By Meg Caprio
Lets talk about some Veggies!
They are loaded with nutrition and eating a variety is part of a healthy eating pattern. Many vegetables contain potassium, magnesium, iron, beta carotene, Vitamins C and K, folate and dietary fiber and are low in calories and fat.
You don’t need to be fancy and if you are - fabulous! First of all, kids, let them help. That is pretty much how mine became interested in eating them. They would help make platters for dinners or to bring to friends. They liked washing them and arranging the colors. And don’t be afraid to let them help cut them! They start to nibble and discover what they like and don’t like. And I still have one daughter who won’t eat anything but lettuce and carrots … 2 outta 3 will have to do!
And for the rest of us.. I like to keep it simple. As far as preparing… I love the steamer I bought… It's microwavable. It's convenient. (I pick my battles….) I fill up the bottom part with water, fit the vented layer on next, load up the cut and washed veggies, then put the vented top on and set the microwave for about 4 minutes (depending on the vegetable). Then, they are either done or I add some spice and lay them out onto a cookie sheet and roast them. And assuming Spring is coming along, warmer weather is great for grilling them, too. I stick to the same seasonings admittedly. I will never be sick of garlic and onion with peppers. And a little pinch of salt and pepper go a long way.
Here are our family favorites and their nutrition info:
Asparagus - chopped and cooked 1/2 cup, 20 calories, 4 grams carbs, 1.8 dietary fiber
Broccoli - 1/2 cup, 27 calories, 6 grams carbs, 2.6 grams dietary fiber
Brussel sprouts - 1 cup cooked, 56 calories, 11 grams carbs, 4.1 grams dietary fiber
Carrots - raw 1/2 cup, 25 calories 6 grams carbs, 1.7 dietary fiber
Cucumbers - 1/2 cup slices, 8 calories, 1.89 grams carbs, .3 grams dietary fiber (just eat them for a crunch!)
Green beans - cooked 1/2 cup, 22 calories, 5 grams carbs, 2 grams dietary fiber
Red, Yellow & Orange Bell Peppers - 1 cup raw, 31 calories, 6 grams carbs, 2.1 grams fiber
Zucchini - 1 cup chopped 20 calories, 4.15 grams carbs, 1.4 dietary fiber
The bottom line is always add them to your plate with that protein and if you need a snack, crunch away!. The more you can get in daily and weekly and for life, the better for your body.