One in four American’s doesn’t get the recommended 5-13 servings of fruit and vegetables every day for optimum health. There are many reasons to make sure you’re eating your veggies, but here are three important ones:
- They can help you lose weight: Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber and research shows that consuming more fiber can help you lose weight.
- Reduce your risk of heart disease: You could cut your risk for heart disease by almost 25 percent, simply by adding 3 servings of vegetables (or fruit) to your daily diet.
- Fight cancer and Alzheimer’s disease: Eating vegetables (and fruit) in a variety of colors provides you with a variety of phytochemicals, some of which act as antioxidants that may help prevent heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Summer is one of the best and easiest times to increase your intake of fresh vegetables, whether you have a garden or not. Maximize your vegetables this summer with two easy and delicious ways to prepare them.
If you are already barbecuing, grilling your vegetables is simple and adds a new level of flavor. Like roasting, grilling helps bring out some of the natural sugars in vegetables, making them sweeter.
- Salt and pepper (other seasonings optional)
- Cut vegetables into ½” thick slices, brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- You can put vegetables directly on the grill or use a disposable aluminum pan.
- If you are using direct grilling, make sure to cut your vegetables into large enough size that they don’t slip between the cracks.
- Vegetables may take anywhere from 6-10 minutes to cook.
Pickling your own vegetables at home is both easy and delicious! It is a great way to use vegetables that may be on their way out.
- Vinegar (apple cider and white)
- You’ll want equal parts vinegar and water and then 2 Tbsp sugar and salt.
- Boil the vinegar and water mixture until the salt and sugar dissolve.
- Slice vegetables into ½” thickness and stuff into jar.
- Add hot liquid and let cool to room temperature before lidding and putting in the fridge.
- Serve after two hours, but even better if stored overnight. They’ll keep for up to 3 weeks.
- Try adding dill, ginger, chilies, black peppercorns, mustard seeds, or other fresh herbs.
If you have other tips for perennial veggie favorites you'd like to share, please leave us a comment below!