It is spooky season! Halloween is known for jack-o-lanterns, costumes, and of course trick-or-treating. This time of the year is my favorite especially with two young children. Not only is this season full of fun activities but is it bursting with fall produce. Cauliflower, apples, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and pears are at peak this time of year and are delicious additions to any meal. However, as a busy working mom of two little girls, I know firsthand it can be difficult to find unique ways to incorporate produce into the daily meal routine. Also, it can be challenging to have everyone in the family meet their recommended daily amounts. According to MyPlate, half of our plates should be fruits and vegetables. Produce provides so many nutrients that are beneficial at every stage of life including fiber, vitamins A and C as well as potassium. Including this food group in the diet may prevent some types of cancer, stabilizes blood sugar, and lowers blood pressure. So many reasons to make the effort to include them throughout the day!
The good news is that there are many creative and exciting ways to utilize fruits and vegetables for meals and snacks. It doesn’t have to be boring. Here are a few tricks to increase produce that the whole family will enjoy!
Incorporate in your favorite dish.
- Add berries to cereal, oatmeal or in pancakes.
- Add cauliflower rice to mac and cheese, soups or stews.
- Bake carrots, zucchini or spinach into sweet or savory muffins.
Make into a sauce or marinade.
- Blend together baby spinach, lemon, garlic, olive oil and pine nuts to make a pesto to mix in pasta.
- Create a marinade for chicken or pork shops with raspberries, balsamic vinegar, garlic and olive oil.
Substitute for a meat dish
- Use mushrooms to make a burger.
- Make sweet-and-sour cauliflower nuggets.
There are no tricks here! The below recipe inspirations are produce packed. Try these simple and easy treats.
- Sweet & Sour Cauliflower Nuggets
- Pasta With Broccoli Pesto
- Butternut Squash & Carrot Fries With Ranch Dip
- Blueberry Barbecue Sauce
- Apples With Walnut Hummus