Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall Fruits & Veggies & How to eat More of Them

Vegetarian Day:  Today is National Vegetarian Day.  I'm not a Vegetarian, but I do try to eat a mostly vegetarian diet as much as I can.  Ceci, has also been a Flexitarian (mostly vegetarian), but last week we were talking about her goal to try Veganism in the near future.  Whether you are a meat lover, vegetarian, vegan, or some where in the middle - we can all agree that fruits and veggies are good for us and that we should try to eat more of them.  Today we've been chatting about Fall Fruits and Veggies.  Here's some goodies from today's show.

Motivation for Monday Fitness:
Bob & Caroline Scott of the Louisville Athletic Club shared some tips this morning about what fruits & veggies are in season and why it's important to eat seasonal foods.
"We Really love the fall because the weather is pleasant, there is football to watch, and our tastes start to change a little.  So we start craving more hearty foods." - Caroline Scott
Veggies in Season:
  • All kinds of squashes including acorn, winter, and butternut
  • Pumpkins
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Sweet Potatoes
Fruits in Season:
  • Pears
  • Pomegranates
  • Cherries
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Pineapple

Why Should We Buy Produce in Season?  Bob says, "By purchasing foods that are in season, your dollar goes right to the local farmer, and your family will be able to enjoy the health benefits of eating fresh, unprocessed fruits & vegetables.  Of course, we live in a world where we now have any fruits and veggies we want all year round.  The downside to this is that they are picked while still immature to ensure that they don't spoil along the way.  Not only does this affect the fresh taste and aroma of your fruits and vegetables, but also causes vitamin degradation and nutrient loss. Buying seasonal produce gives you the opportunity to try new things as well!"   For more great tips: visit Caroline's blog 

Also check out this Autumn Produce Guide from Cooking Light

Ways to Eat More Veggies:
We all know we should eat more fruits and veggies, but for various reasons less that 30% of Americans are eating enough fruits and vegetables.  Here's some tips on how to incorporate more of the good stuff into your daily meal plans.

1: Add fruit to your breakfast foods.  Breakfast is the perfect time to incorporate more fruit into your meal.  Stir berries (fresh or frozen), dried fruit, or banana slices into yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal. Every 1/2 cup of fruit you add is a serving.  You can also make a smoothie. Combine some low fat milk or yogurt, 1/2 cup frozen berries and a banana for a super easy blended breakfast – and 2 entire fruit servings!  Have a glass of juice. Make sure it’s made from 100% fruit juice, and limit yourself to eight ounces per day to avoid too many added sugars.  Don’t have time for breakfast? Whole fruits are quick, prep-free, on-the-go solution. Grab an apple, peach, banana, or orange and enjoy it on your way to work.

2: Add Veggies to your breakfast foods.  Veggies are also easy-peasy to add to breakfast foods.  Here's some ideas: Add peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms or onions to your eggs for a delicious omelet, or pile the whole scramble on your favorite bread, tortilla, or bagel for a booster breakfast sandwich.

3: Prepare Meals that let you Double Up:  Some meals are naturally condusive to doubling up on veggies, like soups, salads, pastas, sandwiches, pizzas, and casseroles, most recipes call for a certain amount of vegetables. Double the amount called for in the original recipe. You are already doing the prep work; so a little extra chopping can go a long way for your vegetable intake.  Try stirring in extra veggies into soups. Don’t be afraid to steer off the beaten recipe path just a bit. When it comes to something like soups, an overdose of chopped vegetables will not ruin the recipe. It will enhance the flavor, nutritional value, and your daily vegetable tally. A half cup of chopped vegetables and a whole cup of dark leafy greens is another serving. In White Bean Soup with Kale and Chorizo (from Cooking Light), you can double the amount of kale or add chopped carrots, celery, red bell peppers, zucchini.  The possibilities are endless.  You can also pile them on the pizza by adding extra veggies to a frozen pizza, order double veggies from delivery, or create your own.  Casseroles are also easy meals to sneak in extra veggies. Cooking up a Mexican casserole? Add some extra peppers, mushrooms, and squash. Don’t be shy with topping with tomato- and veggie-heavy salsa, either. Eggplant Parmesan? Double the eggplant. Chicken Pot Pie? Double those peas and carrots. You’ve got the idea. Finally here's some ideas for sandwiches. Take your routine turkey sandwich and jazz it up with sliced apples, cucumber, zucchini, sprouts, and spinach. A 1/2 cup of this colorful combination just scored you another serving.

4: Be a sneaky Chef:  Make a marinara that’s loaded with vegetables. In addition to your traditional tomato sauce base, use any combination of chopped mushrooms, eggplant, onions, peppers, squash, and carrots. This versatile sauce can then be used in a variety of creative ways to add both flavor, as well as a serving of vegetables to your day. Spoon it over noodles, mix it into lasagna, start it as a soup base, spread it over pizza crust, or use it as a dipping sauce.

5: Meatless Monday: Pick a day or two a week to go meatless.  Even if you don't go entirely vegetarian those days, you will more than likely find yourself eating more fruits and veggies if you set a weekly goal.

6: Feature a New Fruit/Veggie Each Week:  Fruits and veggies don't have to be boring.  Try to incorporate new foods into your meal plans each week to keep your meals exciting and fresh.  As Bob Scott mentioned, try to take advantage of seasonal fruits and vegetables.

No comments:

Post a Comment