5 Delicious Healthy Ways to Enjoy Vegetables.

More than one way to enjoy vegetables

courtesy of www.pro-ecuador.com/.../healthy-food-ecuador.jpg
courtesy of www.pro-ecuador.com/.../healthy-food-ecuador.jpg

Eating vegetables has many health benefits, from preventing cardiovascular diseases to promoting healthy skin and teeth. They make smart food choices when it comes to losing weight as they carry bulk with few calories and they generally low in fat content. You’ve probably heard about their high fiber content too. Obesity researcher, Joanne Slavin at the University of Minnesota, says that fiber can induce satiety and slow digestion, which helps you stay full longer, which in turn can help your weight loss efforts.

But that’s not all. Vegetables are powerful storehouses of vitamins, phytonutrients, antioxidants and minerals. According the United States Department of Agriculture eating vegetables (fruits are also tied to this category) can reduce risks of strokes, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancer, decrease bone loss and reduce risk of developing kidney stones. The benefits of eating vegetables are too many to ignore. But you’re not eating enough vegetables for some reasons.

What are your reasons for not eating vegetables or enough of them?

  • Vegetables are boring.
  • I’m tired of the same old way of eating it.
  • They are not very tasty.
  • My busy lifestyle makes it hard to eat vegetables on a regular basis.
  • I don’t like them. Period.
See results without voting

Healthy Cooking can be a snap.

Healthy Cooking Methods

Healthy cooking doesn't mean that you have to become a gourmet chef or invest in expensive cookware. You can use basic cooking techniques to prepare food in healthy ways.

Simple and Savory Vegetable Recipes with Jamie Oliver

As part of a special TODAY series titled Jamie Oliver’s Cooking School, the hot British chef is back to share some simple and delicious dishes that use seasonal ingredients from his new book “Jamie at Home, Cook Your Way to the Good Life.” Today, it’s all about leeks, winter root vegetables and more.


Read more: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/27648048/#ixzz0jDJJe7mx

Whatever your reason, it pays to include vegetables in your diet. Vegetables are terribly versatile and they fare well in all kinds of preparation (by that token, they are wonderfully forgiving too). You don’t have to be a fancy cook or have a lot of time to enjoy vegetables. Here are 5 totally healthy and delicious ways of enjoying vegetables.

Salads

If you can cut, chop, tear, mix and drizzle, you can make a salad.. Even if you can’t or can’t find the time, you can always grab a bag of ready to go salad—they’re air-dried and supposedly clean and ready to use and all you have to do is select your favorite kinds when you visit the grocery stall. But if you like to make your own combination of vegetables for salad, it’s as easy as choosing the vegetables and then prepping them. One good rule to remember when choosing vegetables—include a wide selection of colorful vegetables to gain a wide spectrum of nutrients.

The temptation is to drizzle store-bought dressing and dig in. While this is acceptable now and then, store-bought salad dressings can be high in sugar and saturated fats. According to Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen, 50 percent of the sugar we eat comes from “fat-free” salad dressings and young women get half their daily calories from salad dressing.

The healthier alternative is to make your own salad dressing and you don’t have to Jamie Oliver (my favorite TV chef) to fix a healthy dressing. Healthy oils reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol while vinegar is a fat-buster. Here’s a simple no-fuss basic salad dressings you can whip up in no time:

  • Healthy oils (such as olive, canola, sesame, grapeseed oils)
  • Vinegar (balsamic, white or red wine vinegar, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar)
  • Optional: Herbs (fresh chopped herbs or dried) or spices
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Add oil and vinegar to a bowl. The ratio of oil to vinegar is about 1:3. Then add herbs or spices and salt and pepper and whisk together. Add to salad, toss and enjoy.


Many ways to slice and dice.

courtesy of 1.bp.blogspot.com/_4eRNH1qEMmw/SlzH5cGlmpI/AA.
courtesy of 1.bp.blogspot.com/_4eRNH1qEMmw/SlzH5cGlmpI/AA.

How to Steam Vegetables

Steaming vegetables

Steaming vegetables is a great and viable option to produce hassle-free quick dishes without losing its color, texture or nutrients. With a few steaming implements, you can get really good at this and steam any number of vegetables to complement any dish. What are they, you may ask? You can easily purchase an electric steamer, or just a steaming rack that can fit into a pot or wok, a colander or bamboo steamer. If you love improvising, just innovate by crushing aluminum foil into balls and placing them at the bottom of your pot to prop up your dish of vegetables for steaming. If you’re too busy or tired to bother, use the microwave. Simply put some moist paper towels over your vegetables and hit the cook button. The grocery stores also carry microwave bags for steaming such as Zip n Steam (Glad has a version too). They even carry vegetables in pouches ready for you to pop into the microwave. Little fuss--great nutritional result.

