I’m trying to eat more fruits and veggies these days — partly for their supposed health benefits, and partly because I’m still trying to lose 5 stubborn pounds. I figure I’m more likely to lose the weight eating green beans than brownie brittle.
I’m an enthusiastic eater. I don’t need to hide cauliflower puree in mac and cheese, or whatever it was Jessica Seinfeld was doing a few years ago. But unless you’re consciously trying to boost fruit and veggie consumption, it’s often easier to eat other things. It’s easier to grab a bag of potato chips as a side than to cook green beans.
So here’s what I’ve come up with.
1. I keep a giant Costco bag of frozen corn in the freezer. If I’m having soup, it’s quite easy to stir in some frozen corn, which thaws as the soup heats. Corn kernels add an interesting texture to leftover mac and cheese, too.
2. I keep a giant Costco bag of baby carrots in the fridge. Sliced and sauteed, these can go in soups and other prepared foods. If I’m cooking chicken in the oven, I cook it on top of baby carrots and get roast carrots — very tasty!
3. I learned to bake kale. Arranged on a cookie sheet with some olive oil and salt, they taste somewhat akin to chips.
4. I do desserts of fruit with mascarpone cheese. Peaches, blueberries, strawberries — all go great with this sweet creamy cheese and a little sugar. I might eat this as a snack, too.
5. I eat Gala apples with peanut butter as a snack. We’re coming into apple season these next few weeks.
6. I aim to eat veggies for lunch. Fortunately, my 3-year-old is willing to split a head of broccoli (steamed) with me, or some green beans, and I’m perfectly willing to cook both for him. It’s cooking them only for me that seems like a pain.
7. I’d like to eat tomatoes with mozzarella for lunch. Unfortunately, my tomato plants pretty much went on strike. I have only green tomatoes. All the newspapers running recipes right now for the “abundance” of tomatoes one gets in late August are just pouring salt in the wound.
8. I throw a bunch of fruit in a smoothie. OK, I use ice cream, so technically it’s a milk shake. But it’s mostly fruit! Costco sells giant bags of frozen berries that work well for these purposes, and I also freeze berries that are close to going bad.
9. I eat frozen grapes as a snack.
10. I overbuy produce. I realize that wasting food is, well, wasteful. It’s pained me to throw out some pretty withered broccoli, but I also find that overbuying produce encourages me to eat more in order to eat as much as possible before it goes bad.
11. I put fruit on the counter, and on the shelves of the fridge. If it’s in the drawer, it’s dead to me. This is true in general. I once stashed some candy in my desk drawer, and found it a month later. It wasn’t some huge act of willpower that I managed to sit with a supply of my favorite candy one foot from me for an entire month — it was that I’d forgotten its existence.
How do you up your fruit and veggie consumption?
In other news: What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast came out Tuesday! Fast Company ran an excerpt called “The Simple 8-Step Process to Make Over Your Schedule — and Transform Dreams into Goals.” If you haven’t purchased the book, and you enjoy reading this blog, please consider buying a copy. I don’t run ads; books and articles are how I make my living. Thank you!
Photo courtesy flickr user Becoming Green