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Kaylor: Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables during March, national nutrition month

By Staff | Mar 13, 2014

Do you remember “Roy G. Biv?” You may remember this name from grade school. “Roy” is not an actual person. Roy G. Biv is an acronym to help us remember the colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Fruits and vegetables come in all the colors of the rainbow, and white ones such as potatoes, onions and cauliflower also provide nutritional value. Fruits and vegetables add color to your plate and nutrition to your menus. Fruits and vegetables provide a wide range of essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. They are naturally low in calories. Eating more fruits and vegetables can help with weight management and can help reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease. Is your menu rainbow-colored? Think about the colorful fruits and vegetables you include on your menus. Do you include all the colors of the rainbow? To get the most fruits and vegetables for your money, check out the store grocery ads for seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables. Compare prices of fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruits and vegetables. They all count toward your total. Which of these rainbow-colored fruits and vegetables do you include in your menus? Can you think of other favorites to add in these categories? Red – apples, red cabbage, cherries, cranberries, raspberries, red grapes, red peppers, red potatoes, rhubarb, strawberries, watermelon. Orange – cantaloupe, carrots, oranges, peaches, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, tangerines. Yellow – yellow apples, corn, lemons, pears, yellow peppers, pineapple, yellow tomatoes. Green – green apples, artichokes, asparagus, green beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cucumbers, green grapes, kiwi, lettuce, peas, green pepper, spinach. Blue – Indigo – Violet – blackberries, blueberries, eggplant, figs, Juneberries, plums, prunes, purple grapes, raisins. Don’t forget to include some white fruits and vegetables such as bananas, cauliflower, garlic, jicama, onions, parsnips, potatoes and turnips on your menu.

For more information about food and nutrition, visit ndsu.edu/eatsmart. How to add fruit and vegetables to you diet:

If you have a blender, blend whole fruit such as strawberries and bananas with yogurt and milk. You’ll have breakfast on the go and get fiber from the whole fruit. Have an apple, orange or raisins for a mid-morning snack. Add tomatoes, onions, peppers and/or romaine lettuce or spinach to your sandwich.

Try a baked sweet potato or boiled baby red potatoes with their skins for dinner. Have cut-up veggies or fruits available in your refrigerator or whole fruits on your counter so they are ready for a quick snack.

Quick Italian vegetable soup

1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 medium onion, chopped, 2 carrots, sliced, 2 stalks celery, sliced, 1 (16 ounce) can diced plum tomatoes, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 2 cubes beef bouillon, 6 cups water, 2 zucchinis, quartered and sliced, 2 cups sliced cabbage, 1 teaspoon garlic salt. Salt and ground black pepper to taste. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional) Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion, carrot, and celery until onion is transluscent and vegetables are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and Italian seasoning, and cook 5 minutes more, stirring frequently. Dissolve bouillon cubes in water, and stir into vegetables. Adjust heat to a medium simmer, and cook approximately 10 minutes. Add zucchini and cabbage, sprinkle with garlic salt, and cook until tender, 5 minutes more. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, and serve.

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