Steaming is part of the adventure. Playing with different ways to eat steam vegetables is another. You can flavor them with your favorite seasonings or toss them in a bowl with different kinds of dressings. Add them to pasta, soups, wraps-- the possibilities are promising. Eat them like finger foods—they are that versatile .

 

Stir-fry, the Asian Way

Stir-fry

I grew up eating stir-fry at almost every meal, so naturally I eat a lot of stir-fry even now. The idea is to sautee the vegetables in high heat to bring out the flavor without destroying the nutrients. Stir-fry should be quick, no more than 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the vegetables. You can stir-fry almost any vegetables. Tender, leafy vegetables require less time than vegetables with firmer texture like cabbage or daikon.

A basic method is to heat up some healthy oils. In Asian stir-fry, sesame oil is preferred. Of course, you can use canola, peanut oil too. Olive oil breaks down in extreme heat, so that may not be a good choice for stir-fry. Add vegetable and mix thoroughly and season with salt and pepper. Asian stir-fries usually have some oyster sauce or soya sauce/fish sauce added as well.

Nutritional Value of Salsa

Salsa Your Way to Health

Salsa is the Spanish word for sauce and it invariably consists of chilies, tomatoes and spices. You can trace the history of Salsa back to the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas. The Spaniards encountered tomatoes after conquering Mexico from 1519 to 1521, which consequently marked the beginning of history of salsa. Aztec lords have long use a combination of tomatoes, chilies, ground squash seeds and other spices to make a sauce condiment to compliment their meat dishes like turkey, venison, lobster and fish.

Vegetables can be added to Smoothies

courtesy of www.remember.org/.../getjuiced/Smoothies.jpg
courtesy of www.remember.org/.../getjuiced/Smoothies.jpg

Sauces and Condiments

If you have picky eaters or small kids who think they are allergic to vegetables, sauces and condiments are a great way to sneak nutrition into their diet without them knowing it. Make spaghetti or pesto sauce with fresh vegetables and herbs and use these basic  sauces to assemble pasta dishes, casseroles or to add flavor to wraps, burritos, tacos and your fussy eaters may not even know it. Or do they but it is so delicious, they choose not to complain?

How about salsa? It’s a great way to chop a bunch of fresh vegetables and fruits together to make a dip for chips or to spice up your tacos.  By that same token, vegetable-based condiment can be made to complement your main dish. 

Juicing Vegetables

Don’t feel like working too hard to prepare your vegetables or too tired to crunch on that celery stick? Why not juice the vegetables? Pair them with some fruits and you have yourself a tasty beverage, complete with all the goodness of vegetables without tasting too much like you’re eating wheat grass. You may miss out on the fiber when you juice, so be sure to not use this method to replace eating vegetables regularly.

Just make sure you have a juicer or blender in your house—the only instruction you will need for this segment.

Recipes for Vegetable Smoothies

More by this Author


Comments 32 comments

Amber Allen profile image

Amber Allen 6 years ago

Super hub, Anginwu. If only sugar and fat didn't taste so good. Amber:)


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Amber Allen, I agree. I think we should re-train our taste buds. Thanks for dropping by.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

nice one angel, I learned a lot form your hub, I want to eat those veggies now, I will surely like your stir fry, Maita


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Maita, we love stir-fry, don't we? We need to have a stir-fry party. Thanks for commenting.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Anginwu, Excellent hub. I like the way you went through all the ways to cook with good examples. I am partial to stir fry and those smoothies looked great also. Thanks.


Habby profile image

Habby 6 years ago from College Station, Texas

Anglnwu, oh my goodness the fact about young women getting half their daily calories from salad dressing was shocking. Eek!

I love fruits but have a harder time with veggies. So I've been making myself try new recipes out of the vegetable section of my Better Homes and Garden cookbook. What's your favorite cookbook?

Thanks for the hub!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Pamela, I'm partial to stir-fry too. Thanks for your kind comments.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Habby, isn't it scary to know that we can actually get half the calories from bad choices of salad dressings?

I don't have a favorite cookbook. I do, however watch lots of foodtv and if I want a recipe, I just google. Most of the time, I improvise and I love to create new dishes.

