Are you getting your fruit-and-veggie quota? You want to eat a variety of these nutritious and delicious foods. It's simply one of the best things you can do for your health.
Let these 9 tasty tips help you get the job done.
1. Top off breakfast
Use mixed berries, sliced peaches or chopped apples to dress up oatmeal, whole-grain pancakes and low-fat yogurt. Mix diced peppers, tomatoes and olives into scrambled eggs. Add sliced or mashed avocado to whole-wheat toast.
2. Whip up a smoothie
Blend bananas, berries or peaches with low-fat milk or yogurt for a cool and creamy breakfast or snack. Use frozen fruit to make it a frosty treat.
3. Take a dip
Raw or lightly steamed vegetables offer the same satisfying crunch as crackers. Dunk them in salsa, hummus, garlicky low-fat yogurt or low-sodium marinara sauce.
4. Snazz up your sandwich
Go beyond the typical tomato and lettuce. How about tucking in some baby spinach, sliced peppers, avocado or cucumbers — or even sliced apple?
5. Make a Sunday roast
Of veggies, that is! In a hot oven, roast a colorful assortment of cut-up veggies, such as broccoli, red bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Use these flavorful jewels for dinners or quick snacks all week long.
6. Go for grate-ness
Grated vegetables add an extra layer of flavor and nutrition to your favorite recipes. Try any number of veggies — carrots, beets, squash, cauliflower, etc. — in sauces, mashed potatoes, meatloaf and casseroles.
7. Be a puree pro
Blend steamed butternut squash to make soup or for mixing into mac and cheese. Do you like to bake? Try fruit purees, such as mashed banana and unsweetened applesauce, to replace about half the fat in recipes for muffins, breads and other baked goods.
8. Grill to perfection
Veggie kebabs can add color and flavor to your plate. Grilling makes fresh corn even sweeter. And for a super-fast dessert, you can even grill watermelon slices for 30 seconds on each side.
9. Order up
When dining out, select a light salad, steamed vegetables or fresh fruit as your side dish. And ask for extra veggies to enhance your omelet, tacos, pizza or pasta.