Are you having trouble thinking of ways to enjoy fruits and vegetables in your everyday life? Boy oh boy do I have some ideas for you!
Read on to learn why fruits and vegetables, what types of fruits and vegetables to choose, and discover 30 different ways to enjoy your fruits and vegetables.
health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
I could probably come up with 30 different reasons to have fruits and vegetables more often.
One of the simplest and most heavily studied nutrition recommendations of all time is to eat more fruits and vegetables. They contain lots of beneficial vitamins and minerals, fibre and antioxidants to support overall health. A diet high in plant-based foods in general I can say for a fact is most definitely worth trying.
It is well-known that fruit and vegetable intake is associated with decreased chronic disease risk and risk of developing certain types of cancer. A high quality meta-analysis and systematic review of 16 cohort studies showed that a high intake of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower all cause mortality, particularly cardiovascular mortality (1).
Another meta-analysis and systematic review of 6 studies also showed that regular intake of green leafy vegetables was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (2).
The benefits of having more fruits and vegetables on a daily basis is clear, which is why we recommend to make half of your meal vegetables and fruit. If this is difficult for you to accomplish, start with 1/4, then slowly build it up. Keep on reading for unique ways to make this process easier and more enjoyable!
What types of fruits AND vegetables do i choosE?
Simple answer is ALL fruits and vegetables are great. The best tip for choosing fruits and vegetables is to choose a wide variety of different colours. Eat the rainbow!
I say this to my clients all the time, but thankfully we have so many different kinds of fruits and vegetables under the sun, thus if you do not like a certain kind you can try other types.
30 Ways to Enjoy FruitS & Vegetables
Let's get straight into it:
Add seasonal fresh fruit on top of your favourite greens in a salad. For example, in the fall try apples, persimmons, pears and pomegranates. In the summer, give watermelon, peaches, strawberries and cherries a try.
Add high fibre starchy veggies such as sweet potatoes and carrots in soups and stews to provide that hearty and thick texture.
Enjoy your favourite fresh fruits on top of a wholesome and heart-healthy bowl of oatmeal. Try our simple and customizable stovetop oats recipe.
Make a fluffy veggie and egg/tofu scramble or omelette. Add in bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, really anything you would like!
Enjoy frozen mangoes as a delicious dessert paired with some plain greek yogurt. Sounds non-exciting, but wow the texture of frozen mangoes are ah-mazing.
Use bananas in your smoothies as a tasty addition that helps add natural sweetness.
Next time you make lasagna, add in lots of spinach leaves (they shrink significantly) and strips of zucchini. Both dietitian- and Garfield-approved.
Chop up veggies to put on top of your pizza. Traditional pizza veggie toppers include bell peppers, onions and mushrooms, but experiment and try out new ideas.
Make a sushi roll at home with a variety of different coloured veggies like carrots, spinach, cucumbers, sweet potatoes and more. Wrap it up with a bamboo roller and enjoy!
Try the Mediterranean sofrito seasoning. Stir-fry garlic and onions in extra virgin olive oil and then add fresh tomatoes. So heart healthy and the perfect base for so many dishes.
Have you tried grilled fruit before? Grilling fruit actually brings out the natural sweetness of fruit. Dab some extra virgin olive oil on top, grill and enjoy as a delicious part of a meal.
Blend greens and fresh herbs together with extra virgin olive oil and garlic for a delicious salad dressing! Enjoy a salad as a meal itself (with protein) or on the side with your meal.
Remy would be so proud of you if you recreated his famous French ratatouille dish! Layer thinly sliced eggplant, tomatoes, green and yellow zucchini together in a beautiful spiral in a round baking dish with tomato sauce underneath and bake to perfection.
Go tropical and blend some fresh or frozen pineapples, mangoes, coconut and bananas with milk and your personal favourite protein (i.e. plain greek yogurt, silken/soft tofu, unsalted nuts, etc.).
Make homemade jam with your favourite fruits. Be creative!
Include veggies in your favourite pasta sauce. Often pasta sauce bases are made with the famous mirepoix mix with chopped onions, celery and carrots, but feel free to add any veggies you may like. For example, you could add mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, etc.
Stir-fry those veggies together. For example, try veggies like eggplants and okra to increase that cholesterol-lowering soluble fibre content.
Enjoy a veggie burger. Although the market nowadays has lots of options for veggie patties, why not try making it yourself at home? Use different plant-based proteins like beans, lentils or tofu. Add your favourite chopped veggies too. The key binding ingredient is eggs or vegan substitute, flax egg (made with 1 part flaxseed meal and 3 parts water).
Make smoothies with the seasons. Try our simple pomegranate smoothie recipe. Swap out the pomegranate for what is in season currently or whatever fruit you'd like.
Two words. Stuffed peppers! Yellow, orange, red and green bell peppers make the perfect edible containers for stuffing. Stuff those peppers with finely chopped veggies mixed with protein (crumbled firm tofu, beans, lentils or ground turkey) and grains (barley, rice, etc.).
Enjoy vegetables in a sandwich. Whether it is in a plain sandwich with lettuce greens, tomatoes and cucumber or chopped up in a tuna/salmon salad sandwich, they are all great choices. We are not limited with our choices. Experiment different ideas.
Have sliced apples as a snack dipped in nut butter. Simple and delicious.
Make homemade fruit popsicles by blending fresh or frozen fruit with plain greek yogurt. Feel free to add a sweetener of your choice in moderation. If you do not have popsicle molds at home you can also pour the mix in a cup or bowl and then freeze to enjoy.
Next time prior to cooking rice, add an array of veggies on top for a super simple, colourful, nutritious and delicious addition to your meal. One of my favourite additions is big chunks of squash, sweet potatoes or tomatoes.
Dive into Asian cuisine and enjoy hot-pot together with friends and family accompanied by a delicious sesame paste dipping sauce. Some popular vegetable choices to enjoy in the hotpot soup base include napa cabbage, watercress and lotus root.
Try making a loaded sweet potato by baking it whole and then adding fresh chopped tomatoes and avocado on top. Add some protein as well like black beans or chickpeas. Drizzle some tahini (sesame paste) and lemon juice on top. Finish off with some fresh parsley. Feel free to add some cheese too.
Enjoy fresh or stewed fruit on top of pancakes or waffles. You can also add the fruits in the batter itself before heating the pancake or waffle.
Make a delicious wrap loaded with fresh or cooked veggies. Don't skip out on the protein!
Pre-cut various different kinds of veggies like bell peppers, celery, broccoli and cauliflower. Store in fridge for an easy and quick snack throughout the day with a dip like hummus.
Make guacamole! The traditional recipe is made with mashed avocados mixed with chopped onions, tomatoes and cilantro with a squeeze of lime juice. Feel free to spice it up and add different fruits and veggies inside like small pieces of mango or bell peppers.
We would love to connect. Let us know if you have any questions. Which is your favourite way to enjoy fruits and vegetables?
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