If you want to eat more plants but don’t know where to start, here are 15 simple & delicious ways to incorporate plant-based foods into your normal meals! In partnership with my friends at Nature’s Path Organic. 🌱
These days you may be hearing, “Eat more plants! Plants for the win!” over and over again. But maybe you hear that, scratch your head and think, “Yeah, that sounds great, Emilie, but how?” Wellllll this post is for all of you head-scratchers out there!
I think I take for granted my knowledge in the kitchen and at the grocery store. I was raised to love fruits and vegetables and beans and all the plants, but I know not everyone was raised like that or was taught how to cook.
Sure, I can give you a bajillion recipes on my blog for delicious plant based recipes and all that jazz, but what if you’re at the beginning of your journey? What if you know nothing about green smoothies and bean burgers and cashew cheese?
THOSE PEOPLE are why I do what I do! 💚
This post is full of 15 super simple ways to eat more plants in your normal, busy life. It can be as simple as throwing some spinach into your jarred spaghetti sauce! Easy peasy. These are not just for those who are vegan, vegetarian or want to go vegan; if you’re not there yet, no problem! Just get some plants on your plate, and I’m a happy girl.
I’m partnering with Nature’s Path Organic for this post because they just released their new FREE eBook: Your Guide to a Vegan Diet! It’s a beautiful eBook with all the basics you need to know if you’re interested in going vegan or just eating more plants. The eBook expands on more topics than I have in this post, like plant protein sources, preventing vitamin deficiencies, egg & dairy substitutes and a few recipes!
The eBook is totally FREE (!!!), and all you have to do to receive it is sign up for the Nature’s Path email list. You can also check out Nature’s Path organic food products at your local health food store. Go go go get your eBook now!
1. Blend fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables into your smoothies.
Stock your freezer with frozen bananas, berries, mango, spinach, cauliflower, zucchini (trust me) and any other fruits and vegetables you want to blend up. You can’t even taste the veggies in there! Here’s a great green smoothie recipe to get you started.
2. Throw some grated zucchini into oatmeal or baked goods.
Hear me out, okay? Adding grated zucchini to oatmeal or muffins or whatever amps up your veggie intake and adds fiber to your meal. Search Pinterest for recipes!
3. Replace some (or all 🏆) of the meat in your burgers with beans or mushrooms!
Beans and mushrooms have a “meaty” texture that will satisfy you and add extra protein & veggies to your burger. If you’re just hopping on the veggie burger train, start by replacing half of the meat, and then work your way to all plants! Nature’s Path has a delicious recipe for Spicy Black Bean Burgers in their FREE eBook Your Guide to a Vegan Diet. Get it here!
4. Add some healthy fats to vegetables so you’ll actually want to eat them.
Sad, dry vegetables aren’t all that tasty!👎🏼 Adding healthy fats to your veggies and salad will help you to start enjoying them. Try drizzling tahini on roasted veggies or making an avocado-based salad dressing.
5. Carry around fresh fruit and nuts for snacks.
When the hanger strikes, don’t be caught without snacks! Fruits like bananas and oranges are perfect for grab-and-go snacks, along with a handful of nuts or trail mix.
6. Use egg substitutes (like flax or applesauce) and non-dairy milks in baking.
You can easily replace eggs with plants in baking recipes! Nature’s Path’s free eBook has a few different egg substitutes that are good for all different kinds of cooking. You can also easily swap cow’s milk for nut milk – get the eBook for an easy nut milk recipe and more dairy swaps!
7. Shop at your local farmer’s market to find the freshest produce.
It’s easy to eat more fruits and vegetables when they’re fresh, crisp and grown by local farmers. I’m convinced farmer’s market produce tastes so much better. Plus, you’ll usually get them for a good price!
8. Prep and chop your fruits and vegetables so they’re ready to go any time you want!
When you have fresh cut fruits and vegetables in your fridge, it’s easy to reach for them when you want a snack. Having chopped carrots, apples, cucumbers, snap peas, oranges, etc. will help you eat more plants all day!
9. Use cashews in any *creamy dreamy* sauce/soup/dressing/dip recipe.
Cashews make MAGIC. Seriously. You can take advantage of their creamy consistency when blended by adding them to everything from sauces to soups. Try this delicious cashew queso over cauliflower nachos!
10. Incorporate vegetable noodles into your normal pasta dishes.
I’m not one to recommend completely replacing your pasta with veggie noodles (you need that energy!), but simply adding veggie noodles to your normal serving of pasta will bulk up the meal and add extra fiber. Try zucchini, carrots, turnips or sweet potatoes!
11. Find plant-based versions of your go-to products.
You can pretty much find a plant-based version of anything nowadays! There’s everything from dairy-free mayo and ice cream to veggie burgers. Nature’s Path has an amazing recipe in their eBook for Strawberry-Banana Nice Cream that’s a great plant-powered sub for ice cream.
12. Wilt spinach, kale or other greens into any sauce or soup.
Greens wilt so much, so you could add huge handfuls of spinach to a sauce or soup and barely even notice! Sounds good to me. 💪🏼 I always try to add chopped greens to soups, spaghetti sauce, stir-fries and more.
13. Enjoy a big, green side salad or veggie appetizer before dinner.
Make sure you get your fix of vegetables at dinner by making a beautiful side salad full of greens, chopped vegetables and a healthy fat (this avocado kale salad would be a great option!). Or, you can serve a vegetable appetizer, like raw veggies with a fun dip (vegan ranch?) that kids and adults will both love.
14. Make meals in bulk and store them in the freezer.
When you have plant-based meals already cooked for you, you’re more likely to grab that over another option! Freezer meals are great options for busy people and families. Next time you cook dinner, just double or triple the recipe and freeze the extra!
15. Make your favorite meals, but just find a plant-based version!
No need to completely reinvent the wheel when you’re trying to eat more plants! You can still cook your favorite meals (think tacos, pizza, burgers, fries, noodle stir-fries, ice cream), and you’ll just have to make a few simple swaps. A quick search on Pinterest for “vegan *insert dish here*” will bring up tons of ideas!
Thanks to Nature’s Path Organic for sponsoring this post! I love working with brands whose products I really love and would honestly recommend. Thank you for supporting this blog that I love oh-so-much!