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Fruits and Veggies - Blended Creatively in your Diet

Posted Mar 18 2011 10:26am

Modifying recipes without compromising taste does not actually require extra time or effort, you just need few ideas to spark your creativity especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables and incorporating them in your family’s dietary habits. Focus has been put more on the importance of including fruits and veggies as a part of everyone’s personal eating habits with variety, moderation and balance built in.

Now even though fruits and vegetables’ content varies enormously, in general, they are low in fat, low in sodium, they are high in fiber and water, they supply many vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, B 6, potassium, calcium, magnesium, selenium and they provide lots of phytochemicals and antioxidants .

So here are few ideas that might help you fit a rainbow in your and your children’s diets:

Kalyn's Kitchen
Grate your way – Add grated shredded or chopped vegetables such as zucchini, spinach, carrots and cabbage to mashed potatoes, meat dishes, rice, bulgur, wheat or lasagna.
Be fruit saucy – It’s time to experiment with fruits: make strawberry puree, banana, apples, peaches or pears and try them on grilled seafood or poultry, pancakes, toasts or even mix them with skimmed milk and crushed ice!
Toss in dried fruits – Try adding dried mangoes, papaya, raisins, prunes or apricots in whatever meal you are having whether you are baking homemade breads or cakes or in salads, sandwiches, rice, pasta, milk or pancakes.
Creative pizza – You’ll probably think I’ll suggest adding zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, carrots, bell pepper strips and tomatoes to your pizza, and yes, it’s true. But I also suggest you trying to experiment with fruits as well! Try adding pineapple slices, raisins, mango bits or even apple wedges. They will sure taste different – good different.
Mix fruits and veggies – Make a quick stir fry or boiled rice or pasta and add both fruits and vegetables to them! Start with small bits of raisins and experiment with one meal as a start.
Expand – Try new vegetables that you haven’t tried in your life. These could be local or not; either way give them a shot in a stew, salad, with rice or rice!
Lunch then fruit – Make a habit of packing one fruit for every member of the family to have after lunch.
Toss up a vegetable, fruits and legumes – Add colorful vegetables, legumes and fruits in your salad. Try adding rocket with strawberries, kiwi with romaine lettuce, beets with cabbage and chickpeas or carrots with spinach, lentils and raisins. Weird, yet creative and delicious combination!
Check this recipe from Italian food net
Make dips and spreads – spicy salsas can be made with bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic and spices. For a new twist, add pineapples, peaches or mangoes! You can make baba ghanouj form eggplants with tomatoes and pomegranates seeds as a topping or chickpeas hummus with mint and strawberry bits! 
Stuff omelette time with veggies – In Lebanon, we have the habit of scrambling eggs with mint, tomatoes, cucumbers and probably onions on the side. This time try mixing your choice of onions, bell pepper, tomatoes, carrots or spinach with the eggs and baking them altogether.

Through these “out of the box” creative and colorful recipes , you, as a family, will probably learn how to enjoy fruits and vegetables for their vibrant colors, crunch and wonderful different flavors and in the same have enough fruits and vegetables fit in your diet. This way, you will sure increase your intake of healthful foods and stick to a hearty diet!


Source: American Dietetic Association - Complete food and Nutrition Guide, Roberta Larson Duyff
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