Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

Insider's Viewpoint: Expert Supermarket Advice: Frozen Fruits and Veggies: Holiday Delights! Carrie Taylor, Big Y Foods, Inc. Fruits And Veggies More Matters.org

While jelly beans and chocolate bunnies may fill your Easter basket, opt for nutrient-rich, budget-friendly ingredients like frozen fruits and canned and frozen vegetables when filling your holiday shopping cart. Fruits and vegetables can add flavor and spice to almost any holiday meal or dessert.

Flavorful Fruits
Fruits give sweetness and unbeatable nutrition to holiday desserts. Frozen options provide nutrient punch and flavor for very little calories and cost. Choose varieties without added sugar and syrups like chopped mangos, sliced strawberries and whole blueberries. Simply defrost the amount you need for 30 minutes in the refrigerator and store the rest in the freezer for use in recipes like smoothies and fruit pancakes. Want to add a twist to your traditional Easter dessert? Try out the Mango Berry Cream Tart recipe below.

Savory Sauces
Incorporate rich flavors into your holiday meal without adding excess calories, fat or sugar. How? With tomato sauce! Choose a No Salt Added or lower sodium brand made with minimal ingredients like tomatoes, minced onions, garlic, olive oil and spices or make your own with No Salt Added canned tomatoes. Tomato sauce is a perfect addition to your holiday meal, especially for including more vegetables to your line up like the Veggies in a Cinch recipe below.

Recipes

Mango Berry Cream Tarts

Serves: 5
Serving Size: 3 shells

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup frozen mango chunks, thawed and pureed
  • 3 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 box mini fillo dough shells, defrosted per manufacturer’s instructions
  • 15 mint leaves, for garnish
  • 15 frozen blueberries or raspberries, thawed

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and powdered sugar with electric mixer until smooth.
  2. Add mango, sour cream, lime juice, mint and lime zest. Mix until well blended.
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Spoon 2 teaspoons prepared filling into each fillo dough shell.
  5. Garnish with a mint leaf and thawed blueberries or raspberries.
  6. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 135, Total Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 14 mg, Sodium 156 mg, Total Carbohydrates 13 g, Fiber 2 g, Protein 3 g

Recipe Courtesy of Athens® Fillo Dough
Veggies in a Cinch

Serves: about 12
Serving Size: ½ cup

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounce bag frozen green beans
  • 12 ounce bag frozen corn
  • 1 large portabella mushroom cap, cut into ½ inch slices
  • 1 15.5 ounce can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup No Salt Added or lower sodium tomato sauce, divided in half
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • water

Directions:

  1. Thaw corn and green beans over night in refrigerator or cook individually in microwave for 4 minutes per manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, spray large skillet with cooking spray, heat on medium and sauté mushroom until soft (about 4 minutes). Add 1 teaspoon of water to moisten pan as needed.
  3. Add in corn and green beans, mix and let set for 30 seconds.
  4. Mix in half the amount of pasta sauce and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add beans. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.
  6. Mix in remaining sauce and cook for 2 minutes more.
  7. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts:
Not Available

Carrie Taylor, RD, LDN
Corporate Dietitian
Big Y Foods

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