20 New Ideas to Eat More Produce at Every Meal

farmers market vegetables

Eat more? Yes, please! 

Nonstarchy vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals. And with so few calories and carbohydrate, everyone can enjoy more. The American Diabetes Association recommends filling half of your plate with healthful nonstarchy vegetables. It’s yet another reason to pack more produce into your meal plan!

Fruits are nutrient-dense choices, too. Because fruit contains more carbohydrate, have a small serving of fruit on the side with your meals if your plan allows. Or, it can also make a great snack or sweet treat. 

Whether it’s vegetables or fruit, most people could use a few new ideas. We’re sharing 20 new ideas to eat more fruits and vegetables in-season and year-round—just in time for spring.

Some of our new tips and recipes this month feature ways to use seasonal spring fruits and vegetables. Keep an eye out for in-season picks at your local grocer or farmer’s market, such as artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, fennel, peas, radishes, snow peas, spinach and apricots.

Try a tip for every meal.

Breakfast

  1. Add tomato salsa, sautéed peppers and onions to a mix of scrambled eggs and egg whites in a breakfast burrito
  2. Toss frozen berries, peaches and/or bananas into a blender with low-fat milk, almond milk or plain yogurt for a simple smoothie.
  3. Blend fresh spinach into a smoothie and top with nuts for a filling breakfast bowl.
  4. Add tomatoes, peppers, zucchini or mushrooms to a frittata. Bake it on the weekend and reheat slices for a quick breakfast all week long.

Lunch

  1. Go beyond greens! Enjoy a hearty salad that features cooked root vegetables, such as this Bountiful Harvest Vegetable Salad.
  2. Thinly shave raw vegetables, and then toss with dressing and a little bit of flavorful cheese for a fresh side salad.
  3. Have a sweet salad. Berries or citrus can play a starring role as an ingredient in salads and salad dressings.
  4. Toss a package of slaw with some slivered almonds and your favorite dressing for an easy side.
  5. Stuff a whole-wheat pita or wrap with hummus and a blend of thinly shredded veggies—try kale, red peppers and carrots.

Dinner

  1. Don’t forget about fruit! It can add a new twist to protein entrées, such as Apricot Glazed Chicken
  2. Sauté a blend of your favorite vegetables with olive oil and garlic for a side dish that’s ready in minutes.
  3. Enjoy turkey meatballs and sauce over spaghetti squash or other vegetable "noodles."
  4. Try on a new cooking style, such as a vegetarian main dish from Indian cuisine. Our new Spinach and Sweet Potato Curry recipe subs sweet potatoes for the regular variety. 
  5. Can you think of a vegetable you’ve never cooked? Try it—tonight! Braised fennel, anyone?

Snacks

  1. Slice jicama, cucumber and radishes and store them in easy-to-grab containers in your refrigerator. 
  2. Bake your own veggie chips and serve with a low-fat yogurt dip.

Dessert

  1. When fresh produce is in season, cut up and freeze the fruit yourself. Blend leftover frozen fruit into a homemade sorbet.
  2. Top grilled fruit salad with a light chocolate drizzle and chopped mint for a somewhat different yet delicious dessert.
  3. Bake an oat-topped fruit crisp made from fresh berries, apples or peaches.
  4. Mix apples or pears with chopped walnuts and roast until tender.

 

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