Fitting more fruits and vegetables into your diet can feel daunting. On the Nutrisystem weight loss program, we promote eating at least four servings of non-starchy veggies each day. Fiber-rich SmartCarbs like fruit are also an important piece to our meal plan. Fresh produce is absolutely packed with nutrition and we consider it an essential part of achieving optimal health. However, if you’re not used to eating an abundance of fruits and veggies, it can be difficult to get everything in. It’s time to think outside the box, get creative and fill up your weight loss menu with delicious and nutritious produce!
Here are seven fun and fresh ways to get in your daily fruits and veggies:
1. Freeze Your Fruit
Freezing your fruit creates many new possibilities for fitting it into your diet. You can use frozen fruit to make easy smoothies, smoothie bowls or nice cream with a little yogurt or skim milk. You can also blend frozen fruit with ice to make snow cones or healthy “slushies.” If you or your family enjoy popsicles, you can get creative with making various fruit purees into icy cold treats. Check out your local dollar store for fun popsicle molds! Frozen fruit can also be used for baking.
You can also keep things simple with your frozen fruit by freezing it with water in ice cube trays. Simply throw a cube in your H2O to create an easy infused water. Try it with blueberries, strawberries, citrus and mint. Frozen grapes and mango chunks are also sweet snack that tastes like candy all on their own. Freezing fruit at its peak ripeness locks in freshness and ensures that it will still taste great.
Luckily, The Leaf Nutrisystem blog has many articles that give you the run down on all of these fruity favorites! Check out some helpful tips, tricks and recipes below:
2. Get Grilling
Grilling adds unique flavor to fruits and veggies as it allows their naturally occurring sugars to caramelize. You can create tasty fruit and veggie kabobs by cubing your produce and cooking it atop the grill. You’ve likely tried grilled pineapple and peaches. However, the fruity possibilities are endless! Just about any fruit can go on the grill, as long as it’s not overripe and extremely soft. You want fruits that will remain firm and hold their shape. Check out these 1o fruits that taste awesome grilled! >
The same rules apply for grilled veggies. Some of our favorite non-starchy vegetables to throw on the grill include tomatoes, onions, zucchini, squash and bell peppers. You can even grill up dark, leafy greens! Our Grilled Asparagus Caesar Salad and Grilled Romaine and Corn Salad with Honey Mustard Tahini Dressing are perfect for your summer picnics. Get creative, experiment with your favorites and try out new combinations.
The Leaf is here to help you create the ultimate backyard barbecue! Check out these 10 Tips for a Healthy Home Cookout, then read up on How to Throw a Diet-Friendly Summer Picnic. >
3. Sweet Salads
Don’t leave your favorite fruits out of the salad game—fruit can be a delicious way to sweeten up some of your favorite leafy greens. This is another area where you can explore flavor combinations and find something that you like personally. Most people enjoy pairing spinach with strawberries—but fresh spinach can also go great with blueberries or pineapple. Or, what about arugula and apricots—or arugula and watermelon? Look online for ideas of pairings but also feel free to get creative and try your own. You might just come up with the next big trend!
4. Upgrade Your Pasta
Are you onboard the veggie noodle train? Grocery stores have caught wind of this healthy trend and have made it easier than ever with various pre-cut options available. However, you can also make your own veggie pasta at home with a handy spiralizer. From zucchini noodles to spiralized sweet potatoes, we have many ideas for veggie noodle dishes right here on The Leaf Weight Loss Blog. Try out our Zoodle Mac and Cheese with Roasted Veggies or Sesame Soy Cucumber Salad. Once you try out this creative low carb diet hack, you’ll be adding spiralized veggies to every meal you make. Here are Six Veggie Noodle Recipes You Need to Try ASAP! >
5. “Nacho” Average Meal
Ditch the chips and make nachos from fruits or veggies for a fun and healthy snack. Grilled zucchini, thinly sliced sweet potatoes and bell pepper cups are just three examples of veggies that could make a great replacement for tortilla chips—with healthy fixings served on top. Learn how to make Bell Pepper Nachos in less than one minute with this quick video! > Then check out this low carb recipe for Crispy Cauliflower Nachos. >
You can also get creative and make dessert nachos with sliced fruit and flavorful toppings. Try slicing up some fresh apples and cover them with sweet additions like melted peanut butter, yogurt, stevia-sweetened chocolate chips, chopped nuts and granola. If you come up with a tasty recipe, make sure to submit it on our Recipe Submission page for a chance to be featured right here on The Leaf!
6. Simple Snacking
Dehydrated fruit and veggies are a great way to make produce even more “snackable.” Once dehydrated, they can easily be tossed into a baggy and eaten on-the-go like chips. Mix with other ingredients like nuts or granola to make a trail mix. Even better news—you don’t need a dehydrator to get the process started. You can follow these easy steps to use your oven to create dried fruit. You can even use your air fryer to make these Apple Chips! Once you’ve got your sweet snacks settled, check out these Six Veggies That Make Ridiculously Good Chips.
7. Bountiful Breakfast
Waiting until lunch for your first serving of fruit or veggies can make it challenging to fit enough of them into your day. Instead, look for ways to fit produce into your breakfast. Veggies are great to toss into an omelet or scrambled eggs. Fruit can be added atop your cereal, oatmeal or yogurt. You could have a smoothie or even these simple banana pancakes. The possibilities are endless! Making a point to do this every morning will help you meet your daily recommendations before you go about your busy day.
Check out the healthy breakfast recipes below for a fiber-filled morning: