Keto, Paleo, and Vegan, oh my! The holiday season came and went, and no matter what diet you are or aren’t following in 2019, your plate probably welcomes a variety of vegetables.
It’s no secret that nutrition advice is often confusing and contradictory, and it’s also no secret that the latest and greatest diet seems to always be right around the corner. After all, as mentioned in the previous post on eating without guilt and stress, the diet industry has an estimated worth of more than $66 billion. That’s a lot of influence on the way we eat!
But, despite all the food and nutrition noise, one recommendation remains consistent: Eat more vegetables. Specifically, eat more non-starchy vegetables. Non-starchy vegetables are those that don’t contain much carbohydrate and therefore do not raise blood sugar. Starchy vegetables have a higher carbohydrate content and potential to raise blood sugar, which is why some prescriptive diets omit them altogether or recommend consuming very small amounts. For reference, starchy vegetables include potatoes, pumpkin, acorn squash, butternut squash, corn, and green peas. While starchy vegetables are still a quality source of nutrition, the truth is that most Americans eat plenty of these (think mashed or baked potatoes, buttered corn, and French fries), which is why today’s post is a little more focused on the non-starchy ones.
Vegetables have endless benefits, which is why health professionals continue to agree that they should make up a solid portion of a healthy plate. In addition to being a great source of fiber, vegetables provide a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that are vital to health and wellbeing. Vegetables are also an abundant source of phytonutrients, which are responsible for the vibrant colors and hues of plant foods and are most commonly known for they’re antioxidant properties.
No matter what diet you are or aren’t following, now or in the future, it’s safe to say that vegetables have a place on your plate. Check out the below recipes that highlight non-starchy vegetables and a variety of cooking methods and are easily customizable for various diet preferences.
- Instant Vegetable Medley
- Featuring the Instant Pot, this one couldn’t be easier.
- Roasted Balsamic Green Beans
- A twist on the classic, these green beans can easily be sautéed instead of roasted.
- Slow Cooker Veggie Fajitas
- Feel free to use butter instead of vegetable oil, and pair with your favorite protein and/or starch of choice to make it a complete meal.
- Vegetable Kabobs
- Perfect for the grill or the oven. Customize any way you like!
- Baked Kale Chips
- Great as a snack or a side dish and can take on your favorite flavor, e.g. garlic powder, onion powder, curry powder, etc. Don’t knock ’em until you try ’em!