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...for More Veggies & Fruits

Five a day is recommended; nine is better.  Here's how to get 'em.

  1. Resurrect the fruit bowl; throw out the plastic fruits and sub real ones.   Keep one or more bowls or baskets at hand with washed fruits at all times.  Pick them over regularly and use any in cooking that are getting past their prime.
     

  2. Serve real fruit for snacks.  Small melon wedges or balls, hulled strawberries, washed cherries, apple wedges, canned or fresh pineapple tidbits, orange sections-- the list is endless.  Provide a lightly sweet dip if that increases the takers.   Offer all kinds of chewy, sweet dried fruit.   Little boxes of raisins are an excellent treat, dried apricots or soft dried figs are delicious and nutritious, or snack on prunes.   These are all portable, too.
     

  3. Drink real fruit juice instead of sodas. Make fruit-filled milkshakes, smoothies or batidos.  Keep a variety of juices on hand in the fridge; don't buy fruit flavor ades, fruit drinks and sodas-- they don't count!   Make Spiced Tea, Lady Bird's Spiced Tea, Orange-Mint Iced Tea or Honey Tea Cooler for those hot summer days when you gotta have a cold drink.
     

  4. Make more fruit-filled desserts.  Pies, sherbets, cobblers, strawberry shortcake, real fruit tarts.  Serve Cheese-Filled Pears.  Smother ice cream or yogurt with canned or fresh fruit, make a banana split or a Miami Sundae.  If you buy fruit desserts ready-made, be sure they have real fruit in them.  Many don't.
     

  5. Never eat a burger without adding tomato, lettuce, even onion if you like it.   Same for any meat or cheese sandwich.  Serve Coney Islands instead of plain hot hogs.  Hide veggies in Chicken Salad Sandwich.
     

  6. Cook dishes with small pieces of meat and lots of veggies.  Examples:  stews, soups, stir fries, chili.  Make casseroles with added veggies.  Add cooked ones to canned soups, baked beans.  Serve small side dishes unexpectedly, such as Fried Green Tomatoes, Frazzled Onions or canned stewed tomatoes with your breakfast eggs.  Try a quick and easy Cheese Frittata in the morning,   or Greek Salad Roll-Ups.
     

  7. Prepare dishes with hidden veggies; see Sicilian-Style Spaghetti Sauce for instance.  Meat loaf can hide ground ones.  So can lasagna.  Muffins can be made with shredded carrot or zucchini.  Get out the blender or food processor and be creative.
     

  8. Fix lots of favorites with extra veggies.  Pizza with green pepper rings, mushrooms, olives, chopped sautéed onion, any kind of roasted vegetable.  Pancakes or quick breads with fruit; try Blueberry Rolls, Confetti Double-Corn Muffins, Apple-Soufflé Pancakes.   Potato salad with added veggies, such as Salad Olivier, or Creamy Potato Salad Plus.    Make Chicken Fricassee or Smothered Pork Chops.    Ketchup, tomato sauce and paste and chili sauce are all vegetable too.
     

  9. Serve vegetable snacks.  Try Fast Crispy Oven FriesZucchini Sticks, Carrots with Dill Pesto.  Try crisp veggie sticks or crudities with dip;  Avocado Salsa, Capered Mayonnaise, Low-Fat Dip.  Let the kids get involved in preparing their own; try Yellow Squash Pennies and Zucchini Moons.
     

  10. Educate yourself and your family.  Clip out articles or print short pieces out from the web and post on the refrigerator with a magnet-- as a reminder to everyone.  Visit the Center for Disease Prevention's page:   Five a Day.   Once you've got that one under control, your assignment is nine a day.  Your reward, if you choose to accept?  Better health!

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