Thursday, October 29, 2009

Green, red, orange, yellow, white, and blue

Would be nice colours for a flag, wouldn't they? But they're the recommended colours of the vegetables and fruits we should be eating more of to get all the phytonutrients and antioxidants every day.
  • Green leafy vegetables, like spinach, kale, and other greens like Brussels sprouts and broccoli
  • Red like sweet red peppers and tomatoes, and apples, raspberries, and strawberries
  • Orange like carrots. And orange peppers, and oranges, and many kinds of winter squash
  • Yellow like, um, yellow peppers? Pears?
  • White like mushrooms and onions; maybe garlic...
  • Blue like, well, blueberries. And blue, red, or black grapes, I guess. I'm not sure where eggplant fits in there, since most are only purple on the outside.
You can look all these up yourself, of course.

Food guides suggest five to 10 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. But put the veggies first---while fruits have fiber and good nutrients, most are higher in sugar. In fact, children should be the ones getting as few as five servings a day---adults should get up to twelve. Most vegetables have fewer carbohydrates and more fiber. Adding just a serving or two a day (one small apple, one orange, one cup of broccoli, half a cup of carrots, etc.) can benefit your belly.

Some folks say you should eat not one but three apples a day---there's even a diet for it. Apples have lots of soluble (pectin) and insoluble fiber (skin). I halve an apple, trim out the stem and blossom ends, and remove the core with a melon baller. In fact, I've never used a melon baller to make melon balls. Less waste and you can eat cored pears and apples at your desk with little mess and no sticky fingers. The Red Delicious variety is supposed to be the best.

I like kohlrabi. It's a good substitute for potatoes or turnip in beef stew. I think you can steam or boil the greens (but slugs have been at the leaves in this image!!), but I usually just throw them out. Handsome Stranger likes to play with the peels.

I just came back from the store where I picked up six packages of frozen veggies on sale (Green Giant Essentials). Harvest season is getting ready to end, and southern Ontario has terrific farmers. But I might as well just dump the fresh produce I buy right into the composter from the reusable shopping bags. I'll eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches for three nights in a row instead of washing, slicing, and steaming or roasting the food I buy. My freezer drawers are packed full of frozen veggie and fruit bargains, as well as stuff I've frozen myself. But the fresh produce on the fridge shelves is getting all wrinkled and less appetizing. Maybe if I washed a few pots, and cleaned off the table, stove, and counters...

But I'm trying to do better. Tonight I went to the kitchen to make myself a PB sandwich, and instead I microwaved a Green Giant package and put it in a bowl of reheated beef and vegetable soup. Now I feel all virtuous again.

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