WRITTEN BY: Jordan Dakin
It’s the classic struggle — eating healthy is amazing for you but doesn’t always taste amazing; this we know. The thing is, that’s an outdated cliché that no longer rings true. With a little creativity, you can turn the healthiest foods into dishes that satisfy your cravings and your foodie desires. Does it require a little more work at times? Absolutely. Is it completely worth it? We’ll let you be the judge, otherwise, use these five ways to add fruits and vegetables to your diet.
1. Massage Those Greens
Leafy greens can be temperamental but when you give them a little love (and olive oil and salt!), they transform into truly delectable, nutrient-dense sources. If you’re into raw kale salad and what to give it a go at home, make sure you’re using the right techniques. Remove the ribs from the kale, chop up into pieces, and throw into a large bowl. Give it a few glugs of olive oil, sprinkle some salt, and proceed to knead the kale (as you would dough) for three to five minutes. The goal with this veggie massage is to get the kale darker and more tender – taste as you go and decide when you’ve reached your desired texture.
2. Make It a Chip
Fries at home are an easy fix, but it’s time to update that standby: do so by making yourself some kale, zucchini, or sweet potato chips. Vegetable chip recipes are easy and fun, giving you a chance to make a great snack with little to no prep and allowing you to be creative with the choices you make. Recommended seasonings include cumin, curry powder, nutritional yeast (gives a great cheesy flavor!), or chili powder.
3. Dry it Out
Perhaps fruit’s equivalent to fries or chips, making your own dried fruit can be amazingly fun and fruitful – literally! All you need is patience, some beautiful fresh produce, and a baking sheet. The best part about enjoying your own dried fruit is doing so without all of the crazy added sugars that store-bought dried fruit always seems to have. That said, if you’re on a time crunch and need to go the store-bought route, make sure you’re reading that nutrition label and not purchasing products high in sugar – quality fruit is naturally sweet enough.
4. Mix It Up
Who said salads have to be all greens and vegetables? Adding fruit to salads is often the best addition and goes a long way in terms of flavor profiles. Solid standbys include sliced apples (best with leafy or butter lettuce), blueberries and strawberries (great with kale or spinach). When the season rolls around, stone fruits like peaches or plums make for beautiful ways to amp up your summer salad. Some people even take to grilling these types of fruitsfor a truly amazing flavor. Inside tip: Dried cranberries are a typical go-to for lots of salad lovers but beware of the immediate effect they have on blood sugar levels! They might be best saved for treating a low instead or used minimally in your regular salad.
5. Fruit Meet Salsa
As wonderful and refreshing as regular tomato salsa can be, there’s nothing wrong with flipping the script and making your own fruit salsa. Think of it like bringing salsa and fruit salad together, and adding a cool, sweet chip as a dipping mechanism. This recipe advises mixing together diced up pineapple, kiwi, orange, and berries and eating the mixture with a homemade cinnamon tortilla chip. That definitely sounds like a decadent way to make fruit less boring or perhaps even a guilt-free dessert option for parties.
We hope you use these five ways to upgrade your next dish, get in those extra nutrients, and add more creativity to your kitchen and cooking skills! These five ways can be just the start of your journey to healthier eating and managing diabetes as best as you can. Start with the kinds of fruits and veggies you like already and go from there. There is a myriad of ways to use the techniques above. Bon appétit!