It’s an exciting day here at TOPS Headquarters. A number of our employees are anxiously awaiting our very first delivery of fresh veggies and herbs from a local farm as part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). With farmers’ markets in full swing and produce coming in abundance, we thought we’d share our top four strategies for getting more summer fruits and veggies into our daily meal plan.
Eat it raw. So simple, yet sometimes so hard. When you get home, take some time to divide your purchases into “raw” and “cook” piles. Wash all the items you can eat raw and cut them, if needed, into bite-sized pieces. Place on the top shelf of your fridge, where you can’t help but see them, and you’ll always have an easy and healthy snack to grab. Hummus and low-fat yogurt-based dips make for great dipping.
Blend it in. Herbs and greens are excellent additions to your morning smoothie (try mint and a little bit of spinach with your bananas and strawberries). Cold soups, like gazpacho or cucumber-yogurt-dill, can also help ease the heat of these hot summer days. They’re very low in calories and high in antioxidants, to boot.
Grill it, grill it good! Most summer fruits and veggies are great flame-broiled. Try grilling your Romaine lettuce for a twist on the classic Caesar salad. Summer squash and zucchini are delicious low-carb sides. For a decadent dessert, enjoy grilled peaches over low-fat yogurt. Spray whatever you’re grilling with pan spray, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add your favorite herbs and spices for flavor.
Don’t recreate the wheel. If your healthy-eating plan is already working for you, find ways to make new fruits and veggies work within it. Are you usually eating a side of spinach with dinner? See how you like swapping in collard or turnip greens instead. Have a beloved recipe for cabbage rolls that you just can’t part with? Try making them with Swiss chard. Love turkey tacos? Add a tasty crunch to the top with thinly sliced radishes. Sometimes, the less you mess with your daily routine, the better the small (but sustainable) tweaks end up being.
What tips work for you? Share in the comments section below.