September is bountiful month, full of fresh produce arriving to your local grocery store. It is beautiful to look at, but can be a lot to take in. Which fruits and vegetables are in season? How many produce items should I buy or not buy so they don’t go bad? What should I do with these things? And possibly even – what is this?
This Fruits and Veggies – More Matters Month is the perfect time to learn more about those tasty foods we should be eating more. Did you know over 90% of all adults and children in the US do not eat the recommended amount of fruits and veggies? That means if you do, you’re in an elite (and healthy!) minority.
All of us are busy, and caregivers even more so. So what are some easy tips and tricks to get more of that produce on your plate?
For one thing, keep in mind that ALL forms of fruit and veggies count towards your daily recommended amount, so anything canned, frozen, dried or juice that says 100% on the label contains the same goodness as fresh.
With that in mind, smoothies become so much easier! You can have everything ready to go and not have to worry about anything going bad after just a week. Frozen blueberries, yogurt, milk, OJ, leftover kale, canned peaches: toss any or all of it into a smoothie. Smoothies are incredibly forgiving. If you have some spinach that’s about to go bad, you can toss it in with some soy milk, honey, juice, an almost moldy nectarine and even some old cupcakes (believe me, I’ve tried). As long as you have enough liquid and enough sweetness (honey, agave syrup or cocoa powder work great) you can get away with practically any smoothie ingredient.
If you’re wanting to fill your cart with fruit and vegetables but can’t remember while at the grocery store what is in season, print out a pocket-sized guide (your best bet is to find what works for your region, so search for your state and then add “fruits and veggies in season chart”), or download an app onto your smart phone.
Good luck! And if you need more advice, recipes and ideas, be sure to head to The Fruits and Veggies More Matters site, where we found much of the above information!