Fact: Muffins are delicious. Fact: So is ice cream. Fact: You can add—wait for it—vegetables to both of these things without even tasting them. Game-changer, we know. In our never-ending quest to live a healthier (yet still enjoyable) lifestyle, we spoke with Jessica Sepel, nutrition expert and author of The Clean Life, and asked for her best advice for the vegetable-averse. “Vegetables are surprisingly easy to sneak into any and every meal of the day!” she says. “If there is one change you should make for your health, it is to eat your greens. Lots of them. Every day.” Want to know how? We’ve got 10 ways to sneak them into your meals ahead—keep flipping to see what they are!
Love eggs? Sepel recommends tossing veggies like mushrooms, spinach, and arugula in with your protein options next time you decide to make
“Blend kale, spinach, chard—anything you feel like, really—into a morning protein smoothie with a pea protein powder, frozen berries, and almond milk,” Sepel says.
Whether or not you’re a juicing devotee, blending your vegetables into a cold, refreshing juice is an easy way to add them to your day without even noticing. “Try kale, spinach, celery, beet, carrot, and ginger for an energizing nutrient boost,” Sepel says.
“If you’re feeling adventurous, use the pulp from juicing in your favorite banana bread or muffin recipe,” Sepel shares. “It will add moisture and nutrients, but you won’t taste the greens!”
A shot of tequila is intense—so is a shot of wheatgrass. Unlike tequila, however, a wheatgrass shot is one of the best sources of living chlorophyll available. Chlorophyll will not only give you a natural boost of energy, but is antibacterial, neutralizes toxins, improves blood sugar, and the health benefits go on. “It’s a nutritional powerhouse and immunity builder,” Sepel says. She recommends chasing it with a slice of orange.
In case you didn’t know, frozen bananas whipped up in a food processor taste a lot like ice cream (it’s true—we tried it). To make it even healthier, Sepel recommends adding a handful of spinach and berries in before blending. “If you can get past the color, you won’t even taste the greens,” she says. Here’s a good recipe for newbies.
Burger lovers, rejoice—this one’s for you. Instead of piling on the lettuce, why not infuse veggies in your burger patty instead? “Simply add mushrooms, carrots, sweet potato, onion, beet, black beans, and any spices you’d like in the food processor, create patties, and bake or grill until browned,” Sepel says. “The possibilities are endless!”
Not a fan of vegetable chunks floating around in your soup? Puree them, instead. If you hate spinach and collard greens, Sepel recommends pureeing them into your homemade carrot or butternut squash soup to get a daily serving.
An easy way to sneak veggies into your favorite carb-laden meal? Add them to your sauce. “While you’re cooking pasta sauce, add a few handfuls of spinach or [arugula],” Sepel says. “Or, add wilted greens or broccoli.”
If you’re trying to end your rollercoaster relationship with potato chips, consider this healthier alternative: kale chips. “Simply remove the stems and ribs, cut [them] into large pieces, toss with olive oil, and sprinkle with Himalayan sea salt,” Sepel says. She recommends baking them for 20 minutes at 300 degrees for maximum crunch. Bonus: Loading up on veggies will help your diet goals, too. “If you want to curb hunger in general, eat your greens,” Sepel says.
Are you a vegetable lover or hater? What’s your favorite way to sneak them into your diet? Tell us below!