Eat Red on Valentine's


Valentine's Day is coming up with yet another opportunity to focus on healthy and delicious foods. You probably know that it is recommended to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. In fact, those of us who eat plenty of fruits and veggies are less likely to develop chronic diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease. There are many ways to add fruits and vegetables to your everyday diet. You can:

Have veggies with a dip for a snack

Add veggies to your sandwich

Stir in frozen or fresh fruit into your morning oatmeal

Order or make pizza with vegetable toppings

Blend frozen berries and milk for a delicious smoothie

Keep bowls of apples, bananas, oranges or pears on the table

To stay with the theme, why not prepare something with red produce this Friday. Red fruits and vegetables contain a variety of healthy nutrients. Their brilliant colors come from the plant pigments lycopene and anthocyanins. Lycopene, like in tomatoes or watermelon, can reduce the risk of some cancers, and anthocyanins act as powerful antioxidants, which you can find in strawberries. Try out new ways of including red produce to your Valentines' Dinner. Instead of going out to eat, prepare a meal with your partner and enjoy the health benefits of red pigments. You can start the evening with a strawberry soup, an unusual, low-fat appetizer full of vitamin C, folate and potassium.


1½ pounds (about 5 cups) strawberries, hulled

¼ cup white-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

¼ cup lightly packed mint leaves

Yogurt or Crème Fraiche for garnish

1. Combine strawberries, vinegar, sugar and salt in a bowl. Refrigerate

and let soften for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so.

2. Purée ingredients in a blender or food processor.

3. Serve garnished with mint.



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