5 healthy vegetables you should start using today! We try to include more vegetables in our diets. So we stock up on peas, carrots, corn and green beans. But as cooks we often forget about many other vegetable choices. Check out our favorite lesser known and lesser used veggies. Buy one today!
5 Healthy Vegetables to start using today
This list of 5 healthy vegetables are easy to incorporate into a wide variety of recipes. Moreover, they are easy to “hide” in recipes without the eater even knowing about them. In the coming months, we will create articles and recipes showing how to use these vegetables creatively in your recipes. Until then, feel free to experiment.
- Bell Peppers – Chopping bell peppers into small pieces allows you add them to salads, soups, stews, and baked dishes like lasagna and quiche. Large slices work well in stir fry. High in vitamin C.
- Spinach – Whole spinach works great in salads and soup. Shredded spinach is a simple way to add nutrients to dips and sauces. Further, they are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, iron and calcium.
- Cauliflower – Cauliflower is our Veggie of the Year in 2018. Very versatile in all phases of cooking. For instance, Stir fry, soup, stew, salad and even making dough or simply eat it raw as a snack.
- Celery – Celery is super low in calories and carbohydrates. Most importantly, it contains anti-inflammatory nutrients that help digestion as a whole. Celery is used regularly in soup and stew recipes. Also, is great snack.
- Avocado – Avocados are considered a fruit but with its impressive list of nutrients, avocados are often rated as “Super food”. It’s creamy texture makes it well suited for sauces and dips. Check out our Avocado Taco Recipe.
5 Delicious but overlooked healthy vegetables
These vegetables are widely available in stores and fresh markets but often ignored. Instead, we buy more conventional products like carrots and peas. For years, I walked right by these veggies not knowing they possess such wonderful flavor and texture.
- Bok choy – Heart healthy with potassium, folate, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, and lack of cholesterol. Good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin K, and zinc. Also contains selenium, a difficult mineral to find in many natural food ingredients. Great in stir fry recipes.
- Brussel sprouts – High in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, minerals and antioxidants. Often referred to as “small cabbage balls”, they make a great addition in stews. Grated Brussel sprouts add a distinctive taste to nearly any recipe. Roasted whole Brussel sprouts in a creamy sauce are delicious too.
- Zucchini – High in water content and contains electrolytes and fiber beneficial to a healthy digestive system. Low in sodium and fat, but high in potassium and fiber are heart healthy. Improves eyesight with lutein and zeaxanthin. Great noodle alternative to carb conscious dieters.
- Eggplant – Technically a fruit but being a low-calorie and high-fiber food, we include on our list. Eggplant is a great substitute for beans. We love to use it in Indian recipes. Indian Eggplant & rice (known as Vangi Bath) is one of our favorite recipes. High water content is beneficial to the digestive process. (See ‘My Story’)
- Rutabaga – Same texture as potatoes but 75% less carbs and calories. Great for carb conscious diets. High in vitamin C and potassium, too. As part of the beet family, they have a strong distinctive taste.
Vegetables – The Stepchild of the Dinner Table
Nutritionally speaking, we need to eat healthy vegetables every day. Meat provides protein and vegetables provide essential vitamins and nutrients. Pretty simple formula. However, the problem is that we focus too much on the meat and treat veggies like that crazy uncle who shows up at family gatherings. (I should know because I am that Crazy Uncle! 😕 ) Part of the issue stems from our childhood. As kids, we are taught to crave meat through media. Ad campaigns like “Where’s the Beef” or “We have the Meats” or “Eat more Chicken” promote the dominance of meat in our diet. At the same time, we see TV shows and comedians making fun of Vegans and the vegetable conscious community. So it is not difficult to see why vegetables have a poor reputation in our diets.
I work at a large company. One day, I am invited to dine in the Executive Lunchroom where they serve chef prepared food with fancy names. I enjoyed the chicken entrée but for me the highlight was the Brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar cream sauce.
Why are beans not included on the list?
You will undoubtedly notice the omission of beans from our list of 5 healthy vegetables. We treat beans as a special category in our diet because they represent a nutritional challenge to our overall dietary goals. (Yes, we have goals!) Therefore, we don’t feel it is appropriate for us to give inspiring advice on this vegetable group. However, feel free to add them to your diet.
Nutritional information are editorial opinions of TodayintheKitchen.com, given without warranty, and are not intended to replace the advice of a nutritionist or health-care professional.