“Most Americans don’t consume the recommended quantities/variety of fruits and vegetables,” says Noodle fanatic. Here’s one practical solution: Instead of trying to drastically alter your eating patterns, sneak vegetables into the dishes you already make. “Meatloaf, soups and even baked goods hide them very well,” says monavano. “I also start many dishes with a mirepoix. Make mac and cheese with cauliflower; they’ll never know. Also, blend it into mashed potatoes. I like to make mashed potatoes with a yam thrown in to boost nutrients.”

“I cram soups, casseroles, stews with veggies,” says sueatmo. “I learned long ago to put lots of onion, garlic, celery, etc. in anything possible. These are not exotic veggies, don’t cost a lot in general, and they qualify as veggies.”

Vegetables can even take over the entire dish. “Make ‘fauxtatoes’ from a whole head of soft cooked pureed cauliflower; add butter, [salt and pepper], and one medium baked Idaho spud with the skin for a great mash taters sub,” says mcf.

You can also give them a secret cameo in desserts. “Even if I decide to bake a treat, I add fruits and vegetables to them,” says Matahari22. “My cookies today are made with oatmeal, bananas, cranberries, white whole wheat flour, pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate. I don’t count that in with my fruit/veg intake, but I feel better about eating it. I also do oatmeal peach/carrot muffins.”

Discuss: How can Americans incorporate more fruits & vegetables in their diets on a budget?

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