As you plan your family meals this month and all year long, don’t forget to include fruits and veggies! Fruits and veggies, whether fresh, frozen, canned, dried, or in the form of 100% juice, all count! And with so many options, fruits and veggies can be incorporated into almost any meal or snack.
Many Americans do not eat the recommend amounts of fruits and veggies and since many look for a quick fix to better health, it can be as simple as ‘Have A Plant’! Fruit is nature’s sweet treat and makes a great start to any breakfast, snack, or dessert whereas veggies are generally savory in flavor and are great for meals and snacks. When you think about your meals and snacks, think ‘Have A Plant’ and be sure to include a fruit and/or veggie at most eating occasions! Here's how:
At breakfast, veggies are easily incorporated into savory breakfast dishes such as omelets and quiche. But what if you prefer sweeter breakfasts? No problem! Simply get creative and incorporate shredded or pureed veggies such as zucchini or carrots in breakfast muffins. Give these Eating Well Blender Zucchini Muffins a try for an sweet, yet nutritious breakfast treat!
Blender Zucchini Muffins
Recipe from: Eating Well
- 1½ cups rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 medium zucchini, shredded (about 1½ cups)
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 24-cup mini muffin tin with cooking spray.
- Pulse oats in a blender until finely ground. Add baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; pulse once or twice to blend. Add zucchini, eggs, brown sugar, oil and vanilla; puree until smooth. (The batter will be wet.) Stir in chocolate chips, if using. Fill the prepared muffin cups.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then turn out to cool completely.
For snacks, sweet or savory - which ever you are in the mood for, fruits and/or veggies can satisfy! Fruit with a handful of nuts or seeds or veggies with cheese or hummus are excellent options.
At lunch/dinner/supper, try to fill half of your plates with fruits and veggies! Opt for veggie forward meals and if still hungry, go for fruit instead of additional servings of grains.
You can even 'Have A Plant' at dessert! Sweets can be made healthier by simply adding fresh fruit and enjoying a smaller portion. Like the Blender Zucchini Muffins above, seek out recipes that have a fruit and/or veggie focus!
Learn more about purchasing, storing, and preparing fruits and veggies.
"This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition."
Stephanie is an award-winning registered dietitian who believes in empowering every individual to make nutritious food choices to support a healthy lifestyle. She believes in the power of food as medicine and loves sharing about nutrition with others.