March is National Nutrition Month. The theme for 2014 is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right." Whether you are watching your weight, trying to reduce your blood pressure or cholesterol, or simply making a few healthy changes to your diet, research suggest that taste is the number one reason why we choose one food over another.
When it comes to eating right, vegetables are not at the top of most people's dietary intake. Most vegetables have a bad reputation because they do not taste as good as the most frequently consumed vegetable in the US, the french fry.
Following are a few tasty ways you add more colorful vegetables to your diet to improve your health.
- Hide them – Try adding vegetables you would not regularly consume into smoothies, soups and casseroles.
- Bake them into chips – Make chips with our “Super Food” friend Kale. Wash and cut kale into chip size pieces. Toss in extra virgin olive oil and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy. Children might even enjoy them if you sprinkle the baked product with some grated cheese.
- Dip them – Raw vegetables can sometime be difficult to eat alone. Try dipping them in low fat dressing or hummus.
- Flavor them – Toss steamed vegetables in some olive oil or butter and sprinkle with a seasoning such as Mrs. Dash.
- Grill them – Grill vegetables tossed in olive oil. Grilling gives vegetables a sweet, smoky flavor. Sprinkle with your favorite seasoning.
- Be creative with salads – Toss some baby spinach with strawberry and mango slices. Add some grilled chicken and mix with a light balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette dressing.
So what does “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” mean to you? Share your ideas, and inspire others to enjoy eating right.