June Blog- National Fruit & Veggie Month!
June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month. Fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients that help support a healthy lifestyle. Adding more to your meals and snacks can help you reach your health goals, like staying at a healthy weight, managing your blood sugar levels, and keeping your blood pressure at a good level. Check out the tips below to see how you can add more fruits and vegetables in your life.
- Make a smoothie for a quick, nutritious snack. Blend fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables with a thickener like low-fat dairy or nut butter. Some tasty combinations include:
- Banana + peanut butter + milk or dairy alternative
- Strawberry + banana + plain Greek yogurt + milk or dairy alternative
- Blueberry + strawberry + kale or spinach + vanilla yogurt + milk or dairy alternative
- Roast vegetables in the oven for an easy side dish. Cut up vegetables, spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with oil and seasonings, and roast in the oven at 400°F for 35-45 minutes. Serve as a side. Some vegetables that taste really good roasted include:
- Make a soup as a hearty meal. Add vegetables, beans, animal protein, and even pasta to a large pot to make a soup. To play with textures, try blending the veggies or beans into a puree.
- Try fruits and vegetables prepared different ways. Fruits and vegetables can taste very different in their different forms (raw, frozen, cooked). If you don’t like something prepared one way, try another. Cooking fruits and vegetables can change the flavor compounds to taste different. For example, if you’re not a fan of raw carrots, try them steamed or roasted; cooking carrots gives them a sweeter flavor and a softer texture. Other fruits and vegetables that taste good many ways include:
- Try new recipes from other cultures highlighting fruits and vegetables. Second Harvest is celebrating National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month by exploring how different cultures incorporate fruits and vegetables into their dishes. Here is a complete meal highlighting Mexican, Ethiopian, Ukrainian, and Middle Eastern foodways.
- Cucumber and orange salad – This Mexican side dish is a sweet and tangy refreshing side dish to keep you cool in the Southern summer heat.
- Tomato salad with fresh lemon – Similar to a salsa, this Ethiopian salad adds a punch of flavor to your summer cookout.
- Svekolnik (cold beetroot soup) – Soups may not be a traditional summer food in the American South, but chilled soups are found in many cultures around the world. This soup from Ukraine may have a unique ingredient list, but it is full of flavor. Not only is it packed with vegetables but also protein from the eggs and yogurt. Plus it’s pink!
- Falafel (fried chickpea patties) with yogurt sauce – These pan-fried chickpea (also known as garbanzo beans) patties are popular in Middle Eastern foodways. They are commonly served on pita bread with a savory yogurt sauce drizzled over the top. They can also be eaten by themselves as a patty, a great protein addition to this overall meal.
We hope you feel more inspired to add fruits and vegetables to your meals at home. We’d love to hear how you and your family incorporate fruits and vegetables into your meals. Be sure to tag us on social media if you try new foods or new preparation methods!