How To Sneak Fruits And Veg­eta­bles Into Any Recipe

The Oakdale Leader - - FARM & RENCH -

Fruits and veg­eta­bles are the build­ing blocks of a healthy diet. But many peo­ple do not eat the rec­om­mended num­ber of serv­ings of pro­duce. That’s es­pe­cially true among grow­ing chil­dren, who can ben­e­fit greatly from the vi­ta­mins and nu­tri­ents fruits and veg­eta­bles pro­vide.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est data from the NPD Group, a mar­ket re­search firm, Amer­i­cans eat a lit­tle more than half a cup of fruit and a cup of veg­eta­bles per day. This is less than half of what the govern­ment rec­om­mends. Any­one who eats roughly 2,000 calo­ries per day should strive to con­sume be­tween two to three cups of veg­eta­bles and two cups of fruit per day. Pro­duce helps to fight disease be­cause it con­tains healthy an­tiox­i­dants, fiber, min­er­als and vi­ta­mins. Eat­ing four cups per day may seem dif­fi­cult, but there are many ways to in­cor­po­rate fruits and veg­eta­bles into ev­ery­day recipes.

Sub­sti­tute pureed fruit, like figs, pears and ap­ples, for oil in recipes for cakes and cook­ies. This will en­sure the baked goods are moist but with a lot less fat. Add fresh berries or raisins to break­fast ce­re­als and oat­meal.

Add cau­li­flower or squash to boiled pota­toes be­fore mash­ing them to in­crease the nu­tri­tional punch and fla­vor of mashed pota­toes. Blend fruits and veg­eta­bles to cre­ate smooth­ies for break­fast or lunch on the go.

Bake hearty muffins or breads with sweet potato or car­rots in the bat­ter. Mix stewed toma­toes in with your broth soup base to make a veg­etable or chicken soup even more nu­tri­tious. Opt for veg­eta­bles piled high atop a slice of pizza in lieu of meats or ex­tra cheese.

Di­vide your din­ner plate into quad­rants, fill­ing half of the plate with veg­eta­bles, one quar­ter with meat and the re­main­der with a whole grain. Re­place let­tuce on a sand­wich or burger with a fresh leaf of spinach. While you’re dress­ing your sand­wich, add a slice of tomato, too.

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