It’s always a good time to celebrate fruits and vegetables, but every September we kick the celebration into high gear with National Fruits & Veggies Month (NFVM). NFVM helps us highlight the goodness of fruits and veggies and this year’s theme, Celebrating the Roots of our Food, couldn’t be better since plants root us in better health and happiness. This September, let’s get back to our roots – back to the basics – with simple and easy ways to add more fruits and veggies to your day.
Blend it: With fruit and veggies you can create colorful smoothies, sauces, and soups rich in vibrant color and packed with nutrition. Enjoy a smoothie “as is” or freeze it in popsicle molds for a sweet treat. Save sauces in an ice cube tray to enjoy anytime and start a meal with a sweet or savory soup that allows you to sneak in some extra fruits or vegetables.
Bake it: Why not #haveaplant in your next baked dish? Add thinly sliced, sautéed, or finely chopped vegetables to a quiche or casserole. Make use of frozen fruit your baked goods. Small shifts in your recipe lead to big impacts when it comes to consuming enough fruits and veggies.
Roast it: Home chefs delight in the simplicity of sheet pans piled high with veggies ready to roast. This “hands off” cooking method results in loads of veggies ready to add to an array of delicious dishes including omelets, sauces, pizza, paninis and more. Or enjoy “as is” for a simple side.
Sauté it: If you have the time for “hands on” cooking instead, then sauté your veggies rather than roasting them to use in a variety of dishes. Flavor olive oil with fresh garlic to bring fast flavor to hearty greens for a nutritious crowd-pleasing side.
Grill it: Pass on dishes tonight and grill your produce instead! Simply skewer a rainbow of vegetables, grill greens, or prepare a fruit salad for your next al fresco meal. Leftovers are ideal for just about anything and work perfectly atop fresh greens for a unique salad. Alternatively, lay leftover veggies on a sheet pan to freeze for later.
Pickle it: Use a simple pickling method for a variety of vegetables including string beans, beets, cucumbers, and other vegetables. Pickle for at least twenty-four hours, then store tightly sealed jars in the fridge for up to a month. Pickled vegetables will add something unique to your next wrap or burger.
Spiralize it: Turn zucchini, sweet potato, beets, or other vegetables into your own veggie noodles. You won’t miss traditional pasta, and it’s an easy way to #haveaplant.
With so many easy ways to #haveaplant, it’s hard to believe that most of us aren’t meeting our daily fruit and vegetable needs. In honor of National Fruits & Veggies Month, let’s make it a goal to get more plants to our plates!