We all try to eat healthy and find ways to sneak fresh fruits and veggies into our diet. I know one go-to for many people is a smoothie or smoothie bowl. That is, of course, when we aren’t eating simple snacks like plain sliced apples, a banana on the run, or munching on carrots at our desks while we work.
There are so many wonderful ways you could be consuming your fruits and veggies. Here are just a few quick ideas to get some fresh in your day, in an interesting way. Get out there and eat creative!
Elevated PB&J PB&J or as I like to make, AB&J (almond butter and jelly), is a quick snack that adults and kids both can enjoy. Elevate this classic with whole grain bread, peanut/almond butter, sliced strawberries or other ripe berries. For an alternative use a rice cake in place of bread. If you aren’t a nut butter fan try sun butter which is made with sunflower seeds. Or, switch it up altogether with a cream cheese and fresh fruit sandwich.
Fruit sushi Add excitement to your lunch with this fun recipe –
- Rice: 1 ½ cups rice, 2 cups water, 3 Tbsp sugar, healthy pinch salt (about ¼ tsp). Boil for 15 minutes, covered. Turn off heat and mix in 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract and 1 cup canned coconut milk. On a sheet of wax or parchment paper spread out the rice in a rectangle about ½ inch thick. Place your fillings in: slice apple, mango, melon, berries, banana, or pineapple. Grab the edge of the paper to roll the rice around the fillings. Top with thinly sliced strawberries, kiwi, or mango (veggie peelers work great here). You can also roll in black sesame seeds or toasted coconut. Slice and enjoy!
- Low effort version: Spread cream cheese on a tortilla and fill with fruit like bananas and berries. Roll up and slice.
Spring rolls Spring rolls are a quick and easy favorite –
Soak rice paper according to package directions. Start by adding herbs such as basil or mint along with spinach or lettuce. Cut matchstick size slices of apple, melon, pineapple, or jicama. You can also slice fruit such as mango, strawberry, or kiwi. Wrap like a burrito. Throw in a sprinkle of heat into the wraps or a tangy sauce for a little zing.
Fruit soup – Blend together (2 cups total) your favorite mix of fruits and pour in bowl. Top with toasted angel food cake (cube and toast in oven), shaved coconut, and even a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce. You can eat this dessert chilled or warmed.
Salsa and slaws – Pineapple, peaches, mango, apple, oranges, and jicama can all easily be added to your existing salsa and slaw recipes. Apple and jicama add nice crunch to salsa and slaws. Pineapple, mango, and peaches add a sweet flavor that can lessen the heat of a hot salsa. Mango is my go to when I decide to do crazy things like make habanero salsa.
Yogurt bark – Mix 2 Tbsp vanilla into a large container of plain yogurt. Pour yogurt out on parchment/wax paper covered cookie sheet. Spread 1 cup of smaller diced/sliced fruits on the yogurt. Put in the freezer until solid, about 4 hours. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.
Cheater Caramel – Microwave equal part butter and honey, with pinch of salt 30 seconds at a time, stirring between, until thickened.
Nutella – is also a great dipping sauce. You can thin it out a little with water, coconut water, or alternative milks.
Fruit pizza – This dessert starts with a sugar cookie or brownie base. Combine 1 package of cream cheese, 1 Tbsp vanilla, and a small yogurt for your pizza “sauce”. Make larger round individual sugar cookies or one large pizza sized cookie and cool. Spread on sauce and top with fruits like sliced strawberry, kiwi, banana, blueberry, and mandarin orange.
Another way to make things taste fresh is by using herbs. Using fresh herbs in unexpected places can add a refreshing taste to things you are used to. Try some rosemary in your lemonade, basil in your salsa, or orange slice and mint in your water.
Go out and experiment. Find a new way to look at foods you already eat and make them exciting again!