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Using Vegetables

Tips for Buying

  • Buy fresh vegetables in season. They cost less and are likely to be at their peak flavor.
  • Stock up on frozen and canned vegetables for quick and easy cooking in the microwave.
  • 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 cooked 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.
  • 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. 
  • Veggies can be a great snack! Try this Better For You Veggie Dip made with Greek yogurt to enjoy with raw broccoli, red and green peppers, carrot and celery sticks or cauliflower.
  • Try making veggie noodles or riced cauliflower!
  • Be careful...sauces or seasonings can add calories, saturated fat, and sodium to vegetables.