Eat your vegetables. You probably heard this growing up at the family dinner table. Well, your mother was right! Eating vegetables is important because 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. How many cups are you eating daily? Try tracking your intake starting with just the veggies to discover how many servings you are eating every day. Focus on adding more servings as needed.
Remember, vegetables do not just add nutrition to meals. They can also add color, flavor, and texture. In summertime, fresh vegetables are growing in gardens or available at local farmers markets, roadside stands, and grocery stores in the area. So enjoy them during our growing season. Explore these creative ways to add healthy veggies to your plate.
Fire up the grill: Use the grill to cook vegetables and fruits. Try grilling mushrooms, carrots, peppers, or potatoes on a kabob skewer, in a grill pan or wrap up in foil. Brush with a healthy oil like canola or olive oil to keep them from drying out.
Planning something Italian? Add extra vegetables to your pasta dish. Slip some peppers, spinach, onions, or cherry tomatoes into your traditional tomato sauce. Vegetables provide texture and low-calorie bulk that satisfies.
Expand the flavor of your casseroles: Mix vegetables such as sautéed onions, peas, or tomatoes into your favorite dish for that extra flavor.
Add them to your sandwiches: Whether it is a sandwich or wrap, vegetables make great additions to both. Try sliced tomatoes, romaine lettuce, spinach, shredded carrots, caramelized onions, avocado or sliced zucchini on your everyday sandwich or wrap for extra flavor.
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.
Enjoy adding more veggies to your plate with this recipe for FARMERS MARKET SALSA.
1/2 cup corn (fresh cooked or frozen)
1 can black beans (15 ounce, drained and rinsed)
1 cup tomatoes (fresh diced)
1/2 cup onion (diced)
1/2 cup green pepper (diced)
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
1/2 cup picante sauce
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Chill until serving time.
- Drain before serving.
- Serve with lowfat baked tortilla chips or fresh vegetables.
Be sure to keep veggie food prep safe by rinsing vegetables before preparing or eating them. Under clean, running water, rub vegetables briskly with your hands to remove dirt and surface microorganisms. Dry with a clean cloth towel or paper towel after rinsing. If vegetables have a rough surface it is best to use a vegetable brush to remove the surface dirt. And do not forget to keep vegetables separate from raw meat, poultry and seafood while shopping, preparing, or storing.
If you would like more information, please contact Purdue Extension – Dubois County at 812-482-1782 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Extension Educator, Health and Human Sciences, County Extension Director
Purdue Extension – Dubois County