As if we don’t have enough things to worry about on a day-to-day basis, trying to remember to get the right amount of fruit and veg into our diets can cause more stress than it needs to.
And while we can’t ignore the importance of getting enough nutrients, we CAN give you a few sneaky tips to make the process that bit easier and less tiresome.
1. Load your breakfast
We know everyone doesn’t always have the time in the morning to cook up a tasty breakfast when they’re running out the door to work or school, but mixing some banana slices and fresh berries into your yoghurt or cereal is a great way to kick-start your day in the right direction.
2. Hide them in your cooking
If you find there’s only so much veg you can put on your plate before you explode, grate them down and hide it in your cooking. What exactly do we mean? Finely shred or grate your fruit and veg down and mix them into your favourite recipes. For example, grated courgette or carrots are delicious when mixed into meat to make burgers. Or try pureeing cooked cauliflower and stirring it through your mash.
3. Double the recipe
Whether you are making soup, sandwiches, or pizza, whatever your usual amount of veg is – double it. Don’t worry about ruining a recipe if it requires a certain amount of veg. Adding more will simply add to the nutritional value of your meal, as well as the flavour of it.
Keep things interesting by adding one new fruit or vegetable to your shopping list each week. If you are trying something new, it is important to make sure that your chosen item is in season to make the experience more enjoyable. As we’re rolling into summer (and the weather seems to finally be catching up) it is a good time to add asparagus and aubergine to your cooking, and to nibble on berries for dessert.
5. Daily dessert
When most of us think dessert we think loads of cream and calories. But why not have a dessert after every dinner? Fruit desserts will provide something sweet after your meal, and provide extra nutritional goodness into your daily intake. Strawberries are great after dinner, or try freezing grapes or banana slices for a tasty summer snack.
6. Drink them
If you want a huge fruit and veg boost when you’re on the go, smoothies are a great way to get it. Create your own with your favourite fruit and veg to suit your tastes. Don’t be afraid to mix things up as well. Mango and papaya are delicious in smoothies and even cucumber can work surprisingly well.