to change the color and increase the healthiness. Really want to add color and boost heart health, include blueberries! The powerful blueberry antioxidant, pterostilbene, has been shown to reduce blood pressure and lower blood cholesterol (both risk factors for heart disease). This antioxidant is great for cardiovascular support. You’ll be surprised at how bright and healthy it will be!
These are just a few ways you can creatively add vegetables to various meals in order to increase you fruit and vegetable intake, and promote healthy heart eating patterns.