Weight Watchers 

The USA dietary guidelines recommend we eat 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Some of us are challenged to even eat one serving! Jackie Conn from Weight Watchers shares her best tips for achieving the recommended 9 servings.1. Start with vegetables. Before you put anything else on your plate, start with a salad, a heap of green beans, or a stalk of broccoli.After you’ve eaten your vegetables, add the other components of the meal. Since you’re eating your veggies first, when you’re hungry, you’re likely to eat more.2. Make a super salad. One 7-ounce bag of washed lettuce equals a bit more than one serving. Add a sliced tomato, a diced apple, and a quarter cup of raisins and you’ve just increased that to four servings.3. Keep it convenient. Either slice vegetables yourself and keep them in the fridge in ice water or buy precut vegetables. Don’t shun canned fruits, either. If they’re packed in unsweetened syrup, they provide a quick, convenient way to get a serving or more. Try canned peaches on ice cream or mandarin orange segments in salads. Frozen vegetables are another excellent shortcut. Throw them into soups or stews without defrosting. Buy bags of frozen chopped onions and peppers for quickstarts to dinners.4. Get them on pizza. Forget the pepperoni. Order a vegetable pizza. You’ll get sweet, roasted vegetables with every slice.5. Hide them. Add grated carrots to lasagna or spaghetti sauce. And use potato puree to thicken soups in place of cream.6. Use them as condiments. Salsas are all the rage these days. Don’t stop with tomato salsas. Fruit salsas (pineapple, onion, and mint, or cantaloupe, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar) make wonderful accompaniments to pork, fish, and chicken. Try jarred chutneys for an easy option.7. Give ’em a roast. Roasting vegetables such as onions, carrots, turnips, bell peppers, eggplant, and even asparagus is a wonderful way to bring out their natural sweetness. Just spray the vegetables and pan with cooking spray, or drizzle on a bit of olive oil, then roast in a hot oven (450°F) until done. (Different vegetables require different cooking times.) Check often, and turn midway through. Grilling is another way to bring out the flavor in vegetables: try zucchini strips at your next backyard cookout.