How do I get my fruit and veggies if I’m not crazy about them?
If you are not crazy about the taste of fruit and veggies, or just find it inconvenient or impossible to get the recommended 2 or more servings of fruit and 3 or more servings of veggies a day, then check out these simple solutions:
o 3-Serving Smoothie: Enjoy a smoothie by combining a cup of berries (use frozen, if you’d like) ½ banana, and ¾ cup orange juice. This equals 3 servings of fruit!
o New Amazing Juice: Guess what V8 just came out with? A breakthrough, delicious fruit juice that gives you a full serving of fruit and a full serving of vegetables at the same time! Yes, just 8 ounces of this delicious juice does the trick! It is called V8 Fusion, and it is made of 100% fruit juice, contains no sugar, includes vitamins A, C, and E, and comes in three great flavors: Strawberry Banana, Tropical Orange and Peach Mango! What a refreshing innovation for people who hate the taste of veggies or who like to multitask!
o Try Dry: Try dried fruit and veggies. They’re delicious, convenient and do not rot. They are both available in health food stores or in the natural foods section in the grocery store. Dried veggies are crunchy and flavorful, a great substitute for potato chips. Toss half a cup of dried blueberries, cherries, or raisins with a tablespoon of crushed nuts for an antioxidant rich snack! Dried fruit and veggies make it easy to snack on your servings anytime!
o Frozen Stash: Stock up on frozen fruit and veggies in case you run out of fresh. They are convenient to prepare and nutritionally the next best thing to fresh! Whip frozen berries into smoothies for instant gratification, or let your berries thaw and top angle food cake cups with them and a dollop of Cool Whip for a low fat, delicious desert! Stir-fry frozen veggies in a wok or skillet and serve over brown rice. Keep a variety of Asian sauces on hand so that you never get bored…try soy sauce or teriyaki for minimum fat.
o Amazing Applesauce: Fruitsations apple sauces have real fruit mixed in. Try strawberry or peach. One container equals one fruit serving and is so delicious! Perfect for a portable lunch!
o Pizza Veggies: Give pizza extra nutritional value and flavor, by adding onions, green peppers, or garlic.
o Chop ‘Em and Dip ‘Em: Keep chopped fresh fruit and veggies, such as apple and pears, or red and yellow peppers, in your fridge and dip them in fruit or veggie dips. You can even dip veggies in a light dressing.
o Veggie-Packed Sauce: Find a pasta sauce that is chock full of chunky vegetables. Add canned chunky or stewed tomatoes, or chop up your own veggies. Then grate carrots into the mix or add fresh garlic or sautéed onions.
o Recipe Resourcefulness: The recipes at CBSG are chock full of fruit and veggies. Visit the Nutritious Recipes article on the Celebrity Body Secrets page and feast your eyes on some fabulous, delicious recipes. Make sure you check out the Divinely Delicious Veggies section of this article. At the beginning of the week, why not double a veggie-rich recipe and munch during the week.
o Carrot Soup: Make a delicious, healthy roasted carrot soup. Spread baby carrots on a tray coated with a cooking spray, such as Pam. Sprinkle with a delicious seasoning such as Mrs. Dash or thyme and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes until carrots are soft and brown. Puree carrots and then heat for a delicious soup. If you’d like a creamier consistency add a splash of low-fat milk. Very healthy.
o Drink a V8 each day: Not only is it chockfull of cancer-fighting lycopene but it is also low in calories and high in volume. Drinking one before your meal can fill you up so that you eat less. It comes in a spicy flavor, in portable cans, and only 6 ounces equals a servings of veggies! Very convenient!
o Sweet Potato Treat: Bake or microwave a sweet potato, halve it, and mix in some canned, crushed pineapple. Carotenoids, fiber and folate are packed into every bite!
o Cinnamon Squash: Satisfy your sweet tooth with a cinnamon squash. Halve an acorn or a butternut squash (which is high in fiber and potassium). Scoop out the seeds. Sprinkle on cinnamon, nutmeg, chopped nuts and drizzle on a touch of maple syrup. You can even add raisins, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until soft.
o Sweet Soup: For more variety make a sweet soup. For a low-fat treat try Imagine Natural’s Organic Creamy Sweet Corn soup. Order at imaginefoods.com.
o Super Healthy Salad: Mix steamed broccoli florets with sliced onions, and red, green or yellow peppers. Lightly saute some minced garlic, and toss all ingredients in balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with shredded carrot. There is a new product on the market that will make eating a salad an even easier event for dieters. Wishbone Salad Spritzers allow you spray on salad dressing between bites and each spritz is only 1 calorie! A great innovation for dressing fiends!
