10 Ways to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables in 2022

Pack in the produce this year.

various fruits and vegetables on a yellow background
Photo: twomeows / Getty Images

Getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet is an admirable resolution, but not always an easy one. If, so far, your plan has been the occasional ants on a log snack or swapping in a side salad for fries, you may need to be more strategic to actually meet your daily goal. (Currently, the CDC recommends a minimum of one and a half to two cups of fruit and two to three cups of vegetables per day.)

With a little planning, and maybe trying out some new cooking techniques, you'll be hitting your daily produce intake goal in no time. Learn how with our 10 helpful tips:

1. Break Out the Blender

Adding fruit to a morning smoothie is an obvious choice for getting more into your diet. But you can also sneak in a few veggies, like spinach or zucchini, for a flavorless boost of vegetables. Even cauliflower rice is a flavorless way to add thickness and nutrients.

While it may be tempting to use fruit juice as a liquid for your smoothies, most brands are high in sugar, so try and stick with whole fruits for flavor (and fiber) instead.

2. Prep Ahead

A little prep work may determine whether you actually use that produce languishing in your fridge or not. By cutting up fruits or vegetables that won't be ruined by being in the fridge (skip the tomatoes that will turn mushy or apples that may become discolored), you can easily get ahead on cooking by chopping, slicing, or dicing ahead of time. Prepare sliced onions and bell peppers for fajitas, dice up mango for your morning oatmeal, or chop butternut squash to roast.

3. Try New Types

It's easy to get stuck in a rut if you're relying on the same fruits and veggies day after day. Instead, explore the produce section next time you grocery shop, and try out a new vegetable or fruit. You never know, you might find a new favorite.

But stick with one new item at a time. This way, you don't risk letting anything go bad before you've had a chance to try it.

4. Get to Spiralizing

Spiralizing veggies, turning them into thick or thin noodle-like spirals, is an excellent way to change up their texture and preparation — and to give you an option for eating more vegetables. Some spiralizing options include zucchini, squash, beets, cucumber, potatoes, and butternut squash. Use these as faux noodles in sauces or soups, for bright salads, or for homemade vegetable fries.

5. Opt for Frozen

Some people are hesitant to try frozen fruits or vegetables because they think fresh is better. While there's nothing wrong with preferring the texture of fresh produce, frozen options have very similar nutritional makeup, and in some cases, such as with vitamin C, they actually have more nutrients than fresh.

Having a few bags conveniently stashed in your freezer can save you time (with a quick trip to the microwave for pre-blanched vegetables) and the trouble of prepping (such as dicing pineapples or chopping butternut squash).

6. Bulk Up Breakfast

With options like cereal, eggs, and bacon, sometimes breakfast can seem like a black hole when it comes to adding in fresh fruits or vegetables. But you can easily switch up your routine by opting for dishes like oatmeal with shredded veggies or fruits, hearty hashes, or vegetable-packed quiche.

7. Be Sneaky

It may be hard to be sneaky with produce while preparing your own meals, but the rest of the family doesn't have to know. Once you sit down to dinner with a familiar looking dish, you'll forget all about the secret ingredients inside — and they'll be none the wiser. Try our 10 Kid-Friendly Recipes Full of Hidden Vegetables for options like blueberry-beet muffins, cauliflower pizza crust, and butternut macaroni and cheese.

8. Try Meatless Mondays

While you definitely don't have to go vegetarian to increase your fruit and vegetable intake, cutting out meat once a week can force you get more creative when cooking at home. Think about options like spinach enchiladas, mushroom "meatballs," or veggie pot pie as some of your hearty, but meatless, options.

9. Rearrange Your Produce

If the saying "out of sight, out of mind" is true, the opposite likely holds some validity, too. In that case, just spotting a piece of fruit in the fruit bowl while you're working in the kitchen is a good reminder for you to eat more fruit. Make sure your fruit bowl is front and center on the countertop, or put it in front of where you hide less healthy snacks, like candy bars or chips. Most ready-to-eat vegetables should be in the produce drawer of your fridge, but if you often forget about them, skip the drawer and instead store your veggies closer to eye-level.

10. Put a Savory Spin on Fruit

While naturally sweet, fruit is an excellent addition to savory dishes. Try pork chops with apples, add extra fruit to your cheese board, dice up some fruit for salsa, or even put peaches on your next pizza. Once you break out of the mindset that fruit is only for sweet dishes, you'll have fun experimenting with all the bold flavors.

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