We’ve all heard that half of our plates should be filled with colorful fruits and vegetables at every meal. But is eating a rainbow of recipes possible all of the time, even in the dead of winter? (And can you really get picky youngsters to eat a spectrum of produce?) Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, author of Eating in Color: Delicious, Healthy Recipes for You and Your Family, shares some tips from her new cookbook.
What, Where & When?
Chard (aka Swiss chard) is a member of the beet family, but doesn’t produce an edible bulb. This green leafy has crinkly green leaves and silver stalks resembling celery ribs. Both the leaves and stalks are edible and the flavor is a cross between spinach and beets. The stems have an earthier beet flavor but are still delicious (even if you’re not a huge beet fan).
Common varieties include Ruby Chard, Rhubarb Chard, and Rainbow Chard. Ruby Chard has bright red stalks and deep red veins while Rhubarb Chard has dark green leaves with a reddish stalk and a stronger flavor. Rainbow Chard are other colorful chard varieties bunched together. The stalk colors vary from pink, orange, red, purple, white with red stripes, and ivory with pink stripes. Chard is in season during late summer into fall.
Myth: Juicing helps you lose weight
Fact: Although fruits and vegetables are relatively low in calories and have plenty of vitamins and antioxidants, too much of anything can pack on the pounds. Each ½ cup of fruit has about 60 calories. Juicing 4 to 5 cups of fruit comes out to 480 to 600 calories in one serving. If you’re trying to lose weight while juicing, portions still matter. Furthermore, diets that advocate juicing alone aren’t balanced (where’s the protein?) and are often dangerously low in calories overall.
Myth: Juicing is a way to cleanse your body
Fact: Your liver and kidneys were created to detoxify and naturally cleanse your body. Juicing or taking special concoctions won’t do a better job and there is no scientific evidence proving otherwise.
Some of the more popular brands of veggie chips are much lower in sodium than traditional varieties. One ounce of Original Terra Chips contains 50 milligrams of sodium while an ounce (about 15 chips) of traditional potato chips contains over three times that amount (180 milligrams). The amount of salt, however isn’t always lower in veggie chips. Some brands contain even more than potato chips and other snack foods.
Both potato and veggie chips usually contain 10 percent of your daily dose of vitamin C, but some varieties of veggie chips (like sweet potato) also contain 50 percent of your recommended amount of vitamin A.
Nine out of 10 Americans eat too much salt. It’s estimated that 77 percent of our salt comes from processed and restaurant foods. If your goal is to eat less salt, here are 10 simple ways to do it.
#1: Use fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned
One-half cup of canned vegetables has about 15 percent of your daily sodium requirements. This is no surprise since sodium is used to preserve canned food. Instead, choose fresh or frozen vegetables whenever possible. If you’re stuck on the convenience of canned veggies, low sodium varieties are also available.
#2: Make your own potato chips
Chips are brimming with salt, but luckily you can make your own in a snap! My kids and chip-addicted husband loved Ellie’s Cracked Pepper Potato Chips. You can always adjust the spices to your liking.
Store shelves are lined with juice blends promising various health benefits. But are they really as healthy as they’re hyped up to be? Here’s the lowdown on 3 popular store-bought juice blends.
Naked’s Green Machine
Naked makes a variety of juice blends including one of their more popular varieties called the Green Machine. They promote their product saying “Greens are one of the most underconsumed foods in the average person’s diet. Drink ‘em up!” One 15.2 fluid ounce contain has 140 calories, 50 percent of your daily dose of vitamin A, and 11 percent of the daily recommended amount of potassium.
Show some love to this under-appreciated veggie from the parsley family. Don’t be turned off by its licorice-like flavor. When prepared right, it’s easy to love.
The Puritans used to chew on fennel during long church services and came to be known as the “meeting seed” for this reason. Fennel is composed of a bulb which is white or pale green in color, with stalks topped with green feathery leaves called fronds. Each part of the plant is edible – though the texture varies (the bulb is crisp while the fronds are delicate and tender with a stronger flavor) Raw fennel is slightly sweet with and resembles the taste of anise (or licorice). Knowing how to compliment the delicate flavor of this veggie will unlock its goodness. Read more
Food labels are carefully worded to entice shoppers to choose certain items. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found dieters often fall for simple labeling tricks that make them believe certain foods are healthier than they are. Find out the top 5 traps people fell into and how to avoid them.
This leafy green is part of the cabbage family. Sure you’ve had it in a salad, but there is more to learn about this spicy green, plus lots of creative ways to prepare it.