10 Ways to sneak in more vegetables in your diet

10 Ways to sneak in more vegetables in your diet

The benefits of eating a diet rich in vegetables are many-from lowering cholesterol, controlling sugar levels, aiding weight loss, fighting cancer to relieving constipation. However, most dietitians still feel that the common man is not eating enough vegetables to get the full benefits.
The question in most people’s mind: How much vegetable should one consume in day? 
The answer is around 5-9 servings of vegetables and fruits/day. That would mean around 4-5 cups of fruits and vegetables, which is a lot. Most of us tend to eat not more than 1-2 cups/day. So how does one achieve eating the recommended amounts?

I always advocate eating foods in a form that is as close to how it’s found in nature as this requires the body to break it down which takes time. The longer it takes for the body to digest food, the longer it stays in your stomach thus keeping you fuller for a longer period of time. So it’s best to eat your vegetables as salads or sabzi’s (don’t overcook them as that would kill all the nutrients). In addition to eating them as salads or sabzi’s,
Here are some tips to sneak in more vegetables into your diet:
1. Add vegetables to dishes which you would normally not do so -instead of plain upma, kichidi, poha, noodles, pasta, dal, add some mixed veggies into these dishes and you make them more nutritious and a filling dish.
2. Add grated veggies to any dish-you can add grated carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, beetroot, etc to roti’s, chutney’s, chaats, dosa, idli and even salads. Try sprinkling some grated vegetables like carrots on top of dishes as a garnish-it makes the dish more colourful and inviting.
3. Add a salad with every meal-these need not be limited to just cucumber and tomatoes. A lot more vegetables like beetroot, radish, methi leaves, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, knol-khol/kohlrabi, turnips, and capsicum/bell pepper can be eaten raw. Pulses and legumes and even some grains can be sprouted and added to the salads (like wheat, methi seeds, moong/mung, channa,etc). To avoid boredom, try out 3 different salads every week. You could even mix fruits and vegetables together to make some exotic combinations.
4. Add vegetable purees-to soups, curries, chapathi dough, dosa batter.
5. Add chopped/sliced veggies to sandwiches, wraps, bhel puri, fruit chaats.
6. Make dips with vegetables/fruits-avocado, cucumber, mint, cilantro/coriander leaves, pumpkin, apple, strawberries, figs, etc can all be made into tasty dips. These can be also used as spreads on whole wheat breads and phulkas to make healthy snacks.
7. Eat raw vegetables for snacks– carrots, celery, parsnips can be paired with the fruit/vegetable dips to get double the vegetables!
8. Add veggies to meat/poultry/fish curries. Even scrambled eggs taste better when you add some sautéed veggies like tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and capsicum/bell pepper!
9. Make chutney’s with vegetables/fruits-you don’t have to limit chutneys to just coriander/cilantro or mint. Try making chutneys from brinjal/eggplant, tomatoes, onions, apples, carrots, etc .Eat them with your meals or add them to your salads, breads, yogurts to create a unique dish!
10. Make your own veg+fruit smoothies– mix and match veggies with some sweet fruits to make your own smoothies/juices.  The pulp contains the fiber-so do not to strain it out.

Sweta Uchil

Indian Dietitian

 


Fennel (Saunf) Bulb Salad (with mixed fruits and carrots)

The fennel bulb is actually the base of the fennel(saunf) plant. It’s a shame that it isn’t used in India as it is edible and has some of the benefits of saunf. The fennel bulb is low in calories and rich in fibre and contains vitamin C and potassium. Fennel (saunf) has been used for ages for aiding digestion after meals and also as a carminative (relieving flatulence/gas) and the same properties are present in the bulb too. It has a mild saunf flavor and a lovely crunchy texture and is perfect for salads.

ChatPata Fennel Bulb salad

Try out this easy salad with mixed fruits. I just use whatever fruits and salad vegetables there are at home, so feel free to try out your own combination:

Ingredients for Fennel Salad:

  • Fennel bulb: 1/2 (finely sliced)
  • Carrot: 1 medium (cut into thin sticks)
  • Apple: 2 (cut into sticks)
  • Blue Grapes: 15 ( quartered)
  • Navel Oranges: 2 (thinly sliced)
  • Lemon juice: from 1 lemon
  • Apple Cider vinegar: 2 tbsp
  • Honey/Sugar: 1 tsp (optional)
  • Chaat masala: 1 tsp (optional-I love the Indian flavour it adds to the salad)
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add the Apple Cider Vinegar and lemon juice, salt and chaat masala and toss.
  3. Chill in the fridge for at least half and hour.
  4. Toss again before serving.

 

 


Bell Pepper Fried Rice (Vegan, Gluten free)

Capsicum Rice (Indian Style Bell Pepper Fried Rice)

Capsicum or bell peppers are rich in vitamins A, C, K, niacin and folate along with copper and magnesium. The red bell peppers have more vitamin A and  C when compared to the green peppers.

