Be creative: Increase your fruit and vegetable intake

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By Theresa Howard

We all know that we should eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but many of us don’t get the recommended servings. Fruits and vegetables are important to our diet, because they provide necessary nutrients and are high in dietary fiber and low in calories, fat and cholesterol. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that you make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
Spring is also a time when many local agribusinesses kick off their growing season. Shopping locally will give you the freshest produce possible but also supports the local economy.
Here are some easy ways to add fruits and veggies to your diet:

  • Add fresh fruit to either cooked or whole grain cereal.
  • Add berries or other fruits to pancake batter.
  • Add applesauce to a peanut butter sandwich.
  • Try raw vegetables with cottage cheese or yogurt dip.
  • Add vegetables to a tortilla to make either a vegetable quesadilla or breakfast burrito.
  • Add chopped vegetables to an omelet, quiche or frittata.
  • Try baked bagel chips with homemade salsa.

Below is a recipe you may want to try.
Zippy Coleslaw
Yield: 8 servings
1 small cabbage head, grated
(one-fourth) 1⁄4 purple cabbage head, grated
2 carrots, grated
(one-half) 1⁄2 cup green onions, sliced
Zippy Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise, low fat
(one-half) 1⁄2 cup sour cream
6 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons molasses
1 poblano pepper, grilled or roasted, peeled, minced (optional to use this mild chili pepper)
Combine slaw ingredients together in a large bowl. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Toss the slaw and dressing together and refrigerate to develop flavors for at least one hour.
Nutritional Analysis for half cup serving: 170 calories, 4 grams protein, 30 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fat
For more recipe ideas, stop by the Extension Office at 807 Old Elizabethtown Road and look over our Plate It Up recipe cards, featuring Kentucky produce items or check out Plate It Up Kentucky Proud Facebook page.