The pressure to add more vegetables to our diet is real. Vegetables are a critical part of our health and well-being, providing essential nutrients to help our bodies function optimally and helping us stave off disease and lose weight.
The problem is, unlike many packaged foods, fresh veggies take some creativity and effort in order to turn them into appealing and delicious meals or sides. That’s why so many of us neglect to eat them—we just don’t have the time or desire to prep them after a busy day. Thankfully, taking a little time on the weekend to get vegetables ready to go during the week goes a long way toward eating more of them each day. Use the following strategies from The Food Network to prepare and store veggies for easy access all week long.
While you may think that onions are just for adding flavor, they actually possess many health benefits. According to Healthline, onions contain antioxidants and compounds that fight inflammation, decrease triglycerides and reduce cholesterol levels, all of which may help lower heart disease.
To make sure you have plenty of onions ready to toss into your meals all week, slice ½ in. off the top and remove its papery outer layer. Place it cut side down on a cutting board, and slice it vertically. Place one half at a time flat side down and make ¼ in vertical slices; then rotate it 90 degrees and make vertical slices in the other direction. Repeat this process with both halves until you have a fine dice. Store the diced onions in an airtight container and place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the onions before closing. This will prevent the lid from absorbing the odor.
Peppers of all colors have an array of health benefits. Red, yellow and orange varieties are a great source of vitamins A and C, and bell peppers contain fiber, folate and iron. They also work well in many dishes, from scrambled eggs to pasta.
To prep them for the week, stand the pepper on a cutting board and cut the sides off, avoiding the stem and core. Then cut the bottom off and discard the rest. Remove the seeds and cut away membranes. Then slice them in strips or dice depending on how you like to use them. Wrap the cut peppers in a sheet of paper towels and place in an airtight storage container.
There’s a long list of health benefits associated with broccoli— it’s packed with vitamins and minerals, contains potent antioxidants, helps reduce inflammation and may also help protect against certain types of cancer, as do all cruciferous vegetables.
To make sure you have plenty of broccoli on hand for the week, hold it upside down by the stalk and cut away the florets. Halve any larger florets into smaller pieces. Wrap the cut broccoli in damp paper towels and keep inside the crisper drawer in your fridge. Make sure the container you place it in is uncovered to avoid yellowing.