Ingredients for Capsicum Rice:

  • Cooked Basmati Rice: 2 Cups
  • Capsicums(bell peppers)-2 big cubed or 3 small (you can use coloured too)
  • Onions: 1 medium (finely sliced)
  • Cashew nuts (or peanuts): a few (optional)
  • Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp
  • Urad dal: 2 tsp
  • Channa dal: 2 tsp
  • Coriander Seeds: 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Dry red chillies(adjust spice level according to heat tolerance): 3-4 piece
  • Fresh Curry Leaves: 10-12 number
  • Roasted Peanuts: 3 tbsp
  • Garam Masala powder: 1 tsp
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp (chopped) for garnish (optional)

Method:

  1. Dry roast (no oil) mustard seeds,cumin seeds,urad dal, channa dal, coriander seeds, curry leaves, dry red chillies on medium heat till the rawness disappears and the flavors come out. Switch off and let it cool.
  2. Once cool, add the roasted peanuts and grind  to a make a fine powder.
  3. Heat oil in a vessel and add the sliced onions and saute till golden brown.
  4. Then add the sliced capsicums and cashew nuts(or peanuts) and fry them till the capsicum are still crunchy in texture. Add salt to taste and mix.
  5. Reduce heat and add the the ground masala powder, garam masala and mix well.
  6. Then add the cooked rice and combine.
  7. Garnish with the chopped coriander.
  8. Serve hot with raita.

Apple Cinnamon Infused Water

There is nothing better than a glass of water to quench your thirst. It’s the perfect zero-calorie drink that not only hydrates but also helps in maintaining a balance in the body fluids. It is also needed to flush out toxins from the body and prevents constipation. For those trying to give up sodas, softdrinks, juices, drinking plain water can be a little boring. Infused water is the perfect solution to get a mildly flavoured drink without all the calories.

You can make different flavours by using different fruits. You can mix these with some spices or even cucumbers or mint. The combinations are endless, but try this simple Apple-Cinnamon infused water for starters 🙂

Ingredients for Apple-Cinnamon Infused water:

  • Organic Apple: 2 (thinly sliced)
  • Cinnamon sticks : 2
  • Water: 2 litres

Method:

  1. In a pitcher add all the ingredients and refrigerate for a minimum of 4-6 hours.
  2. Pour into a glass and drink whenever you want a tasty treat.

Note:

  1. You can keep refilling the pitcher till the flavours still infuse into the water.
  2. The longer you keep it, the stronger the flavour.
  3. Choose different varieties of apples (red or even green)

Read more about :

How to Detox after a Major Festival??

Beetroot Mocktail/ Juice (Liver cleansing juice)

 

 


Indian Dietitian Online:Sweta Uchil-Purohit

Sweta Uchil-Purohit: Dietitian, Wellness Coach, Online Indian Dietitian and Nutrition Content Writer

Sweta Uchil-Purohit is a dietitian with over 15 years of experience in the field of diet and nutrition.

Having started her career as a clinical dietitian at Manipal Hospital (a multi-specialty hospital) Bangalore, she has sound knowledge of diets for patients with diabetes, renal disease including kidney transplant, cardiac problems and obesity.She considers herself lucky to be able to work with the best doctors in Bangalore during her 6 years at Manipal Hospital. Here she also had the oppurtunity to teach nutrition to the Manipal School of Nursing Students and also the pre-med students doing their training at the hospital.
After that she switched from clinical to ‘Preventive Nutrition’ when she joined a Nutrition consulting firm (NICHE) as the Nutrition Manager. Here she counseled software professionals in all the leading IT companies(like Wipro, Philips, Motorola, HP). She also managed and trained an in-house team of dietitians not just in Bangalore, but also in Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata. She also briefly trained the dietitians at Talwalkars Gym(Bangalore & Chennai)
Later she moved abroad and went on to online diet consultation and handled diet consultations for Indians living abroad mainly in North America (USA, Canada), Europe, UAE, Asia and Australia.Armed with that experience she now has her own website called ‘My Indian Dietitian‘ (www.myindiandietitian.com) where she handles diet consultations for Indians and South Asians(she also has clients of Bangladeshi, Nepali, Sri Lankan and Pakistani origin).

She also has a flare for writing nutrition related articles and has been regularly writing for magazines, websites, food/ nutrition product companies. Her tryst with articles began way back when she was a member of the editorial group of the Manipal Hospital magazine.

Indian Dietitian Online: Sweta Uchil-Purohit

Personally I feel that the internet is one of the greatest inventions. It has so many uses and has most of us hooked onto it for various reasons like keeping in touch with friends and family(thank you Facebook and emails), learning about something (thank you Google), and even getting personalized diet consultations at the click of a button!

No more searching for an Indian Dietitian who can understand Indian foods (can you imagine explaining about parathas, dhoklas, khichdi, curd rice to a non-Indian Dietitian?), driving in the traffic, waiting in the waiting room reading all those magazines to get a diet consultation! No way-we are so used to getting things done in an instant, that just the thought of all the steps required to meet a dietitian in person seems to be the main reason why people who need to see a dietitian, don’t do so.

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Here are 5 reasons why you should sign up:

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  4. You just need to have an internet and telephone connection to speak to me without ever having to leave your house,
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Now that you are convinced about signing up for a package (To check out our packages: click here), here are 5 reasons why you should sign up with My Indian Dietitian:

  1. I have over 15 years of experience in clinical and preventive nutrition,
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  4. I am also well versed in regional Indian diets and am comfortable with making South Indian Diet Charts, North Indian Diet Charts, Gujarati Diet Charts, Bengali Diet Charts. I have been doing diet consultations for not just Indians but also people from our neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh!
  5. You and your families health matters most to me-I strongly believe that by signing up for one package, the benefits will be seen by not just YOU but your family to will eventually end up eating healthy!

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Sweta Uchil-Purohit

Top Rated Indian Dietitian