Discover the many benefits of adding vegetables and fruits to your meals. They are low in fat and calories, while providing fiber and other key nutrients. Most Americans should eat more than 3 cups—and for some, up to 6 cups—of vegetables and fruits each day. Vegetables and fruits don’t just add nutrition to meals. They can also add color, flavor, and texture. Explore these creative ways to bring healthy foods to your table.
Fire up the grill.
Use the grill to cook vegetables and fruits. Try grilling mushrooms, carrots, peppers, or potatoes on a kabob skewer. Brush with oil to keep them from drying out. Grilled fruits like peaches, pineapple, or mangoes add great flavor to a cookout.
Flavorize your casseroles.
Mix vegetables such as sauteed onions, peas, pinto beans, or tomatoes into your favorite dish for that extra flavor.
Planning something Italian?
Add extra vegetables to your pasta dish. Slip some peppers, spinach, red beans, onions, or cherry tomatoes into your traditional tomato sauce. Vegetables provide texture and low-calorie bulk that satisfies.
Get creative with your salad.
Toss in shredded carrots, strawberries, spinach, watercress, orange segments, or sweet peas for a flavorful, fun salad.
Salad bars aren’t just for salads.
Try eating sliced fruit from the salad bar as your dessert when dining out. This will help you avoid any baked desserts that are high in calories.
Get in on the stir-frying fun.
Try something new! Stir-fry your veggies—like broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas, mushrooms, or green beans—for a quick-and-easy addition to any meal.
Add to your sandwiches.
Whether it is a sandwich or wrap, vegetables make great additions to both. Try sliced tomatoes, romaine lettuce, or avocado on your everyday sandwich or wrap for extra flavor.
Be creative with your baked goods.
Add apples, bananas, blueberries, or pears to your favorite muffin recipe for a treat.
Make a tasty fruit smoothie.
For dessert, blend strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries with frozen bananas and 100% fruit juice for a delicious frozen fruit smoothie.
Liven up an omelet.
Boost the color and flavor of your morning omelet with vegetables. Simply chop, sauté, and add them to the egg as it cooks. Try combining different vegetables, such as mushrooms, spinach, onions, or bell peppers.
Please enjoy these recipes!
Baked Cauliflower Tots
From www.foodhero.org; serves 3
- 2 cups grated cauliflower (about half a medium head)
- 1 egg
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet or line with parchment paper or foil.
- Grate cauliflower on large holes of a grater.
- In a medium bowl, combine cauliflower, egg, flour, cheese, and salt; mix well.
- Press mixture together to make about 15 small balls or logs; Place on the baking sheet with space between each ball or log.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through. For extra crispy tots, broil for an extra 2 minutes. Watch closely to avoid burning.
- Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.
Couscous With Carrots, Walnuts, and Raisins
From the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; serves 4
- 1 cup couscous (try whole-wheat couscous)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 and 1/3 cups water
- 2 Tbsp raisins
- 1/2 cup carrots, rinsed, peeled, and shredded or thinly sliced; cut in half
- In a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, cook and stir couscous, olive oil, walnuts, salt, pepper, and spice just until couscous begins to brown.
- Slowly add water, then raisins and carrots. Cover. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Remove from the heat, and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork. Serve immediately.
From www.foodhero.org; makes 12
- 1 egg
- 1 cup nonfat or 1% milk
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1⁄2 cup grated carrots (about 1 medium carrot)
- 1⁄2 cup raisins
- 1⁄2 cup toasted walnuts (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1⁄2 cups flour
- 1⁄2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray or oil a muffin tin with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl mix egg, milk, sugar, oil, carrots, raisins, walnuts, and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl mix flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir gently until flour is just moistened. Gently fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until edges start to brown.
- Let cool slightly then remove from pans.
- Cool completely then store in an air-tight container at room temperature.
Note - Morning Muffins freeze well and thaw quickly.