A healthy, well-rounded diet always includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. September, which is National Fruits and Vegetables Month, might be the perfect incentive to start eating more of them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults eat at least 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit per day and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day.
But it’s not always that easy. The trick is finding a variety of ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet to keep things interesting, surprising, and delicious.
Here are five fun, tasty ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
• Mix up a breakfast smoothie with low-fat milk, frozen strawberries, and a banana.
• Stuff an omelet with vegetables. You can turn any omelet into a hearty meal with broccoli, squash, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, or onions with low-fat sharp cheddar cheese.
• Throw some fruit on the grill. Make kabobs with pineapple, peaches, and bananas. Grill on low heat until the fruit is hot and slightly golden.
• Add grated, shredded, or chopped vegetables such as zucchini, spinach, and carrots to lasagna, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, pasta sauce, and rice dishes.
• Fruit is the perfect dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth: Slice a banana lengthwise and top it with a scoop of low-fat frozen yogurt. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of chopped nuts.
Watermelon Arugula Salad
1 container arugula
2 pounds watermelon
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 pound chunk parmesan cheese
Directions: Place arugula and watermelon in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour enough dressing on arugula to moisten. Top it off with shaved parmesan cheese.
Vegetable Basil Pasta
½ box dried pasta, such
as penne or fusilli
½ red onion, chopped
1 large eggplant, cut into
1 container cherry or
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup chopped basil
Basil for finishing
Salt to taste