Affordable Ways to Eat More Fruit and Veggies
Fruit and vegetables are highly nutritious. They also provide your body with many essential vitamins and other nutrients. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to make these things a regular part of our diet. The good news is that both fruit and vegetables are very versatile when it comes to their use in the kitchen. Here are several great ways to incorporate fresh produce into every meal of the day.
Many fruits are already considered to be a great addition to a complete breakfast. Orange or grapefruit juice provides a wholesome alternative to coffee and sugary sports drinks. However, keep in mind that some of these juices contain added sugars, so be sure you enjoy them in moderation, which is one reason we created 100% whole plant drinks with no added sugars of any kind.
Another way to serve fruits at breakfast is in the form of a homemade fruit spread. Take fresh fruit and slowly boil it down to thicken. You can add agave for sweetness, though many fruits will be sweet enough without it. Depending on the fruit you use, you may need to add a little pectin to help it thicken as it cools. This fresh fruit spread makes a great topping for a bagel or a piece of toast.
Vegetables are associated with breakfast less often, but that doesn't mean there aren't ways to appreciate them. And if you’re vegan like us, add in a bit of firm tofu or tempeh -a great alternative to eggs (hint: add a little turmeric) for that perfect color. Chop up bell peppers, onions, mushrooms toss them into the pan with the tempeh and voila! If you’re feeling like it, arugula on top with fresh cherry tomatoes spiced up with a little hot sauce and those taste buds won’t know what hit them. That would cost you a lot less than at a restaurant.
If you prefer a shake or a smoothie in the morning for breakfast, there are all sorts of recipes for both fruit and veggie smoothies available online. We take any one of our blends and add in a tablespoon for the extra health boost.
Lunch is a meal that many of us take for granted. For many people lunchtime is an extremely busy period. This means that they often choose the fast-food option rather than the healthy one. This is a time that a hearty smoothie works well.
Home vegetable soup is a good choice and allows you to add in whatever produce you desire. If you change up the veggies each time, you'll be able to enjoy a little variety from batch to batch. To make you feel fuller and keep you going, try adding in some legumes, like black beans, lentils, garbanzo beans or whole grain rice. Another option is simply to eat raw fruits or veggies along with lunch or as a snack. Dip into hummus and you have more protein and fiber in seconds.
Adding fruit to your dinner is easier than you may think. Not everyone likes fruit in their dinner, but there are some great recipes out there like adding apples, pears, or figs to a salad. Just about any fruit you can imagine can be cooked into a sauce or glaze for anything - from vegetables and tofu if you’re vegetarian or vegan, or into chicken and pork, if you’re not. Some fruit also makes a great topping for simple meals like pizza (goat or vegan cheese and figs) are pretty darn tasty.
It is more likely that you already eat veggies with your dinner on a regular basis. But that doesn't mean there isn't room for more in your diet. In fact, many recipes get away without have a lot of nutritional value. That goes for vegan diets too. Try to plan meals that center around vegetables as often as possible, such as stews, veggies pizzas or stir fry for example. For maximum freshness and local availability, seasonal vegetables make it more fun to experiment – try searching online for interesting recipes.
And don’t forget about that healthy and hearty salad for a great opportunity to include vegetables, fruit and nuts into your evening meal. Greens such as kale, chard, arugula, or peppers are more nutrient dense than simple iceberg salads.
One of the main influences on fruit and vegetable prices is the season in which they’re available. These foods tend to be much less expensive and easier to find during and shortly after their harvest season. For example, pumpkins are widely available in the fall, figs, and stone fruit in the summer, while pineapples are easy to find in the spring. Making your fruit and vegetable choices based on the season allows you to save money (and carbon emissions), improve your local knowledge and offers fun to east menu themes with a twist. If you really want to eat affordably, you’ll find that vegetables and legumes are more affordable and healthier than eating most meat (just sayin’).
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