Easy Ways to Get Your 5-A-Day part 1.

So I've got to be honest. I had the idea for this post like over a year ago. A YEAR!! But I never got motivated enough to take the pictures or write the blogpost. I haven't been active on the blog lately. The perfectionism in me just wants the blog to look perfect, for everything I say to be super funny and entertaining, and for my information to be helpful. And let's be real, my pictures are still lacking, and entertainment writing isn't my strong suit. But I've decided that those things don't really matter. I can't get better at food blogging if I don't blog, right? 

So here I am, starting a two part blog series on easy ways to get your 5-a-day. Eating veggies is something that I absolutely love and actually crave. I'm not lying. So incorporating them into my diet isn't that difficult. However, I realize this isn't the case for everyone.

The recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption for adults is 1.5-2 cups of fruit and 2.5-3 cups of vegetables each day (hence the "5 a day" slogan). These recommendations are based off of research that shows a reduction in the risk of certain diseases (think cancer, heart disease, etc) in relation to fruit and vegetable consumption. And although juice cleanses/smoothies are super popular right now and an easy way of reaching that goal, I'm not really a big fan of them. I would much rather you eat your fruits and vegetables. You're gonna get more full and stay satisfied far longer (hello fiber!!) while keeping your sanity. I mean, come on, who wants to drink carrot and kale juice every day?? Please. No. I want to put a disclaimer, I don't think you need to be rigid about these recommendations. I promote intuitive eating, so some days vegetables or fruits just aren't going to sound as appetizing and your consumption will be less. But other days, you'll really crave them and your body will be asking you for them, so you will have a lot more. Intuitive eating has been shown to increase diet diversity, and therefore nutrient intake. 

I think the reason most people don't like making/eating vegetables is because they simply don't know how to fix them to make them taste good. Soooo....I give yooooo...simple recipes to help you get your five a day in! 

First, oven roasted broccoli. I make this ALL the time. It takes like 5 minutes to prepare and 15-20 min to roast. And it's delicious.

Oven Roasted Broccoli
Oven Roasted Broccoli

Just turn the oven on to 400. While it is preheating, rinse two large heads of broccoli with water. Cut the heads of broccoli from the stem and then pull them apart to make smaller florets. Place in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, minced garlic, kosher salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven 15-20 minutes. I like mine a little charred....And really this works for any root/cruciferous vegetables. I love a mixture of brussels, broccoli, red onion, cubed sweet potatoes, and parsnips. 

The next vegetable I present to you is garlic green beans. They're a go-to when I want to add a veggie to a meal. And they are far superior to the typical lettuce and ranch side salad people always make. Gag...(sorry that I'm so dramatic. If you like the ranch and lettuce combo, go you.)

Garlicky Green Beans

Bring a pot of water to boil. As you are waiting for the water to boil, snap the ends off 1 lb of green beans and then snap into bite sized pieces. Once water is boiling, add your green beans and bring back to a boil for 10-15 minutes or until soft and to your liking. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a small skillet and add 3/4 Tbsp minced garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 2 Tbsp of chopped walnuts or pine nuts. Sautee until garlic starts to brown. Once the green beans are cooked, drain and then top with the garlic, olive oil, nut mixture. 

The next "recipe" is something I've been eating a lot lately. With summer produce being super cheap, I've been loading up on fruits. My body has been saying "give me all the fresh berries as possible!" So I've been eating yogurt with strawberries and blueberries very frequently. Like I've mentioned before, I'm a fan of crunchy with my soft textures. So I came up with this little mixture to add to my yogurt and it is SO SO good.

Yogurt with crunchy peanut butter and banana topping
Yogurt with peanut butter banana crumble

Mash about 1/2-1 tbsp ripe banana (think of 1 Tbsp on a stick of butter) with 1 tsp peanut butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Add 2 Tbsp plain bran flakes and 2 Tbsp honey bunches of oats (or special K) and mash all together. Top your yogurt and fruit bowl with this mixture and devour!!! 

So there you have it! Three easy peasy recipes to increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Stay tuned for a few more super simple vegetable and fruit recipes. In the meantime, what are YOUR favorite ways to get your 5-a-day in?