The German word for food is “Lebensmittel” which translates to “means to live”. It’s what’s alive and we eat it to stay alive. What better food to live on and be the focus of our meals than fruits and vegetables. They come in all shapes and sizes, colors and textures and are packed with the vitality that our body needs. Instead of pushing them to the side and making them the unwanted step-sister that has to be invited to the party, or worse, has to be hidden, let’s make it all about them. Let’s celebrate their variety, vitality and colors of the rainbow. Come and cook with us!
We are by no means vegetarians. But we also know, that the language we use has an immense impact on the messages we sent which subconsciously affect our actions. I don’t “sell” my vegetable on the fact that they are good for you, but instead try to point out the bounty that nature has to offer: the juiciness of a tomato, the crunchiness of a carrot, the sweetness of shelling peas, the strong flavor of an artichoke and the looks of broccoli, fennel or cauliflower, to name just a few. There are so many ways that we can incorporate more produce in our daily meals, without having to hide them in our dishes which implicitly sends the message that they are not worthy of being eaten for their own sake.
To American Heart Association recommends that we consume 4 1/2 servings of (organic) fruits and vegetables per day – that is about half of your plate at every meal. Keep it colorful, add it on, mix it up and roast away are just a few of the tips to boost produce in your diet. Here are a few practical suggestions:
- At breakfast: eat some melon, pears or grapefruit. Add bananas, raisins or berries to your cereal and add some vegetables like onions, celery, bell peppers, asparagus or spinach to your eggs.
- At lunch: have a vegetable salad or soup, add vegetables to your sandwich such as cucumbers, sprouts, tomato, lettuce or avocado, have a piece of fruit or raw veggie sticks instead of chips.
- At dinner: have at least two vegetable sides – frozen are fine, too – add chopped onions, garlic, celery and carrots when making soups, stews, meat-balls, beans, rice or pasta sauce, add peas at the last minute when making rice and have a piece of fruit for dessert.
- At snack-time: Keep raw veggie sticks handy, including bell peppers, beans, celery or carrots, carry dried fruit with you, have any type of fresh fruit including grapes, apples, banana, orange, kiwi.
Whether red, orange/yellow, green, white or blue/purple, remember that each color brings its own package of nutrients to the table and don’t be afraid to celebrate your veggies for what they are: delicious, scrumptious, fresh and filling and they happen to be really good for you. And if you must, one of the few good reasons to hide a vegetable is to make this amazing Chocolate Avocado Chia Pudding that is truly worth the charade. Come and cook with us!