Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet and there's no better time than summer to enjoy a few of these nutrient-rich great foods.
The local farmers' markets carry an amazing variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that are both nutritious and delicious.
When it comes to cooking fruits and vegetables, use very little liquid or steam them just until tender to preserve the nutrients. A quick and easy way to cook them is to use the microwave.
If you prefer a topping on your vegetable, use very little oil or cheese since this will add unwanted calories.
Here are some easy ways to add more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Be sure to try the two quick and easy recipes below!
As you enjoy fresh produce and fresh-squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, it's important to handle these products safely in order to reduce the risks of food-borne illness. Always wash fresh fruits and vegetables under cold running water before cooking and eating. Washing removes dirt and pesticide residue. Cut away any damaged or bruised areas on fresh fruits and vegetables before preparing and/or eating.
Also, peel vegetables that have been waxed. The wax can trap pesticide residue and fungi. Very moist vegetables such as cucumbers are waxed to slow moisture loss in shipment. A sign in the produce section of your market will tell you if the item was waxed.
Even if you plan to peel the produce before eating, it is still important to wash it first. Washing fruits and vegetables with soap or detergent or using commercial produce washes is not recommended. Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush. Drying produce with a clean cloth towel or paper towel may further reduce bacteria that may be present.
Remember to store fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator to keep them fresh so they won't spoil before you get around to eating them. If there is any question whether or not to refrigerate you can ask your grocer.
Red, White, & Blue Salad
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 8 2/3 cup servings
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1 large banana (sliced)
1 cup white miniature marshmallows
1 cup sugar-free nonfat vanilla yogurt
2 Tablespoons coconut
Combine first five ingredients in clear glass salad bowl, using a spatula to gently mix. Garnish the top with coconut and chill or serve immediately.
Low-Fat Raw Vegetable Dip
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 cup low-fat Miracle Whip
1 pkg. Good Season Italian Dressing dry mix
2 dashes cayenne pepper
4 tsp vinegar
1/4 tsp thyme
Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate.
What's your favorite way to enjoy summer fruits and veggies? Tell us at the new DiettoGo.com Forum!
Author: John McGran