Health & Wellness

Drop 10 TODAY check in: Joy Bauer will help you love veggies

Tired of munching on carrots and celery? The non-starchy vegetables on the Drop 10 “unlimited list” can be a great way to keep a lid on hunger between meals, but plain old raw veggies can admittedly get a little ho-hum. Here are some easy ways to heighten the flavor and add a bit more fun to these freebie nibbles.

1. Nuke ‘em

Microwaving veggies can help bring out their natural sweetness. I love using this cooking method for green beans and snap peas (just 4-5 minutes!), but no veggies are off limits.

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Snap peas

Microwaved green beans and sugar snap peas

In two separate bowls, microwave green beans and sugar snap peas until their desired texture (I like about 5 minutes), and sprinkle with kosher or sea salt and preferred seasonings.

RELATED: Joy Bauer's Drop 10 TODAY grocery list

2. Roast ‘em

With just a dash of seasoning along with a baking sheet, roasting helps to caramelize veggies — completely transforming them into tender and sweet bites of goodness.

Some of my faves? Lay fresh broccoli florets or spears on a sheet pan, spritz with olive oil spray, and sprinkle with garlic powder and a dash of salt. Roast at 420 degrees for about 20 minutes or until tops are browned and crispy.

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Organic green roasted broccoli florets

And, definitely whip up this easy recipe for roasted cherry tomatoes. Place cherry or grape tomatoes on a baking sheet in single layer, liberally mist with olive oil spray and add a couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle on salt, pepper, garlic powder and chopped fresh basil. Roast in the oven at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Katie Connelly

3. Crisp ‘em

There’s nothing like the satisfying crunch of baked kale chips. Give this tasty recipe a try:

Nathan Congleton / TODAY
Kale chips

Trim the ends off the kale and cut or tear kale into 2-inch pieces. Spread the kale on a baking sheet and liberally spray with non-stick oil and generously sprinkle with salt. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until kale is crispy and edges are beginning to brown.

RELATED: Drop 10 TODAY: Joy Bauer's healthy breakfast recipes

4. Puree ‘em

Pureed vegetables lend a thick and creamy texture to many soups without adding any fat or calories to your bowl. Simply boil any combination of non-starchy vegetables (some of my favorite are carrots, onions, cauliflower, mushrooms and broccoli) in reduced-sodium broth, then puree using an immersion blender (or traditional blender). Finally, spice it up using any seasoning you like — think oregano, garlic and onion powder, cumin, cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper. Ta-da!

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Vegetable soup

5. Dunk ‘em

When in doubt, take a skinny dip. Low-cal dips like salsa, hot sauce, and mustard are a simple way to enhance the flavor of good-for-you veggies.

Katie Connelly
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