Maximizing the Benefits of Summer Garden Bounty
This article was originally published on August 6, 2012 and expired on September 30, 2012. It is provided here for archival purposes and may contain dated information.
This is an
opportune time to take advantage of all of the summer produce, whether from the
backyard garden, farmer's market or the local grocery store. Gardeners with particularly abundant yields may even become a little
anxious thinking about how to enjoy all the fresh vegetables within the short
window of freshness. We need to look no further than The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, to realize most of us
don't eat enough vegetables. These evidenced based recommendations to help
prevent chronic disease, promote health, and reduce the risk and incidence of
overweight and obesity indicate that fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense
food groups that tend to be under consumed by most Americans. Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins,
minerals and other substances that may promote health, with fewer calories. For most individuals, when one food group is
increased another is decreased. Ideally,
when fruits and vegetables are increased, less nutritious foods containing
added fat, sugar and calories, are decreased.
produce is naturally low in sodium and has no added salt. Another benefit is the lower calorie content
of fresh produce as compared to other foods.
Similarities exist amongst healthy eating patterns from around the world
and one similarity is an increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. Evidence links poor food choices to several
chronic diseases. We recognize the
benefits of a lower sodium diet and a healthy weight in relation to cardiovascular
disease, including hypertension. Increased
intake of lower carbohydrate vegetables and fruit in place of less healthy carbohydrates
can be beneficial in weight control and diabetes. This can possibly delay the onset of Type 2
diabetes in at risk individuals, and help those individuals with diabetes
better control their glucose levels.
was right when she said "eat your vegetables" so instead of panicking with your
garden bounty try and fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at
Try some of
the following tips to help increase your intake of a variety of fruits and
vegetables. Be adventurous, and remember
that your plate should resemble the rainbow with dark green, red, orange and
· Fruit smoothie, fresh fruit, oatmeal
· Veggie omelet or scrambled eggs with red and green
peppers, onions, mushrooms and spinach
· Grilled or roasted vegetables brushed with a little
olive oil and seasonings - squash, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, mushrooms,
kale, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and asparagus.
· Grilled veggie Panini sandwich
· Grilled cheese and sliced tomato sandwich on whole
· Fresh salsa
· Tossed salad varying salad greens, fresh veggies adding
your favorite cheese, fruit, nut or lean protein source such as grilled chicken
· Vegetable casseroles are endless- squash, green bean,
pea, broccoli or cauliflower
· Vegetable pizza
· Zucchini bread
· Fresh fruit
· Bite size carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, cherry
tomatoes, radishes, red, green or yellow peppers
1 lb. washed and cut up broccoli florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon of lemon pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wash 1 pound of fresh broccoli florets
and pat dry. Toss or brush with 1 tablespoons
of olive oil. Place broccoli on a
baking sheet covered in aluminum foil.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on desired crispness.
Stir together the other 1 Tbsp. of olive
oil, lemon juice, minced shallot, parmesan cheese, and lemon pepper. Makes approximately 4 servings.
calories, 7 g fat, 106 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate and 2 g fiber and 2 g fiber
Source: Marilyn Csernus, Extension Educator, Nutrition and Wellness, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pull date: September 30, 2012