o Drink Your Fruit: Try smoothies made with real fruit. There are several great recipes for smoothies in the Nutritious Recipes article which can be found on the Celebrity Body Secrets page. The Fruit Packed Smoothies section of this article features smoothies that pack in multiple fruit servings! While whole fruit is better for you than juice, 8 ounce servings of 100% fruit juice, such as Juicy Juice (any flavor), or any other real fruit juice, such as grapefruit or orange also count. The two most nutritious fruit juices arguably are cranberry juice cocktails (look for a brand that uses at least 27% cranberry juice) and grape juice.
o Roasted Veggies: To add flavor to your veggies, try broiling, roasting, them. You can roast any veggie, even green beans. These cooking methods allow the veggies to simmer in their own juices, adding flavor so you don’t need to cover them with fatty sauces. Just add olive oil and a pinch of salt and cook it so that it is still a tad bit undercooked (softer, but still a bit sturdy, like al dente pasta).
o Be a Fruit and Veggie Explorer: When it comes to fruit and veggies, variety is key. The more different types of fruit and veggies you eat, the more nutritional benefits you reap. Be adventurous and try new fruit and veggies every now and again. The bigger the variety of colors you consume, the bigger the nutritional benefit.
o Visit Your Local Farm Stand: When shopping, presentation has a lot to do with whether or not you will purchase. The fresh fruit and veggies at the farm stand are a lot more seductive and tastier than those that travel miles to be showcased at the local grocery store.
o Dress ‘Em Up: If you really hate the taste of natural veggies, add a small amount of fat or some seasoning. Add a little butter and a sprinkling of basil, chervil or tarragon.
o Kabob ‘Em: What could be more delicious on a hot summer day then kabobs with either lean steak, chicken, or shrimp between grilled onions, green peppers, or even cherry tomatoes? For even more flavor, dip your kabobs in a light marinade before grilling. Try an oil and vinegar marinade as it will keep your veggies from being sticky, will prevent charring and will compliment the natural flavors without overpowering. Before grilling, slice your veggies thickly. You can slice bell peppers into four sections and can make length-wise slices to zucchini. You can skewer small pieces of veggies and fruit with garlic cloves or cherry tomatoes. You can even mix up grilled fruit and veggies on your kabob.
What are some great salsa and minestrone recipes?
Sensational Salsa:: A cup of salsa counts as a veggie serving! Keep the store-bought variety on hand, but make your own as often as possible as the fresh taste of homemade salsa cannot be beat. Just be sure to eat with the baked, low-fat variety of tortillas! Or use your salsa to dress your chicken fajitas or your fish. Here is a delicious salsa recipe:
4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 3 fresh limes
2 tsp olive oil
Kernels from 1 small ear of corn (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl combine all ingredients and stir with fork. Chill in refrigerator for at least hours. Eat with baked chips or serve on chicken or fish. Per ½ cup: 74 calories, 2 g fat, 12 g carbohydrates and 2 g protein.
Mighty Minestrone: For the ultimate veggie infusion, make a pot of the minestrone soup below. This recipe makes 12 cups and each cup provides 2.5 servings of veggies and 6 grams of fiber!
Mighty and Magical Minestrone
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 tsp thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
2 14.5 oz cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 carrots, diced
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 lb zucchini cut in ½ inch slices
¼ lb green beans cut in 1-inch pieces
3 cups water
1 ½ tsp salt
1 cup quick-cooking barley
1 15 oz can white beans (cannellini)
8 cups spinach leaves
Cook garlic, onion, celery and thyme in a large pot over medium-heat in oil, while stirring for 2 minutes, until softened. Add green beans, tomatoes, broth, carrots, zucchini, water and salt and bring to a boil. Add barley and reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes. Stir in white beans and spinach; cook 5 more minutes. (Makes 12 cups).
What else can I do to make fruit and veggies more exciting?
Taste the Rainbow: Another way to find fruit and veggies exciting is to explore their colorful bounty. Fruits and veggies are so vibrantly colorful and each color family has a different nutritional benefit. Try to eat a wide variety of
colors each day:
o Yellow Foods: Yellow fruit and veggies are rich in antioxidants such as lutein and anthoxanthins, which protect your body from harmful UV rays. Good choice: bananas and yellow peppers.
o Green Foods: Green fruit and veggies get their green color from chlorophyll, which when digested, blocks the actions of cancer-causing substances formed when meat is cured. Good choices: leafy greens, broccoli and kiwi.
o Orange Foods: Orange fruits and veggies are carotenoid-packed. They get their color from beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant known to prevent cancers. Good choices: oranges and sweet potatoes.
o Blue/Purple Foods: Blue and purple fruits and veggies get their pretty hue from anthocyanins. These plant chemicals protect your arteries and fight cancers. Good bets: blueberries and grapes.
o Red Foods: Red fruits and veggies contain phytochemicles such as lycopene and betacyanin and d-limonene which slash your cancer risk in half and combat free radicals that cause premature aging. Good choices: cherries and tomatoes.
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