By Arnetta Wilson, Nutrition Program Assistant, EFNEP
(Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program)
Every step taken towards eating more fruits and veggies helps you and your family be at your best. Because eating fruits and vegetables may reduce your family’s risk of many diseases, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating more fruits and vegetable than any other food group.
Tips on ways to make this happen:
*Keep a bowl of fruit on the counter.
*Make fruit smoothies for a quick breakfast or snack.
*Bake potatoes with salsa.
*Keep baby carrots or other ready-to-eat vegetables on hand.
*Add corn, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, or beans to soups and stews.
*Top off your sandwich with lettuce, tomato and other vegetables.
*Add bananas or berries to cereal or yogurt.
*Add peppers, onions, or other vegetable to spaghetti sauce
*Make stir-fry, experiment with different vegetables or use what you have on hand.
It all counts- fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice.
Top 10 Healthy Ways to Cook Fruits & Vegetables:
Bake sweet potatoes fries seasoned with olive oil, cayenne and a dash of salt.
Boil apples with lemon juice and cinnamon mashed up, then serve warm or chilled.
Steam green beans with chopped onion. Add a clove of garlic to cooking water.
Stir-fry pineapple and mango in a honey ginger sauce. This makes a perfect topping for some low-fat ice cream or yogurt.
Sauté spinach with garlic and olive oil.
Roast red peppers in the oven at 450˚, turning every 15 minutes until done. This is a perfect addition to any salad, sandwich or any dish.
Grill mushrooms, bell peppers, onions and tenderloin for the perfect summer kabobs.
Stew peeled and cored pears and stew gently in cinnamon, sugar and water until tender. Perfect for an after-dinner treat!
Blanch almonds in water for 15 minutes and peel for a new twist on a healthy snack.
Microwave any of your favorite chopped veggies in a bowl with an egg or two for a quick, nutritious breakfast.
For more information about fruits and vegetables, contact your local Franklin County Cooperative Extension Office at 919-496-3344. You can also visit the website at http://franklin.ces.ncsu.edu.