Did you know that produce is good for you? WHAT. Stop. Cue the sarcasm. Everyone knows fruits and veggies are great…but why aren’t we eating them?
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention did a study and learned that less than 15% of adults in the U.S. eat their recommended servings of fruits. Less than 9% got their veggies!!! In fact, in Oregon they found adults ate a veggie less than 2 times per day (on average).
Let’s start with what’s recommended.
1) Fruits- if you engage in 30 minutes or less of moderate activity each day, plan on eating between 1.5-2 cups of fruit each day.
2) Veggies – if you engage in 30 minutes or less of moderate activity each day, plan on eating between 2-3 cups of vegetables each day.
Typically folks like fruits better than veggies. And some hate certain veggies with an all-consuming fire. However, there’s a lot of good recipes out there – why not give some of these tips a try?
Tip #1 – roast veggies on your grill
Veggies are surprisingly delicious when drizzled with a little olive oil and grilled. It’s minimal work, and tasty results! This is a great option for summer.
Tip #2 – smoothies
Green smoothies – so hot right now. Sounds funky…looks weird… but tasty! When you make a “green smoothie” the fruit dominates the taste, so you get the benefit of spinach or other nutrient dense veggies, with the taste of berries instead! Sample recipes found here.
Tip #3 – be sneaky
Chances are you have picky eaters in your home – maybe it’s you! Sneak in some grated zucchini and carrots into your turkey burgers or meatballs. Add chopped mushrooms, onions, squash and peppers to a pasta sauce or stew. Be creative!
Tip #4 – enjoy a salad
Not all salads are created equal – and they certainly don’t have to be boring! If you enjoy Mexican food – try combining spinach/lettuce + bell peppers + tomatoes + salsa & a protein of your choice. Maybe add in some avocado for some healthy fats too!
Tip # 5 – breakfast goodness
If you like savory foods in the morning – sneak some veggies into your egg or tofu scrambles! Peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions go great in scrambles.
If you prefer sweets in the morning – add some berries to nonfat plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese. Try an overnights oats recipe that has added benefits of yummy fruits found here.
There’s lots of fresh options right now with all the local farmer’s markets. If you can’t break away from the desk during the work week…guess what?! You’re not off the hook. Portland has wonderful organizations including A Couple of Fruits that deliver a wonderful selection of produce right to you!
Feature photo by Christer Barregren