Insider’s Viewpoint: 6 Creative Ways to Add Fruits & Veggies to Holiday Beverages, Sides, Entrées & Desserts

Insider's Viewpoint: 6 Creative Ways to Add Fruits & Veggies to Holiday Beverages, Sides, Entrees & Desserts

Just because it’s the holiday season it doesn’t mean it has to be hard to fill half our plate with fruits and veggies. A lot of times fruits and vegetables are considered only a small part of the holiday meal. Why not have them be a part of each component of the meal? Here are some creative ideas …

  1. Add 100% juice along with fresh or frozen fruit to a seasonal cocktail/mocktail. One of our favorites is pomegranate juice mixed with champagne and frozen raspberries.
  2. Instead of using only traditional salad greens, try shaved Brussels sprouts or shredded broccoli and purple cabbage.
  3. Soups makes a great appetizer or starter. Try making a tomato, puréed cauliflower or squash-based soup as a starter to your meal.
  4. Turkey and ham can be served with an apple-based chutney or a fresh pineapple salsa.
  5. Portabella mushrooms are a wonderful substitute for meat/poultry. Fill them with seasonal flavors like cranberries, apples and roasted sweet potatoes.
  6. Adding fruits and veggies to your baked goods is a sneaky way to increase the nutrition, flavor and moisture of your sweet treats. Applesauce, 100% pumpkin purée, puréed black beans and avocado work well in brownies, cake, muffins and bread recipes.

Here is an easy side dish that it is full of flavor, holiday color and most importantly … veggies.


Roasted Edamame & Mushroom Salad
Prep/Cook time: 20 minutes
Number of Servings: 6


  • 16 ounce bag frozen edamame, thawed
  • 8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup jarred roasted red bell peppers, cut into ½-inch strips
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Place edamame, mushrooms, olive oil, garlic powder, crushed red pepper flakes and soy sauce/vinegar in a gallon zip lock bag. Marinate while preheating the oven to 450° F.
  2. Cover a rimmed cookie sheet with foil or silicone liner. Use either two cookie sheets or bake in two batches.
  3. Spread half of edamame and mushrooms in a single layer on cookie sheet(s). Roast for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and place in serving bowl with roasted red peppers.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve warm.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Calories: 193, Protein: 15gm, Total Carbohydrates: 14gm, Fiber: 1.6gm
Total Fat: 8.4gm, Cholesterol: 1.3mg, Sodium: 372mg

Hope Danielson
Director of Health and Wellness
Niemann Foods/County Market

Melanie Kluzek
Registered Dietitian
Niemann Foods/County Market
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