Produce is full of nutrient-dense foods that are great for us. A lot of us are creatures of habit, and typically eat something similar in cycles – bagel or eggs for breakfast, sandwich or salad for lunch, etc – which is difficult to break. But, good news is there are very easy ways to incorporate (or introduce) fruits and vegetables into your meals organically (no pun intended).
Recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables is 3-6 cups, depending on age, activity levels, among other things.
10 Tips to Liven up your meals with vegetables and fruits:
- Fire up the grill- use the grill to cook vegetables and fruits. Or in my case an electric cooker or george foreman. Mushrooms, carrots, peppers, potatoes, peaches, pineapples or mangos.
- Expand the flavor of your casseroles by adding sauteed onions, peas, pinto beans, or tomatoes.
- Can’t get away from pasta for a night? Add peppers, spinach, red beans, onions, or cherry tomatoes to your sauce.
- Think outside the bowl (box) – add in elements you don’t typically to your salad, such as shredded carrots, strawberries, spinach, watercress, orange, or sweet peas.
- Choose fruit for dessert
- Stir-fry broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas, mushrooms, or green beans to add to a bowl of quinoa or brown rice.
- Make your burger bigger by adding more tomatoes, or an avocado.
- Enhance muffins or cookies with fruits such as blueberries or bananas.
- Blend your dessert – toss in blueberries, strawberries and a frozen banana in a blender for a quick refreshing, and sweet alternative to ice cream.
- Experiment with different vegetable combinations in your omelettes. Throw them in while the egg cooks for an easy level-up in the vegetable department.
In Upstate NY, we’re lucky to have a Wegmans, that has an amazing prepared foods section – with pre-cut and packaged stir fries, prepared vegetables and meats, and portioned out dinners.
Portion is another easy way to start controlling any bad habits you want to kick.
source: USDA and choosemyplate.gov