You know what foods don’t get enough love?
Celery. Spinach. Cauliflower rice. Cabbage. Cucumber. Zucchini.
Let’s face it, they are not very sexy foods.
But you know what they are perfect for? VOLUME. Adding substance and helping you feel full without overloading on calories. This is key if you want to drop weight and/or lean out without sacrificing on the quantity of food that you take in every day.
I mean seriously, check out the macros on these! All with no (or very negligible) fat, are low carb and low calorie yet still include some protein and fiber. Oh, and these numbers are based on two cups–yes CUPS–of each!
Zucchini – 4g protein / 8g carb / 2g fiber / 58 calories
Celery – 1g protein / 6g carb / 3g fiber / 32 calories
Spinach – 2g protein / 2g carb / 2g fiber / 14 calories
Cauliflower – 4g protein / 10g carb / 5g fiber / 50 calories
Cabbage – 2g protein / 10g carb / 4g fiber / 44 calories
I usually add a cup or two of one of these vegetables in with whatever meal I’m eating, mix it up, and it suddenly becomes a lot more food in my stomach which means I feel satisfied longer… which is everything.
Other things to try that make these a little more interesting:
– Grilled zucchini topped with garlic salt, oregano, basil and parmesan cheese.
– Celery dipped in your favorite nut/seed butter.
– Use spinach in salads instead of romaine or iceberg lettuces. Also add spinach to your morning omelet for extra fiber.
– Make Mexican “rice” using cauliflower rice: add your usual seasonings but use the veggie instead of the grain for a low-carb, nearly identical-tasting alternative!
– Raw cabbage leaf wraps (instead of bread) for sandwiches, or chop and sauté it in a stir fry.
You know what else I love about these veggies? Their low-caloric profile allows me room to eat fun things. Sexy things. Like this banana bread. Yeahhhhhh. Let’s talk about sexy chocolate chip banana bread.
In addition to the incredible, melt-in-your-mouth texture and rich, tasty combo of bananas and chocolate, this hearty bread is actually made with chickpea flour, giving each slice a whopping 8g of fiber!
Plus it’s also free of nuts (peanuts are legumes, guys, don’t get it twisted), dairy, gluten and soy. Winning.