15 ways to get more fruit & veg
It can be a challenge to eat five portions of fruit & veg each day even when you like vegetables. And now a new report suggests that eating 10 portions is what we need to stay healthy for longer. Most people don’t come nearly close to having enough, and I bet you’re wondering how on earth you’re going to manage that. Read on for tips on getting more of the good stuff into your life in a super-easy way.
1. Make a Frittata
Perfect for a simple lunch or a lazy weekend brunch, whisk up eggs with veggies like onions, mushrooms and peppers – or anything else you have in the fridge. If you can make this a large, deep, Spanish-style omelette, it will even last you into the week.
2. Cauli rice
Cauli rice has a bit of a cult thing of late. You can buy it ready-made in practically any supermarket, but it is also very easy to whizz up yourself in a food processor. Simply chop into florets and pulse until the cauliflower is a fine, rice-like consistency. My favourite way to cook it is to drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, then roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
3. Broccoli rice
Broccoli rice is the lesser-known brother of cauliflower rice. You prepare it in the exact same way – pulse into rice-sized pieces. You can cook it in a similar fashion, too, but it is good lightly fried with a little coconut oil.
4. Pumpkin pancakes (or waffles
Waffles and pancakes don’t have to be naughty to be nice. Add some pureed pumpkin to your traditional mix or try this recipe for waffles:
Combine 120g buckwheat flour with 1 tbsp baking powder, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp ginger, ¼ tsp allspice, ¼ tsp nutmeg, ½ tsp cinnamon.
Whisk in half a tin of pureed pumpkin (in the global foods section of most supermarkets), 1 tsp vanilla extact, 2 tbsp flaxseeds, 2 tbsp maple syrup, and 240ml milk of your choice. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes. Heat up the waffle iron or get the skillet on the hob to heat up. Coat the pan or iron with coconut oil, tip in the mix and cook until it bubbles (skillet only) before flipping onto the other side.
5. Cherry Smoothie
450g spinach, 270ml water, 1 banana, 100g blueberries, 225g cherries (buy frozen – cheaper and they come pitted)... whizz it all up, pour and enjoy!
6. Pimp your porridge
You might be used to a sweet porridge, but a savoury version can be surprisingly good.
Try cooking plain oats with water, then adding sautéed veg or else grated courgette.
Top with a poached egg for a protein hit and maybe a grating of parmesan, then season to taste.
7. Sneak it into family favourites
Pasta bakes are the perfect place to hide your vegetables. The ideal partners to throw into the mix are spinach, tomatoes, peas and broccoli but almost anything will do.
8. Upgrade your spud
Sweet potatoes have a far greater nutritional value than standard white potatoes. If switching to sweet potato mash is initially too much of a stretch, consider mixing the two to start.
9. Don't forget the herbs!
These count as vegetables, too, and are easily incorporated into practically any dish, from soups and stews to scrambled eggs.
10. Swap wraps for lettuce!
It might not cut it with the kids, but lettuce makes a surprisingly good stand-in for tortilla wraps when you’re serving up fajitas.
As you get more adventurous, you can also use tougher greens like kale or chard, but you’ll want to blanch and pat dry before you wrap.
11. Hide them in a tomato sauce
Making you own tomato sauce is far healthier than shop-bought varieties. Grate in carrot and finely chop peppers, then add to passata or tinned tomatoes with fresh herbs like basil or oregano and whiz when done. Roasted butternut squash will also do the trick. No one will ever know the difference.
12. Bake them in bread
Veggies are marvellous when used in baking. Courgettes in particular seem to do the job above others.
Try this fantastic "Courgette Bread" recipe from Claire Thompson : Click here
13. Fruit Lollies
When the summer eventually starts to peep through the clouds.
I love these healthy ice lollies made with berries and coconut milk, courtesy of The Medicinal Chef: Click Here
These are great to make with the kids!
14. Bring in the berries!
Berries of any kind are choc-full of inflammation-fighting antioxidants. Add them to granola, muesli or porridge along with a sprinkle of flax for a nutrition boost.
15. Kale crisps
You might have tasted the kind you get in bags from some supermarkets. Here’s a recipe you will make time and time again.
Preheat the oven to 150˚C. Blend 75g cashew nuts, 1 shallot (chopped) , 2tbsp nutritional yeast flakes, ½ tsp garlic salt, 4 soft large dates (chopped), 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp water, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar together until you create a thick paste. Add a little more water if you need to. Put a 250g bag of kale in a bowl, add the sauce and massage together with your hands. Place on a lined baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes. Turn the kale over and bake for a further 5 minutes. Cool. The crisps will keep for 3 days in an airtight container.
For more information on how to stay healthy,