Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More Good News About Fruits and Vegetables

More good news on eating more fresh fruits and vegetables- they help with cholesterol levels! Most contain lots of fiber, which lowers cholesterol. Why then do so many of us have problems getting enough fruits and vegetables? One problem is that too many of us have become accustomed to convenience. We prefer the foods that require minimal prepping and consequently are often highly processed. Many balk at having to wash, peel, slice, and serve. Stated as such it seems pretty. Choose a time to prep your fruits and vegetables when you are not pressed for time. Then store the good food in proper storage containers and use within a few days. I also think that many of us are bored with the same fruits and vegetables that we have been eating for years. Look for new recipes to give the produce a new taste. Also, since we are becoming a more global world look for fruits and vegetables that you have never tried before. Have you ever tasted jicama, artichokes, arugula, daikon, rutabaga, fennel, butternut squash, or parsnips? Fruits that you may not have tried include mango, papaya, guava, kiwi, pummelo, quince, lychee fruits, passion fruit, pomegranate, kumquats, and ugli fruit. I was curious about the ugli fruit and found that “UGLI® is the registered trade mark under which Cabel Hall Citrus Ltd. markets its brand of tangelos from Jamaica. You should make it a goal to try at least one new type of produce every week. This could be fun and help prevent boredom with our fruit and vegetables. The following recipe is from the George Mateljan Foundation.
Calabacitas (Mexican-flavored vegetable side dish)
Total Time: 20 minutes Serves 4
• 1 medium onion, sliced thin
• 4 medium cloves garlic, chopped
• 2 cups zucchini, 1/2 -inch cubes
• 2 cups yellow squash, 1-inch cubes
• 15 oz diced tomatoes, drained
• 4 oz diced green chili
• 1 TBS + 3 TBS chicken or vegetable broth
• 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
• 3 TBS fresh chopped fresh oregano (or 1 TBS dried oregano)
• salt and black pepper to taste
• *Optional: drizzle with olive oil before serving
1. Slice onion and chop garlic and let sit for 10 minutes to bring out their health-promoting benefits.
2. Heat 1 TBS broth in 11-12 skillet. Sauté onions in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently, until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
3. Add zucchini, yellow squash, remaining broth, green chili, and cook for another 3 minutes or so until vegetables are tender, stirring often. Add tomatoes and continue to cook for another couple of minutes.
4. Add herbs, salt, and pepper.