Since I am back on the wagon (as in trying to eat healthily and lose weight) I have been looking for some simple ways to fix something tasty and healthy, while not having to spend a lot of time doing it. I also have the added challenge of finding things that the rest of the family will eat. Mushrooms and most veggies are not on their menus. They had to eat this stuff when they were younger, and neither of them died from partaking, but now, they’ve gone rogue on me and won’t eat their veggies.
One of the first things to do in preparing fresh fruits and veggies is to clean the foods. Nobody wants a case of E. Coli or Montezuma’s Revenge. A person does not need to purchase the expensive fruit washes either. Even organic foods can cause illness, especially if eaten raw. I also know that most of us have wiped and shined an apple on our shirts and survived. Seriously, though, try out these hints to prevent illness.
The best way to remove microbes, according to a study, is to use good old-fashioned vinegar water. The solution is 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water. Then follow with a rinse of pure water. By using this technique 98% of the microbes washed away.
Soak your produce for about two minutes before rinsing to help dislodge particles, or-
Slice both ends off the fruit and veggies to remove the areas that gather the most microbes, or-
Cut out the bruised spots as these serve as breeding grounds for harmful bacteria, then –
Use a fresh paper towel to help remove any remaining germs.
Now that our produce is clean, we are ready to eat the recommended 5 servings of fruit and veggies a day. I like fruit the best when fresh, but there are some ways to get your produce in besides eating it fresh all the time.
Breakfast – try adding berries to your cereal or oatmeal. Have a grapefruit. Or mix mushrooms, sliced bell peppers, or zucchini, into your eggs. This makes an awfully filling breakfast without adding a bunch of calories or fat. I think I’ll make this during the weekend for breakfast since I won’t have to be at work at the crack of dawn. It’s been a long time since I have made this dish. Top it with calorie conscious salsa for a little zest.
Lunch – Try a veggie wrap instead of the usual lunch meat. Top a salad with sliced strawberries, mandarin oranges, or raspberries. For dessert try some sugar free gelatin in your favorite flavor and slice bananas into it and then chill. I’m not a big gelatin fan, but orange gelatin and bananas – yum.
Snacks – go for raw fruit and veggies, or add some berries to low fat yogurt.
Dinner – Grill skewered veggies such as peppers, mushrooms, and onions. Try vegetarian lasagna. Or steam some fresh veggies as a side dish. (Won’t work at my house, but maybe at yours.)