Try out these 6 easy tips to increase your veggie consumption. The more vegetables you eat, the better you will feel from increased vitamins, minerals, enzymes, chlorophyll, fiber, and water content.
We all know we need to eat more vegetables to increase our vitality and health. But let’s face it, no one wants to munch on boring salads or steamed veggies all the time. Here are 6 easy tips to spruce up your veggie eating, whether raw or cooked. Take care of yourself and have fun doing it. Life is too short not to!
1) Quality of your salt
The quality of your salt is so important for increased nutrition and the absence of chemicals found in table salt. Rock salts, Himalayan sea salts, and Celtic sea salts offer 80+ trace minerals which energize your body and actually help keep your blood pressure balanced. Table salt on the other hand has been stripped of its minerals, contains additives and chemicals, and will contribute to imbalances of the body over time.
The beauty of a rock salt or sea salt that’s not over-processed is that it’s not only healthier, but it has a stronger flavor and you don’t need to use much. Depending on where it originates, real sea salt will be either grey (off-white) or slightly pink in color. If your salt is white, it’s been over-processed! It’s true. A little sprinkle of good salt in your salad dressings or steamed, cooked veggies goes a long way and really changes your veggie eating.
If you enjoy the taste of garlic and can digest it well, a little bit of diced up, fresh garlic (not bottled sitting in oil) with a sprinkle of a good salt and a drizzle of 100% extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil, organic coconut oil, hemp oil, or avocado oil is delicious over a salad or steamed veggies (drizzle the oil on when finished steaming). It is so simple but divine every time. And as we know, a little bit of garlic is such a powerful immune booster.
3) Herbs and Spices
Sometimes just a little rock salt with some fresh herbs or spices, a sprinkle of garlic, and a drizzle of raw coconut or hemp oil is my fave. Each herb or spice adds a totally different flavor. Plus they’re all nutrition and digestion enhancers that contribute to better health. My favorite herbs are cilantro, basil, parsley, and rosemary. My favorite spices are cumin, cayenne, paprika, ginger, and Chinese five-spice powder. These are just my personal faves, but there are so many to choose from and play with. Have fun trying new things!
4) Tamari or Nama Shoyu
Both of these are healthier replacements for soy sauce which is typically very high in sodium, soy, and gluten from wheat. Tamari is much more common to find in supermarkets now and is usually gluten-free, which means it does not contain wheat, and tastes just like soy sauce. Nama Shoyu is raw, unpasteurized soy sauce that contains living enzymes and cultured organisms. It is fermented soy (the fermentation process makes it a healthier choice than regular soy sauce) and it tastes great, too. Both of these are salty in taste (just like soy sauce) and are great in your salad dressings or on top of steamed veggies. I like to use a little bit of Tamari or Nama Shoyu with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Salty spiciness!
Tahini is a sesame seed butter high in calcium and protein. From a taste point of view, it’s very creamy and thick, so it makes wonderful sauces for raw or cooked veggies. You can make salad dressings or sauces that are delicious and satisfying. Blend tahini with a little bit of water, garlic, cilantro, tamari, and fresh lemon juice to make a salad dressing or sauce. This is so easy, so tasty, and so satisfying! Here is another great sauce or dressing recipe for you: Gracious Living Creamy Cucumber Dressing.
6) Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast or Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a microorganism grown on sugar cane and beet molasses. Once harvested, it undergoes heat treatment to deactivate it and then crumbled. Don’t be put off by the name or the description because this one is a tasty winner! It has a nutty cheese flavor and is completely vegan (that’s right—a natural cheese flavor that’s not cheese!) Nutritional yeast is often used by vegans to create yummy vegan "cheese" dishes and “nacho” type sauces.
Don’t confuse it with baking yeast, active dry yeast, or brewer’s yeast that are typically bitter. Nutritional yeast will definitely spruce up your salad dressings or steamed veggies. (It’s also really good in soups and rice.)
Not only does it taste delicious, but it contains vitamins, minerals, and even protein, is low in fat and sodium, and free of sugar and gluten. They’re little yellow flakes you can buy at the supermarket or bulk food store. And nutritional yeast doesn't have to be reserved just for vegans as it is tasty and flavorful for anyone! It definitely needs a better name though.