Buy fresh vegetables in season. They cost less and are likely to be at their peak flavor.
Stock up on frozen vegetables for quick and easy cooking in the microwave.
Select vegetables high in potassium, such as sweet potatoes, white beans, tomato products (paste, sauce, and juice), soybeans, lima beans, spinach, lentils and kidney beans.
Buy canned vegetables labeled "reduced sodium," "low sodium," or "no salt added." If you want to add a little salt it will likely be less than the amount in the regular canned product.
Tips for Handling
Rinse vegetables before preparing or eating them. Under clean, running water, rub vegetables briskly with your hands. Dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.
Keep vegetables separate from raw meat, poultry and seafood while shopping, preparing or storing.
Tips for Using
Use a microwave to quickly prepare vegetables. White or sweet potatoes can be baked quickly this way.
Grill vegetable kabobs as part of a barbecue meal. Try tomatoes, mushrooms, green peppers, and onions.
Keep a bowl of cut-up vegetables in a see-through container in the refrigerator so they are ready to use. Try carrot and celery sticks, red or green pepper strips, broccoli florets or cucumber slices.
Shred carrots or zucchini into meatloaf, casseroles, quick breads, and muffins.
Include chopped vegetables in pasta sauce or lasagna.
Make a veggie pizza with toppings like mushrooms, green peppers, and onions, and ask for extra veggies.
Use pureed, cooked vegetables such as potatoes to thicken stews, soups and gravies. These add flavor, nutrients, and texture.
Plan some meals around a vegetable main dish, such as a vegetable stir-fry or soup. Then add other foods to complement it.
Add color to salads by adding baby carrots, shredded red cabbage, or spinach leaves. Include in-season vegetables for variety through the year. Just be sure to use a low-fat or fat-free salad dressing.
Veggies can be a great snack! Try a dip made with low-fat salad dressing to enjoy with raw broccoli, red and green peppers, carrot and celery sticks or cauliflower.
Be careful...sauces or seasonings can add calories, saturated fat, and sodium to vegetables.