By Sara Lucero
September doesn’t only mark the beginning of fall, but it’s also Fruits and Veggies More Matters Month. Whether you are picking them fresh from your own garden, defrosting your favorites from the freezer or pulling out the can opener for a quick addition to your meal, making half your plate fruits and vegetables is a smart and simple way to boost your health.
Throughout the year, we hear about the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables. This is even more true during September, Fruits and Veggies More Matters Month. Whether you are picking them fresh from your own garden, defrosting your favorites from the freezer or pulling out the can opener for a quick addition to your meal, making half your plate fruits and vegetables is a smart and simple way to boost your health. These nutrient-rich foods have been linked to a wide variety of benefits, from maintaining a healthy weight to reducing the risk of a wide variety of diseases to improving energy and mood.
The key is to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables throughout the week!
As part of this rainbow, leafy greens can be a powerful way to boost the nutrition of your meals. This family of veggies includes such choices as spinach, arugula, kale and more and can be prepared in so many ways that it’s hard not to find a favorite. Add them to soups and sandwiches, roll them into omelets, sauté them as a side or make them the star of your next salad. The sky’s the limit!
Catherine Katz of Cuisinicity has created a selection of savory recipes to tempt you with leafy green goodness. According to Catherine:
“The beauty of leafy greens is that you can, with perhaps the exception of Brussels sprouts, interchange them in your cooking (just don’t overcook the collard greens), depending on your preference or what you have on hand. So you can be creative, ‘experiment’ and just have fun with my recipes!”
Celebrate Fruits and Veggies More Matters Month with meals at home and dining out that shine the spotlight on nutritious fruits and veggies. Get ideas from participating Healthy Dining restaurants near you and recipes like these from Catherine Katz:
Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip: The party classic reinvented! Pair this with fresh veggies or whole grain crackers for weekday lunch, after school snack or weekend party.
Shrimp Arugula Provençal: Catherine recommends serving this richly-flavored choice over whole grain pasta or whole farro: lean protein, veggies and whole grains all in one delicious dish!
Tuscan White Bean & Escarole Soup: Escarole, collard greens, kale and others all work in this soup recipe. It’s a nutritious choice for the cooler fall and winter days ahead.
Don’t stop there. Find even more veggie-packed recipes from Catherine Katz here.
When eating out, search for dietitian-recommended menu choices like these at restaurants near you. Chefs and cooks across the country are serving up leafy greens in the most delicious ways!