We love fruits and vegetables here in the AtP kitchen! They are nutrient-rich and can be great sources of calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin A and C, folate, and so much more. And one of the best ways to get fresh fruits and vegetables is at your local farmer’s market. Farmer’s markets are great because you know the food is grown locally, you are helping local farmers, and you can ask directly if pesticides or other preservatives were used. Even if there is not a farmer’s market in your area, many stores like Easy Way and Kroger sell fresh products from local farmers.
During the summer, it is a great time to get fresh fruits and vegetables because there are over 20 fruits and vegetables that are in season! This is a a good thing too because according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2 cups of fruit daily and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables is recommended daily! Need help visualizing that? MyPlate is a great place to start!
There are many great ways to incorporate fruits into your meals this summer. My personal favorite is a nice, cold smoothie! It’s a nutritious treat during the hot summer months. All you need is a few of your favorite fruits, orange juice or yogurt, and ice in the blender and you’re good to go! My personal favorite is taking 2 bananas, 4 to 6 strawberries, 2 cups of orange juice and roughly a handful of ice and blending it all together. A close second is this Creamy Banana Shake recipe.
Fruits and vegetables are also an easy, healthy snack. Some of my favorite on-the-go fruits and vegetables are grapes, especially frozen in the summer, apples with peanut butter, pears, pineapple, and carrot sticks. Reaching for a fruit or vegetable when looking for a snack is a great way to raise your fruit and vegetable intake and it’s a much more nutritious way to satisfy a craving.
Do you have a favorite fruit or vegetable? What is it?
An Intern Behind the Plate,