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Enjoying more fruits and vegetables each day is one of the single best things we can do to improve our health. I’ve pulled together my favorite produce hacks that will hopefully help you do just that.
Hacks to Elevate Your Meals with Produce
- Elevate those easy salad kits by adding one or two more plant ingredients! For example, add a sliced pear and some blue cheese or roasted almonds to a Pear Gorgonzola Salad kit. Add diced avocado and black beans to your Southwest Chopped Salad Kit and add fresh berries and toasted walnuts to a Sweet Kale Salad Kit.
- Certain fruits and vegetables make great edible vessels for appetizers and entrees! Mini sweet bell peppers cut in half work great as edible containers for appetizers, bell peppers can hold stews, casseroles, or other mixtures. Tuna or chicken salad can be served in an avocado half. Appetizers can be served on dried or fresh apricot halves, kiwi or apple slices, cooked mushroom caps or potato slices and more!
- Start your day the veggie way! Be inspired by the foreign countries that serve vegetables at breakfast. For example, every time you enjoy an egg dish, automatically add some veggies to it, choose from tomatoes, onions, peppers, avocados, spinach or kale, broccoli, zucchini and mushrooms! Spinach works really well in smoothies because it has a mild flavor, but you might want to avoid adding it to deep blue/red colored smoothies because Green + Blue/Red = Brown. Berries are the #1 cause of brown smoothies.
- Fruit makes every breakfast better in taste, color and nutrition! Choose from fresh, frozen or dried fruit for your oatmeal or overnight oats, yogurt and chia pudding, smoothies, toast and cereal.
- Discover the mushroom blend trend! Elevate the moisture and umami in your ground meat dishes by blending ground meat with finely chopped mushrooms. Mushrooms complement the flavor of meat and extend the servings!
- Elevate grilled cheese sandwiches by adding fruits and vegetables like apple and pear slices, sauteed spinach, kale or mushrooms, tomato slices, avocado or blackberries or strawberries.
- Cheeseboard-friendly fruits and vegetables add crunch, color, flavor and nutrients and add a wonderful complement to cheese, deli meat and crackers.
- Use fruits and veggies as “dippers” for your favorite dips and fondue. Consider carrot coins, sliced apples, zucchini and cucumbers, jicama and bell pepper pieces for the veggies.
- Add veggies and fruit to your meat or seafood kabobs to add flavor, color and nutrients and it will extend the amount of servings you get from a pound of Meat/Seafood too!
- Take your mac & cheese up a nutritional notch by stirring in some veggies. Homemade or from a box, mac & cheese pairs perfectly with sauteed spinach or kale, lightly cooked broccoli or cauliflower florets or roasted zucchini or butternut squash.
- Pump up your Pizza with produce! Add pizza–friendly produce like mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, spinach or kale, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, eggplant, red onions, arugula, olives or pineapple to your pizza to compliment or replace any meat toppings.