Appreciate your comments and i'm off to visit yours.


hypnodude profile image

hypnodude 6 years ago from Italy

Another great hub with many good advices. Rated and stumbled. Very well done. I'm not a juicer as I prefer a good salad, but I have to try steamed vegetables more than I do now. :)


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

I love vegetables and crave them, probably because I'm not much of a sweets eater.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Hypnodude, I greatly appreciate your continual support. Glad you're going to try to steam vegetables--it's very easy and delicious. You already love salads, so you're good. Thanks again.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

shela, good to see you again. I love vegetables too and if I don't eat them for two days straight, i don't feel so good. You're on the right track, vegetable-lover! Thanks for dropping by.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

I really like how you presented this hub, anglnwu! Yes, steaming is perhaps the healthiest way to enjoy vegetables aside from eating them raw! And who the heck doesn't like stir fry? It's fast, healthy, and there are about a million different combination of such the last time I checked! Thanks for such a fantastic hub.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Dohn, I always enjoy your comments. Right, who doesn't like stir-fry? You can toss anything into wok and it would come out tasty and delicious. Thank you so much for taking time off your busy hubbing to drop a line. Always appreciated!


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY

ang - I love vegetables almost as much as I love this Hub. I have never thought to make a smoothies with anything but fruit but after reading this I cant wait to try one with some veggies. This Hub is not only loaded with great information but your layout just makes you want to read more! Thanks for sharing all this:)


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Shari, so good to see you again. Some vegetables naturally lend themselves to be "juiced" such as carrots, tomatoes, celery and have you tried an avocodo shake?--very good for the skin, i've heard (got to research that one). Thank you so much for your beautiful comments and always a pleasure to see you. Love the shot of you in the pic. Can I request for a close-up?


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 6 years ago from Indonesia

Hi! as an Asian, I do a lot of your techniques in preparing veggie, and you're right, the stir fry method is the simplest way to prepare veggie and I used to do that too, wonderful hub anginwu, and thank you for the smoothies link :)


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Thanks, febriedethan, for your comments. Yeah to stir-fry--my favorite way of preparing vegetables.


ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 6 years ago from USA

Great read! Uped it! I love vegetables, I can survive on them, though grilled chicken breast strips are just right in any salad. I loved the videos, they made me hungry.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Vera, I'm with you--I love vegetables, especially stir-fry. I bake lots of chicken breasts too--they go with everything and I use them in sandwiches for the kids. Thanks again and always a pleasure to hear from you.


Shane Belceto profile image

Shane Belceto 5 years ago from WA USA

Ummm no chocolate covered options?? sheesh

My youngest must put some kind of sauce on hers even the steamed ones .. good tips thanks much

~Expect Miracles


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Shane, sure, you can dip celery in chocolate--I'll second that. Hard chocolate is healthy too. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.


Shane Belceto profile image

Shane Belceto 5 years ago from WA USA

hummmm done that with peanut butter .. hadn't thought of chocolate though .. sounds great .. thank YOU for the idea will do this with my kids smiles

~Expect Miracles


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Mmm, celery with peanut butter and now dipped in chocolate--your kids will think you're the best. Thanks, Shane, for coming back to share your thoughts.


Shane Belceto profile image

Shane Belceto 5 years ago from WA USA

Well they will be right in thinking that lol jk ... does sound good though prabllay since it is about time I figure dinner out for today heheheee

Have a great rest of the week!!!!

~Expect Miracles


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Yay,Shane, sounds like you're one wonderful dad. Have a great weekend.


Sun-Girl profile image

Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

Thanks dear for these wonderful article you produced in here. I so much love this work because am a lover of vegetables and i think am the person you wrote these for.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Sun-girl, you know I absolutely have you in mind when I wrote this. I'm a veg. lover like you. Thanks for commenting.


Trsmd profile image

Trsmd 4 years ago from India

Instead of eating cooked vegetable, raw vegetable will be much healthier.. And I prefer to eat raw only...or without oil..


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Trsmd, raw vegetables are very healthy and if you eat it with a little bit of healthy oil such as olive, canola, it actually helps the body to assimilate the nutrients better. Thanks for commenting.


urmilashukla23 profile image

urmilashukla23 4 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

I love vegetables in any way, stir fried, steamed etc. You have mentioned a good point that store bought dressing contain 50% sugar. It ruins the purpose of eating vegetables. Thanks for sharing it. Voted up!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Urimia, thanks for commenting. It's definitely healthier if we prepare our own dressings--it's actually not that difficult. Many thanks.

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