Well, guess what: according to people who are paid by the food industry to figure out what future food trends will be, eating veggies is “in” in 2013. Like, it’s cool…hip…way neato…to get your veg on with some funky brussels sprouts. Don’t believe me? Believe the Sterling-Rice Group, who say “In 2013, you’ll find garden-grown foods as entrées (cauliflower steaks), starches (squash noodles), and even delicious beverages”…looks like my Butternut Squashta recipe is ON POINT!
On top of being so hot right now, new research highlights how our natural tendency to seek variation can be manipulated to help us eat MORE of the good stuff. Investigators in a 2012 study gave study participants a meal of pasta and either broccoli, carrots or snap peas in a single, large portion and measured how much they finished. In one meal, all three vegetables were included together…and this inclined the subjects to consume a higher amount of total vegetable weight than when they only had one option at a time – here’s the kicker – even when the one vegetable presented was their “favorite” among all 3!
Another proven way to get people (both adults and kids!) to eat more vegetables is by serving them with a dip…only problem with that is that most dips are sour cream or oil based, and very high in calories. Enter: my guilt-free ranch dip. The secret (well, not anymore…) is using plain greek yogurt, which is incredibly high in protein instead of fat. A great crowd pleaser at parties (I heard there’s a football game coming up…), dinners, or as a kid’s afternoon snack. Or go ahead, eat the whole bowl yourself – you’ll only be better off!
To review, or in case you skimmed:
Ways to eat more vegetables
- Know that it’s the trendy thing to do; feel cooler
- Offer more than one kind at a time to trick your brain, which is hard-wired to seek variety
- Serve with a dip…preferably the below dip…
Guilt-free Ranch Dip
●½ tsp dried onions
●½ tsp onion powder
●½ tsp garlic powder
●1 tsp dried chives
●½ tsp salt
●1 plain 6-oz low fat greek yogurt (do not mistakenly get vanilla, that would be a dire mistake)
Blend all ingredients together, stirring with a fork until thoroughly mixed. Add more onion/garlic as desired if necessary. Enjoy with veggies or whole grain pita as a snack, or use as a spread for sandwiches or pasta salad.
Total fat: 3.5g
Saturated fat: 2g
Total carbs: 7g
Calcium: 20% DV