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Effortlessly Upgrade Your Vegetable Intake With One Easy Grater Hack

Pile of grated carrot
Pile of grated carrot - MCMartinezSotillos/Shutterstock

How many at-home chefs can truthfully admit to eating enough vegetables? Even for those who frequently enjoy a wide variety of foods, consuming the recommended amount of produce is a constant struggle for most Americans. According to a 2019 analysis conducted by the CDC, only 10% of adults (give or take) meet the suggested intake of fruits and vegetables. If whipping up a pan of sautéed spinach and mushrooms to go with your nightly chicken breast feels like a lot of work for little reward, you may want to try busting out your box grater to find more creative ways to consume these precious plant-based nutrients.

While some folks don't mind downing steamed broccoli or sliced raw peppers, many food lovers need more convincing. Box graters are the perfect tool for making a variety of vegetables more palatable to even the most finicky eaters. By finely shredding or mincing neutral favored vegetables, you can begin to add these nutritious foods to your favorite meals. The best part about including grated vegetables in your favorite recipes is that half of the time, you might forget you added them in the first place. Grated vegetables cook down to a soft consistency, making them easily masked by the main ingredients in your everyday meals. Now that you know what tool to use to consume more plant-producing nutrients, which vegetables work best for grating, and which dishes easily accompany extra produce?

Read more: 12 Vegetables And Fruits That Used To Look Very Different

You Have Several Options To Consider When Adding Grated Vegetables To Your Next Meal

Fresh bread with shredded zucchini
Fresh bread with shredded zucchini - Jmcanally/Shutterstock

Truthfully, when it comes to shredding vegetables, any assortment of produce can be made smaller before making its way into your favorite foods. If you want to start mild, stick to vegetables that are naturally firm but easy to grate using a box grater, such as zucchini, carrots, or beets. Shredded zucchini is a fantastic flavorless way to boost the nutrition in your breakfast fare: Add a handful directly into raw scrambled eggs for an easy veggie-packed frittata, or use a cup to make moist and flavorful chocolate zucchini bread. In addition to adding a hearty crunch to raw salads, shredded carrots also work well when baked into your favorite treats. Heartier vegetables can also be cooked and immersed into your favorite casserole and meatloaf recipes. Sure enough, one of the easiest ways to make store-bought pasta sauce taste homemade is by adding finely shredded aromatic veggies.

Luckily, carrots and zucchini aren't the only veggies that can be shredded to make your meals more nutritious. Feel free to use your box grater to shred jicama and asparagus to make your next coleslaw or raw salad more colorful and nutrient-dense. While the box grater is very useful in helping you achieve your daily dose of veggies, it is not the only route (or utensil) used to consume adequate amounts of produce.

To Incorporate More Vegetables Into Your Diet, Make An Effort To Meal-Prep

Shredded vegetables in separate bowls
Shredded vegetables in separate bowls - WS-Studio/Shutterstock

Among the brilliant meal prep hacks that will save you tons of time, grating vegetables for easy use is one to keep in mind. Before completing your weekly grocery shopping, plan out which vegetables you want to have on hand to add to your meals. Then, before your busy week begins, take 30 minutes to wash and shred your produce. Now, when you're in the mood to make carrot cake oats or veggie-loaded pasta sauce, you don't have to worry about taking the extra time to grate your vegetables. Store any chopped or grated produce in separate covered containers in the refrigerator. Since flavors and aromas may leach, avoid mixing cut vegetables, especially if you plan to use each variety separately.

For added convenience, next to using a box grater, if you want to shred vegetables like kale and spinach, use the slicing disc of your food processor. The grating disc, on the other hand, is excellent for shredding more finicky vegetables like Brussels sprouts. As a last-stitch resort, you can also find prepped bags of pre-shredded vegetables in the cold section of your grocery store. You can take plenty of extra steps to consume more nutritious produce. Next to planning your meals, grate an array of vegetables for easy grab-and-go additions to everyday meals.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.